Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas planned its first “Breakfast with Dads” last month and was concerned that some students would show up without a male figure.
With around 150 male students, ages 11 to 13, signed up, organizers put out a call for volunteers to serve as stand-in dads or male mentors, The Washington Post reported.
Dade MS needs Males! Please share and text 214-284-1589 to confirm your participation and receive more info! pic.twitter.com/yDVcAybnVg
— Kristina Chäadé Dove?? (@KristinaCDove) December 4, 2017
Of the nearly 900 students who attend the middle school, about 90 percent are from low-income homes, according to The Post.
The event organizer, Rev. Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church, told the Dallas Morning News that students appreciate interest outside the classroom.
“When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them,” the pastor said. “That’s what we want to see happen.”
The event took place December 14, and an army of volunteers 600 strong turned out in a heartwarming response to ensure that not a single child would have to sit alone.
— Breakfast with Dads (@BreakfastwDads) January 9, 2018
In fact, according to Stephanie Drenka, a Dallas photographer and blogger, there were times when some of the children had 4-5 mentors!
Moved to tears witnessing hundreds of men volunteer their time as father figures for Dr. Billy Earl Dade Middle School students at the "Breakfast with Dads" event. Even something as simple as teaching someone how to tie a tie can be so powerful: https://t.co/T7zR6vBMFt #DallasISD pic.twitter.com/5BLffaU9Wd
— Stephanie Drenka (@stephaniedrenka) December 14, 2017
“I will never forget witnessing the young students surrounded by supportive community members,” Drenka wrote. “There were so many volunteers, that at times I saw young men huddled in the center of 4-5 mentors. The look of awe- even disbelief- in students’ eyes as they made their way through the crowd of ‘Dads’ was astonishing.”
Here’s more on the story from Dallas-Fort Worth’s NBC 5 News:
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