School No. 2 held its first “Walk and Talk With Dads” event to celebrate fathers’ roles in children’s lives. Over 300 dads played with their kids and had breakfast with them before an inspiring and emotional program just for dad.
By Gary Miller
As part of national Dads Take Your Child to School Day, School 2 held its first “Walk and Talk With Dad,” event on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The event gave fathers a chance to play with their kids outside, before bringing them in for breakfast and dropping them off at class. And it gave the school the chance to thank them for all their work and to let them know they matter, too.
When Principal Atiya Perkins first thought of the event, she was expecting 30 or 40 fathers to come. A week before the event, she said 140 fathers had signed up. Afterward, she was “delighted” to reveal that over 300 fathers came to School 2 with their kids.
“This event surpassed my expectations,” said Perkins, who had worried about rain in the forecast. “When the sun came out, wow, talk about the sunshine today.”
Fathers were given orange hats saying “School No. 2, Fathers Matter, Too.” They played games and snapped photos outside on the playground, and were invited to trace their hands with their child’s hand on large sheets of paper hung on the walls saying, “Daddy and Me.”
They picked up snacks on the way into the school and spent time eating in the cafeteria, before walking their kids to class.
Dads then gathered in the school gymnasium for speeches of thanks and inspiration from Perkins, Mayor Derek Armstead, and Spencer Lester, the CFO and vice president of Children’s Futures Inc., a non-profit based in Trenton. Lester is the father of School 2 physical education teacher Steven Strothers.
They were also treated to an emotional rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings” by School 2 paraprofessional Sardou Sainvil, which received a standing ovation from the dads.
Perkins said this won’t be the last event aimed at involving dads, including a father-daughter dance and a father-son cook-off.
“We’re looking forward to more events with you all,” she told the dads, “to create more memories. So know that this is just the beginning. This is going to be a legacy that you create each and every day.”