FORT WAYNE—The recently re-established Fort Wayne Commission on African American Males is hosting a back to school event that aims to get fathers more involved in the education of their children. The Glynn Hines Back to School Fatherhood Initiative is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 17 at McMillen Community Center (the former McMillen Ice Rink).
The event—which is named in honor of Hines, the longtime 6th district councilman— is scheduled to include the giveaway of backpacks and supplies to the first 250 fathers or male mentors who sign up to take the Fatherhood Initiative pledge. The pledge calls for fathers to take their children to school on Aug. 19—or on the first day of school—and stay involved during the school year.
“With everything going on in our community—with the violence, unemployment and frustration—now is the time to re-engage fathers in the lives of our children and their education,” said Andre Patterson, chair of the Commission. “Education is the foundation.”
The Back to School event will also include free food and free haircuts. Sponsors for the event include Albright’s Meats & Deli, Parkview Health, the City of Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne Urban League and the IPFW Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
The local Back to School Initiative coincides with a national movement to get fathers more involved in their children’s education. The “Million Father March,” led by the Black Star Project, which is scheduled to take place in 600 cities nationwide on Aug. 19.
This article originally appeared in the Aug. 14 print edition.