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'Million Father March' At Furman Middle School

11:44 AM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- While many kids are embarrassed when their dads come to school, some Furman Middle schoolers were happy to have dad walk them to homeroom.

"My daughter, she'll light up when I come," Jermaine Frederick said.

Frederick knows from experience that being a part of his child's school can make a difference, especially as a father. 

"My mother, she came to the football games, she came to everything. So I know how it is important to be the father," Frederick said. 

So when Furman Middle began holding their "Million Father March," Frederick didn't even hesitate to participate. 

"I said, 'Man, I'll be there,'" Frederick said.

About 25 fathers showed up Monday to walk their kids to homeroom and pledge 10 hours of their time throughout the year.

Career Counselor Roosevelt Nelson and Principal Maria Newton-TaBon said just a couple dads can make a huge impact. 

"It's important to see fathers in the school," Nelson said. "It has a positive effect on the whole entire school knowing that dad's got my back, dad's supporting me, he's going to be there for me." 

"You can see the difference. Students that don't have their parents involved they kind of feel like they're wandering, they have no support," Newton-TaBon said. "Often times they can find that parent figure here at school, we definitely assist them. But to have the fathers, most of all, involved, it says so much to the children."

Frederick said his 7th grade daughter, Jazmine, wouldn't let him miss out on being a part of Furman. 

"She told me this morning, 'If you don't get involved I want $5.' I've got to pay her if I don't get involved," Frederick said.

And he's happy to to be in the classroom, where many people don't see fathers. 

"I'm really glad that they did this for the fathers, because we just work and we're like the disciplinary and punishers. I want to do something else with the fathers, so I'm glad they did this," Frederick said.

The fathers are scheduled to have a basketball game in November to play against the Furman Middle School staff.

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