More than 30 men welcome KIPP Nashville College Prep Elementary students back on first day

Posted at 2:50 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 17:58:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A group of men in Nashville's African American community welcomed students back to school in a unique way.

At KIPP Nashville College Prep Elementary, men in various professions cheered and encouraged students walking into to for their first day. The purpose was to make a lasting memory for the kids as they prepare for a new academic year.

Organizers say there is a stigma associated with black men who are uninvolved in the lives of children but the annual event changes the narrative.

"It's important because we often see that the mothers or the maternal figures are taking the lead in education so this is a way to show our kings and queens that men are invested, men do believe in education and that they're here to support them as well," said Ronald Sickles, family and community engagement specialist. "I did not have my first male teacher until I was in high school, here at our school we have a huge percentage of our teachers who are men and then to see this amount of men to support our students is unbelievable."

More than 30 men including Newschannel 5's Brandon Marshall, Nashville firefighters and university professors participated.