Since September 2008, when Arbor Hill Elementary School joined in the Million Father March, schools throughout the City School District of Albany have planned activities at the start of the school year in conjunction with state and national events celebrating the important role that fathers and father figures play in a child’s education.
Our district’s participation in the annual Dads Take Your Child to School Day grew over the years to include all of our schools in an effort to encourage men to be comfortable and engaged at school year-round.
A partnership in our community with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, “Dads’ Day” welcomed as many as 1,500 fathers and father figures to our schools prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that we are returning fully to in-person events this school year, our schools once again are planning activities in conjunction with the national “Dads’ Day” observance scheduled for Sept. 22. However, our school district will take a new approach to these activities this year, celebrating an adult from each family who plays a significant role in the education of our scholars.
We value the critically important role of a father or father figure in a child’s life, and we also recognize that all adults who have a positive impact on a child’s growth and development are to be celebrated.
It has never been our district’s intent to exclude anyone from that recognition. Rather, we strive to be inclusive. We understand that families are defined in many ways, and we seek not just to celebrate, but also to champion the diversity that enriches our community.
Equity IS action. We believe that taking a more expansive view of this district-wide activity early in the new school year is a proactive way to demonstrate this core principle. Every adult who nurtures and inspires a child to find their own pathway to success is a hero, and we are looking forward to honoring our heroes on Sept. 22.
Each of our elementary and middle schools is planning activities for the morning of Sept. 22 to welcome a significant adult from each family who supports our scholars. Please watch for more information from your school or schools about the activities that will be held.
We are grateful – now more than ever as we continue to build back from the challenges of the past 2½ years – for every adult who invests their time and love to support a child. Our thanks to all of you for always being “All in for Albany!”
Yours in education,
Kaweeda G. Adams