When students file into classrooms today for the start of the school year, many fathers in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood will walking alongside their children.
The newly established San Francisco-based nonprofit California Federation for Fathers, Families and Communities will be organizing a march and rally this morning starting with fathers walking their children to many area public schools starting around 7 a.m., the organization’s CEO Jim Martin said.
“Children should not be afraid to go to school or when they get there,” Martin said. “They should feel like they belong to a community.”
To build that support and community, there will be seven routes for dads and other family members to take their children to schools, which includes Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Charles Drew, El Dorado and Paul Revere elementary schools and Thurgood Marshall as the sole high school involved.
After walking students to classrooms, dads and others will have an opportunity to vow their commitment to school leaders about getting involved at the school for any desired amount of time throughout the school year.
“We’re encouraging fathers to make that commitment,” Martin said, whether it be 20 hours a year or more or less.
A bus will then pick up parents at the various schools to join others at the Martin Luther King Pool at Third Street and Carroll Avenue where a march and rally will be held at 9:30 a.m.
The rally is part of an action urging the community to stand together against violence in the southeastern neighborhood and throughout the Bay Area, Martin said.
Members of clergy and other community organizations from throughout the Bay Area including San Jose, Daly City and Oakland will be part of the event.
San Francisco organizations including the Bayview-Hunters Point Family Resource Center and Young Community Developers that will join in the demonstration.
“We can stand together as one community, so many (cities) have the same issues,” he said.
Martin said mothers and other family members are also welcome to participate in the first day of school activities.
“We’re aware that a family has to stand as one,” he said. “We have to engage the entire family.”
More information about the walk to school and following rally and march is available at http://letnochildwalkalone.wordpress.com.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News