This Thursday, Cuyahoga County schools in Ohio will hold the "14th Annual Fathers Walk," a day that invites fathers, father figures, and community male role models to walk children to school.
"This is open to fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers like me, grandfathers, any father figure in Cuyahoga County. We want you to be involved in this process. If you don’t have a biological father, the male father figure that’s in your life, invite them to walk you to school that day," Al Grimes, director of the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative, told 19 News.
The city of Cleveland is a part of Cuyahoga County, and this year Grimes has "registered almost 200 schools, so most schools in Cuyahoga County will be participating."
If you cannot be a part of the initiative, but still want to make a difference in the area, Grimes encourages you to "call your daddy, call your brother, call your uncle and ask them to walk your child to school instead. Just because you’re not here, doesn’t mean you can’t be involved. So, thank you for at least considering that."
The Healthy Fatherhood Collaborative of Greater Cleveland encourages fathers to also take "The Fathers Walk Pledge":
On September 20, 2018, fathers and male mentors took the following pledge and were encouraged to keep it year around:
- I am responsible for the education of my child.
- I will encourage all children to do their best every day at school.
- I will speak to my child about the value of learning and the importance of reaching your potential.
- I will help with school work and review assignments for completion.
- I will praise my child when he/she does well in school.
- I will speak with my child’s teachers and support them in educating my child.
- I will teach my child the value of education and the value of family.
- I will work with my child’s mother or guardian to achieve the best academic and social outcomes for my child even if I do not live with my child
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, "9.7 million children, more than 1 in 4, live without a father in the home" in the United States. Thus, "there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today."