Million Father March welcomes metro students
Getting the new school year off on the right foot Thursday dads, grandparents, uncles and men of all ages were invited to help cheer on Omaha students as they walked in for their first day of class.
"Let them know that we care and we love them,” Willie Hamilton told WOWT 6 News.
It’s part of a noble cause playing out in front of schools all over the country and right here in Omaha.
"We want men, grandfathers, uncles, brothers to come out and show support,” said Hamilton.
It's part of the Million Father March—a long-standing campaign of fathers helping show their support to give students that boost to jump start the year.
"We're built on strong relationships and we're here to educate kids. It's not just teachers and staff, it has to be everybody,” said Principal Matthew Williams.
Williams is the principal at Mount View Elementary. He says the mission to support is something that should be universal.
The warm welcome of students outside Thursday made way for the assembly inside with motivational speakers.
"To let them know that school is important, that the community supports them and their learning. That we are here for them to help them in any way that we can,” said Rev. Portia Cavitt.
Cavitt said support can really make a difference in a kid's life early on. Organizers say having a father figure take part in their education helps improve performance.
It's an added support system just about anyone can agree on.
"This is our future, right? These kids are our future. They had a long summer; they're excited to get back in school. We want to show the support for them to get off on a good start and have a wonderful school year,” said OPD Lt. Ken Kanger.
"Kids need both parents in their life father and mother and they need support for school they need support to learn they need a difference other that what they learn somewhere else,” said Michael Harbour.
The Million Father March has been going on in Omaha for nearly 15 years. It started as an idea from 10 men in Chicago around that same time.