Nearly 600 Men Show Up for Dallas School’s Breakfast with Dads Event

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Tony Maples Photography


Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas, Texas, held a Breakfast with Dads event that overwhelmed organizers. Over 600 men rallied around the school and its children when the need for volunteers was made public. According to the school’s profile, more than 77 percent of the students are identified as being “at risk,” and subsequently, parent engagement is an integral focus.

Students were encouraged to bring their dads, or their father-figures, for a breakfast event designed to engage families during the school day on December 14. However, the school grew concerned about the possibility that many dads couldn’t make it or that some students didn’t have a father-figure in their lives when some kids weren’t signing up. So, event organizer Kristina Dove took to social media. She posted a notice to Facebook in search of volunteers with the initial goal of 50 people. Nearly 600 men made an appearance at the Dallas school.

Nearly 600 Men Show Up for Dallas School’s Breakfast with Dads Event

Photo: Facebook/Orlando Valentino

Over the course of the evening, following her post (which was shared more than 120 times), Dove received hundreds of responses. By the fourth day, she had close to 400 male mentors who were interested in participating. And, when the day finally came, that number had risen to close to 600. In addition to the serving of breakfast, the event features a variety of icebreakers – activities in which the children could talk more with the dads, father-figures, and this great group of volunteers.

Nearly 600 Men Show Up for Dallas School’s Breakfast with Dads Event

Photo: Facebook/Breakfast with Dads

Reacting with smiles and questions, boys aged 11 to 13 were keen on one activity focusing on how to tie a tie. Although some had the opportunity to learn before, and some had forgotten, others still were being taught for the first time. In an interview with ABC News, event photographer Stephanie Drenka said, “I started crying behind my camera…The back of my camera was fogging up,” as she noted the heartwarming moments that took place. To say that the response was overwhelming, in a variety of ways, is an understatement. It’s Dove’s hope that those who mentored at the “Breakfast with Dads” event in December 2018 will continue their passion for such projects and continue to work with her. Her role as a children’s advocate for the non-profit education organization called Big Thought allows for the development of a number of such activities. Their next goal is to bring the men together again to participate in more mentorship opportunities.