Fort Worth

Dunbar dads deliver turkeys while promoting education

Dads of Dunbar is helping lift the Dunbar High School community. The group tries to engage more parents in school activities.
Dads of Dunbar is helping lift the Dunbar High School community. The group tries to engage more parents in school activities.

Dozens of dads carrying turkeys and school information will canvas Fort Worth’s Stop Six Neighborhood to spread Thanksgiving cheer while promoting academic success on Saturday morning.

About 100 members of Dads of Dunbar are expected to pass out turkeys to families. During the walk, the fathers will reach out to students and their families to encourage parents to be more involved in schools.

“We wanted to spread cheer and generosity,” said Dunbar High School Principal Sajade Miller, adding that the turkey delivery is a kind act that helps families connect to the community and the high school that serves it.

Regina Williams, grant coordinator for Dunbar, said the fathers’ donations include more than 100 turkeys and $600. Some fathers brought the turkeys themselves while others donated dollars, she said. Fathers will also give each family a folder with district policies on attendance and discipline.

Families have been contacted that a turkey will be delivered between the hours 9 a.m. and noon. The Dads of Dunbar and staff felt this is great way to engage hard-to-reach families. The idea is to spread holiday cheer and school pride, while promoting volunteering and school attendance.

Several community leaders and local politicians are also expected to participate in the turkey delivery.

Dads of Dunbar was formed last year as Miller and his staff looked for ways to get more families involved in the school community. Miller said they put the focus on getting more dads and father figures involved because school leaders often lean on mothers, grandmothers and older sisters.

“The goal was to find a low-risk way that our fathers and our father figures could engage in their children’s education,” Miller said. Additionally, educators say that involving fathers has been found to help young men perform better in schools and make better life choices, he said.

LaTonya Copeland-Berry, family communications specialist for the Dunbar pyramid of schools, said the fathers have connected with students by showing up at school every morning to greet students with “high-fives” and being present in the school cafeteria.

“This has just blossomed into something really beautiful,” Copeland-Berry said.

The turkey delivery is the first Thanksgiving outreach for Dads of Dunbar. Throughout the year, the group has involved as many 300 fathers, Williams said.

The group held a community walk last year to promote education. They were also featured on WFAA last February.

“We are going to talk about attendance,” Miller said, adding that the days will stress the importance of coming to school. Information presented will also include grades, testing and academic programs offered at Dunbar High School.

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1