Dads welcome East Cleveland students back to school: ‘We got you 100%’

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 11:51 AM EDT
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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Shaw High School students got a warm welcome on their first day of school.

Dads from the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative, along with men from the community, lined up to cheer the kids on.

“All of the kids that went though the line today really felt the deep warmth that the fathers have for the children going into high school,” said Al Grimes, director of the Fatherhood Initiative.

Grimes said 44% of children in Cuyahoga County live in single parent household.

He added today was all about showing kids support, especially the ones whose fathers may not be in their lives.

“When fathers are involved, children are less likely to drop out of school, less likely to do drugs, less likely to become teen parents,” Grimes said.

Grimes chose Shaw High School because it’s the only school in Cuyahoga County with an all male PTA led by fathers.

“Just other things that the staff can’t do we want to pitch in and do it and make sure the kids are getting everything they need,” said Melvin Drayton, vice president of Shaw High School PTA.

Drayton said they’re there for all the students, not just their own kids.

“We got you 100%, if you need any help, we got plenty of people who will help you out,” Drayton said.

Meanwhile, Grimes said he knows the difference a father can make in a child’s life and wants to make sure kids have a father-figure in theirs.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am without my dad,” Grimes added.