Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A Night to Remember...
This year was the first year I got to "celebrate" Valentine's Day at a school with children. The reason I say quote, unquote, celebrate, is because I work for a Charter school and frankly, we cant "celebrate" anything.
Regardless of that fact, on Friday, February 12th, 2010, our school hosted a Daddy/Daughter date night in celebration of Valentine's Day. There were 200 daugthers that pre-registered and would be attending with the important man/men in their lives.
I volunteered to stay after school and help out for the event. It was a Friday evening, the show was supposed to start at 6 and I was tired.
I wanted to go home and I kept kicking myself for volunteering.
But after it was all over and I was going home, I realized that I had a good time and was really, really happy that I stayed.
I work in a predominantly African American school in an urban city. I've also lived in this urban city my entire life and have gone to public schools in this city.
The parent involvement, particularly that of a father figure, in schools and in cities such as these is exceptionally low compared to that of neighboring suburban schools. It is unbelievably sad and ridiculous to witness. But on this specific night, at this particular event, I was surprised to see that an innumerable amount of men were involved with their daughters' lives, especially their education.
We had a Reading Room, an interactive Game room, a Board Game room and a Food Room. Every half hour we rotated so that each couple was able to go to each station. After manning the registration table and checking everyone in, I decided to walk around each room and take a peek at what was going on. And the sight that I saw, brought a huge smile to my face.
In the reading room, fathers and daughters and uncles and nieces and grandfathers and granddaughters were all equally engrossed in a specific book. In the board game room, you heard cheers and cheerful banter amongst opposing sides. In the interactive game room, young girls were teaching older men how to play games on a Wii. And lastly in the Food room, daughters and fathers were enjoying a free dinner provided by the hospitatlity committee of our school, free of charge.
The day before the event, one of my students came up to me and said "Ms. Attitude, you should come with your dad." And I couldnt help chuckling and kinda wishing that I could have done this with my dad when I was a kid.
It was, in my personal and professional opinion, a spectacular and successful night. Each girl came in dressed up in their finest attire and in tow was a very special man and probably one of the best dates that a girl could ever wish for.