Community members welcome students back to school at Million Fathers March

Elizabeth Orosco
Northeast News

Men and women from the Kansas City community lined the sidewalk of Frontier School of Innovation Tuesday, Jan. 8 for the Million Fathers March event, welcoming students back to school after the winter break with smiles, high fives, and encouraging words. KC Wolf was even in attendance, greeting students as they stepped off the bus.

The Million Fathers March is an opportunity for fathers, uncles, grandfathers, coaches, mentors, clergy, men’s groups and organizations to show their commitment to the educational lives of their children by escorting children to school.

Timothy Gorman, a father of three students at Frontier Schools said he participated in the March to encourage the students coming back to school.

“I’m here just to support the children and be the best father I can be,” he said.

The Million Fathers March idea was born in 2004 when nine men gathered in a church basement on the south side of Chicago and wondered what could be done to help children in their area. They merged two ideas: The Million Man March, a 1995 gathering of African-American men in Washington DC and a tradition in South America where fathers take children to school to thank teachers, principals, janitors, and anyone who had a role in teaching the children. These two ideas combined created the Million Father March.

In 2005, the second annual Million Fathers March recruited the support of 83 cities nationwide, as well as Auckland, New Zealand. This participation of these cities led to an estimated participation of 200,000 men, women, and children in the March on the first day of school to show their commitment to the education of children.

The March was designed to be a community-driven event. Public schools, private schools, community organizations, government agencies, elected officials, local businesses, faith institutions: all members of the community are asked to participate and support The Million Father March.

Jack Klisares, a local community member, said he heard about the event from a co-worker at Holmes Murphy and Associates, and decided to join. He said the March is a great opportunity for the kids to see young men in the community welcoming them back to school.

“I’ve never done something like this before, so it was definitely a cool event, it was good to see all the kids smiling on their first day back. I loved it. There was a lot of energy and KC Wolf was in the house, so it was fun and I had a great time.”

Elizabeth Gude, Vice Principal of Frontier School of Innovation said this is the fourth year the school has participated in the Million Father March.

“We adapted the idea from The Black Star’s initiative that started in 2004 as an opportunity for men to show their commitment to their student’s educational journey by taking or walking them to their first day of school, she said.

“Since we are located in an industrial business park, we decided that it would be fun to line the sidewalks and welcome students off of the buses at the start of second semester. It’s cold, but it’s so worth it…even KC Wolf showed up to support this year!”

She said the event has great impact on the students coming back after winter break.

“We hope it gets students excited to start the second semester and shows them just how many people care and support them and their education.”

Jennifer Watson, Director of Communications and Outreach at Frontier Schools, said it’s important for community members to be involved in events like this so the students can see role models play an active role in their education.

“These kids are our future leaders,” Watson said. “It’s important for them to understand that there are many positive role models out there that want to have a positive impact on their lives. We want our students to understand that education is very important and that lots of people are cheering for their educational success. What better way to show that than by welcoming them on their first day back from holiday break.”

Watson said the students loved seeing the men in the community line up and greet them on their first day back to school.

“It shows them that community, not just their father or uncles, support them and have a vested interest in their success.”

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • KCFD, AT&T, MRC and TMC team up to provide free meals to HNE Community

    May 30th, 2020
    by

    Staffers at the Mattie Rhodes Center at 148 North Topping distributed over 300 meals on Friday, May 29, donated by […]


    Mayor works with Hire KC to move internships online

    May 29th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia MontoyaEditorial Assistant For most students, summer break is a chance to get hands-on experience in their field through  […]


    Virtual Museum Day debuts today!

    May 29th, 2020
    by

    Northeast News A consortium of Kansas City museums will be hosting a new, collaborative event called Virtual Museum Day, today,  […]


    New guidelines for re-opening rolled out by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas

    May 28th, 2020
    by

    During a press conference today from the council chambers on the 26th floor of City Hall, Kansas City Mayor Quinton […]


    Mayor Lucas to Announce Next Steps in Kansas City’s Reopening Plan

    May 28th, 2020
    by

    Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas will hold a press conference today, May 28, at 12:00 p.m. to provide details on the […]


  • Election Board Readies For June 2, 2020 Election

    May 28th, 2020
    by

    The School and Special Election originally scheduled for April 7 has been moved to Tuesday, June 2, 2020. For the […]


    End of school year parade

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor On Thursday, May 21, teachers and staff at Gladstone Elementary decorated their cars with balloons, streamers, and […]


    After nearly 63 years, Joe Vento announces his retirement

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant If you’ve ever been to Joe Vento’s Barber Shop, you know that for $9, not […]


    Spread awareness, not COVID-19

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Bryan Stalder Contributor City and State Stay Home orders have been lifted, but the city of KCMO has issued a […]


    Northeast News managing editor returns home to Texas

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Northeast News Last week, Northeast News said goodbye to managing editor Elizabeth Orosco. She joined our staff in November 2018, […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.