RIVIERA BEACH — The Black Educators Caucus of Palm Beach County is organizing for the second year the “Million Man March,” part of a national effort to have fathers take their children to school on the first day, Aug. 20.
The march is sponsored by the Chicago-based Black Star Project, which lists 800 cities around the world — including Tamale, Ghana — as participating this year.
The Black Star Project has found that just 16 percent of what spells success for children occurs in school. The other 86 percent is driven by factors that have nothing to do with the classroom.
One critical element, the organizers say, is the involvement of parents — both parents — which is difficult when so many families are headed by single women.
“The disintegration of the family unit has had a huge impact on children in this society,” said Leonard, caucus president. “This march is just one small attempt to make a family whole for the benefit of the child, at least on one day.”
Leonard, a Riviera Beach resident, is focusing on his hometown but hopes that all county schools will see more men in the halls on Aug. 20. He has solicited the support of the Classroom Teachers Association, the district superintendent and the school board.
“The beauty of the idea, as one person in Atlanta said, is in its simplicity,” Leonard said. “It’s not complicated: just putting the idea out there for dads to take their kids to school on that one day — and believing that that small involvement will grow into something bigger.”