MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Summer break can be a blast for students, but for Shelby County School leaders, the lack of engagement with those students is also a concern.
"With two months, there are times where we've lost students," says Antonio Avant, Sr., adviser of family community engagement for Shelby County Schools.
That's where the "Memphis Man Up Welcome Back Squad" comes in. For the last two years, male volunteers have surprised students on the first day of school, and organizers are once again looking for help to get this school year off on the right foot.
"We're inviting all of our fathers, our fraternity leaders, our fraternal organizations and church members to come out and support our children on the first day of school," says Antonio Harvey, community engagement manager for Shelby County Schools.
"We just want to welcome them back," says Avant. "Let them know that we love you. We appreciate that you came back and have a great year."
You don't need to have a child at SCS to volunteer. You just need a desire to inspire and help.
"We have over 24 schools that they can actually attend on the first day and support the kids on that day," says Harvey
And organizers say the program has already had a significant impact on the students.
"They just glow. It's a surprise. It's a surprise to the parents," says Avant. "Actually, we have seen growth in students coming to school."
If you would like to volunteer to be a part of the "Memphis Man Up Welcome Back Squad", the first day of school for Shelby County Schools is Monday, August 6th.