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This Thursday was no ordinary day for students at CEOGC’s Head Start centers. Fathers and father figures from all over Northeast Ohio accompanied their children to school as they participated in the Cuyahoga County Annual Fathers Walk event.

The kids were ecstatic.

The Fathers Walk is sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative. The idea is to create a healthy engagement between fathers, male mentors and their children by bringing them to school and creating fun projects together. This year, each male figure painted their handprints along with their child as an art piece.

“When you see some of the footage of the walks the children are really proud to have their dads walking them to school that day,” said Al Grimes, director of the Fatherhood Initiatitve, in an interview with Cleveland 19 News. “And you know what, surprisingly enough the schools tell us that’s probably the best-behaved day of the year.”

As part of the experience each father and father figure fill out a pledge and are encouraged to uphold it year round:

  • 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

The event also featured ‘Dad’s with Donuts,’ an initiative part of the Cleveland Dad’s Group. Everyone was served donuts and refreshments and enjoyed quality conversation with each other. The special event may be celebrated once-a-year, but the impact it has on the young scholars will last a lifetime.