Fathers, brothers, uncles, granddads show up at Birmingham’s West End Academy for ‘Men Can Read’ program

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 2:41 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In What’s Right With Our Schools, fathers, brothers, uncles, and granddads showed up at Birmingham’s West End Academy for their “Men Can Read” program.

The program started last year when a teacher came up with the idea to motivate her young students to love books and to read.

Principal Dr. Chandra Watkins says, “For us, you have a lot of absent parents, moms and dads - more so in the black community it’s absent dads, so we want to make sure we are able to present them in front of their children.”

This isn’t a one time deal. Just last month, nearly 200 men showed up for another event - “Donuts for Dads.”

Robert Ervin says it feels good to be included. “There were people before that were not really comfortable talking to dads and granddads, and things, so I am glad a concerted effort is made to integrate the fathers,” Ervin said. “Not everyone necessarily believes that we are there and care for our children. I think we need to show up and show everyone that men of color - we do show up and we do love our children.”

Watkins says her staff wants to embrace all the stakeholders in the community so students know a variety of people are supporting them. Watkins says they invited women to show up next month for “Muffins With Moms.”

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