Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Buffalo

Fathers, grandfathers take part in Million Father March

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Richard Shelton knows the importance of a good education. He's put two kids and two grandkids through Hyde Park Elementary School.

"That's what these kids need, to have their fathers more involved," Shelton said.

Friday, he spent the morning trying to encourage fathers and grandfathers of other students to do the same.

"A parent or grandparent raising children has to be at their best every day. They have to serve as a model," Shelton explained.

It's all part of the Million Father March, a national effort to encourage dads to volunteer in the classroom.

"It gives fathers the opportunity to take their children to school. It’s similar to take your child to work day.”

Principal Sheila Smith and her colleagues hoped to use the event to increase the number of parent volunteers at Hyde Park.

"We're going to provide fathers with information in regards to volunteering for our P.E.G., coming into learn more about literacy, helping their child at home," Smith said.

Similar events took place at schools throughout the Niagara Falls City School District, in the hopes of encouraging father's to take a more active role in their child's education.

"It's extremely important. When a father is involved with a child from an early age, they're more likely to go onto college and be more productive citizens," Smith said.

Like Shelton's granddaughter Kaitlyn, who went on to join the school district’s merit program.

"There's nothing more important than an education," Shelton said.

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