Mississippi elementary students were welcomed on their first day of school with a sweet surprise planned by a group of enthusiastic dads who greeted the kids with high-fives, big smiles, and positive energy.
The first day of school can be a stressful experience full of apprehension for most kids and their parents. To ease the transition, the teachers association of the Barack H. Obama Magnet Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi, along with parents, wanted to make the first day a motivating and comfortable one.
In front of the entrance to the elementary school, a group of 20 fathers waited to greet the children. For the past few years, instead of the usual entry into school, the parents have formed a human "tunnel" for kids to walk through.
Parent Teacher Association president Rashad Williams said to CBS News, "The inspiration behind it was the want for our kids to know their dads believe in them and support them. It has shown to have a huge impact on the first day jitters and new kids' confidence."
Pictures of the event were posted to Facebook Page with the caption, "A tunnel of WATCH D.O.G. Dads were on hand to greet our scholars on their first day of the 2019 school year." From the photos, you can see the cheerful students running through the "human tunnel" as the fathers smile and give high-fives.
Most of the dads are part of a program named as WATCH D.O.G.S., which stands for Dads of Great Students. It is a nationwide program which aims towards promoting greater involvement of fathers, grandfathers or any father-figure within the family and the community. They describe themselves as "a family and community engagement educational initiative." Their goal is to provide positive male role models for students and to prevent bullying in schools.
The entire event turned out to be more exciting and inspiring because a few fathers were former students of the school. Their positivity reverberated in the students who thoroughly enjoyed the extra attention and love.
"The reactions were huge smiles, high fives, fist bumps, and hugs. Some kids ran through the tunnel multiple times," said Williams.
Going back to school is not a very pleasing experience for most of the kids, but this Mississippi school surely made an effort to make the experience comfortable thanks to incredibly active, dedicated and supportive dads who went out of their way to make not just the first day of the school memorable but also to instill children with confidence.