ESS Breakfast Session Involves Fathers in School

Fathers of JESS students enjoyed a full breakfast spread last week at an event aimed at increasing males’ involvement in their childrens’ education. St. John Tradewinds News Photo by Jaime Elliott

Despite heavy rains, fathers of Julius E. Sprauve School students came out in force for a Father’s Breakfast at the Cruz Bay public elementary and middle school on Friday morning, October 26.

Low male turnout at Parent Teacher Association meetings prompted school officials to think of a way to get more fathers involved in their children’s education, explained JESS Principal Mario Francis.

“Our secondary counselor brought to my attention the fact that we have 207 students and 60 percent of those are boys,” said Francis. “Often at PTA meetings we have three to five men. I know more men than that participate in their kid’s education so we decided to do something just for the dads.”

About 50 fathers turned out for the event and enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, bacon, dumb bread, juice, bush tea and fruit and even scrambled tofu and veggie patties for the vegetarian fathers.

The JESS dads were issued raffle tickets for a chance to take home one of 10 copies of Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussant’s book “Come On People — On the Path from Victims to Victor,” which calls for fathers to take active roles in their children’s lives and in the community at large.

While the school has a strong staff, parental involvement is critical to students’ success, according to Francis.

“The leadership here is good and getting better,” he said. “But the parent is the leader who is missing. And most importantly the male parent.”

“We are glad that you’re here,” Francis continued. “This is a celebration about you. Be a part of this village and together we can make a difference.”

Fathers were also given t-shirts which read “Proud Father of a Julius E. Sprauve School Student.”

The brain child of secondary guidance counselor Dariel Bastian-Hendricks, primary guidance counselor Claudette Cross, family consumer science teacher

Joyce Sprauve and sixth grade teacher Juanita Canton, the father’s breakfast was a huge success and reminded school officials that fathers can take the time to get involved.

“Too many times things are left up to the mother,” said Bastian-Hendricks. “Males should play a major role in children’s lives too. This turnout is excellent.”


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