FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Back to School Fatherhood Initiative is an event designed to inspire fathers to get more involved in their children’s education.
“We hear a lot of the negative things that happen in particularly on the south side of town and part of the issue is we don’t think that there’s enough males involved in the lives of the children to give them a role model to look up to,” Councilman and event coordinator Glynn Hines said.
That’s why three years ago Councilman Glynn Hines started the Fatherhood Initiative event.
“We’re trying to get males more involved in the lives of the students in our school system,” Hines said. “Not necessarily fathers, but males involved in the lives of youth and we think that having a male involved in your life adds to the quality of life and to the academic process.”
At the event fathers and male mentors signed a pledge, committing to taking their kids to school on the first day and promising to stay involved throughout the school year. In the three years the initiative has been active more than 100 fathers have gone into the schools working with their children. Hines said it can help with grades and keep kids out of trouble. Four stand-out fathers in the community were also honored. Thomas Macon was one of them.
“People are paying attention to what we are out trying to do with the children and our program is all about children,” Macon said.
Macon has been a long-time coach and board member for Metro Youth Sports.
“We teach the children so many things about life. Period. As coaches it’s our position to lead, direct and guide these young people,” Macon said.
Macon said in addition to keeping fathers and kids involved at a young age kids need a good role model as teens.
“If we can involve all the children say about 13 and 17,” Macon said. “I think that’s the age group that we really need to put some programs into.”
Dr. Al McGee was honored for his work to get more minorities into healthcare careers. Leroy Jackson is a longtime union leader honored for advocating to get more minorities into jobs in the building trade industry. Timothy Russell is a veteran police detective and public television program coordinator also honored for his work.