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Kids showed up at school to a group of men literally cheering for them. Well done, sirs.

What a beautiful way to show the kids in your community that you care about them.

A large group of snazzily dressed men gathered outside a Connecticut public school on the first day of classes.

Nah, it wasn't time for parent-teacher conferences. And it wasn't an executive retreat that just happened to be walking by. This was a group gathering to cheer students on their first day of school.


DeVaughn Ward and Pastor AJ Johnson organized the event after seeing a group of men in Atlanta pull off a similar affair. They took to social media, and faster than you could say "What are you up to on the first day of school?" a group of upstanding gents from the community showed up to cheer on students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Hartford, Connecticut.

“We have insurance executives. We have attorneys. We have TV producers. ... We have banking executives. We have nonprofit executives, law enforcement, firefighters, chefs," Ward told Eyewitness 3 in Hartford. "We wanted the youth to see us as professionals in whatever capacity that's in," he said. "We wanted to give them something to aspire to."

This array of professional gents greeted each student on their first day of school with a smile, a cheer, and a high five of encouragement.

“They need to know education matters. They need to know there are people there supporting them. Even if they don't know their names," Brian Martin, one of the event's participants, told Eyewitness 3.

And it wasn't just a few folks. Around 100 men came to cheer on the kids in their community.

Photos by Keith Claytor of TimeFrozen photography.

They offered high fives to adorably confused, embarrassed, and happy children.

Sounds of "awww" were no doubt reported.

Little hands and big hands clapped! A first day of school high five for everyone!

The kind of welcome usually reserved for football stars was given to each and every child that day.

All the smiling faces and happy kids and bow ties! Is this a Norman Rockwell painting?

No! It's real!

Seriously, I'm jealous of these kids AND of all these awesome grown-ups.

What a beautiful way to show up for the kids in your community.

Literally show up. I love it so much.

Hearing about success is one thing. But seeing it is something completely different. And for kids going to their first day of school amid cheers from the most successful men in their community, seeing is believing.

So much happiness. I can't.

After doing a little research about this awesome event in Connecticut, I started finding similar events happening all across the country.

That's right! This magical event is contagious! These folks from Connecticut were inspired by Atlanta ... but that is SO not where this magic stops!

In Pittsburgh:

Video via WTAE.

In West Palm Beach, Florida:

Video via WPTV.

In Omaha, Nebraska!

Video via WOWT.

Some of these gatherings were independently organized, and some were a part of a movement called the Million Fathers March, which began in 2004 as a group of men committed to their children's academic success.

It's such a sweet way to bring a community together and make a great world for our kids. This is a great start.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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Katie Peters shared a day in the life of pandemic teaching and pleaded for teachers to be given grace.

Teachers are heroes under normal circumstances. During a pandemic that has upended life as we know it, they are honest-to-goodness, bona fide superheroes.

The juggling of school and COVID-19 has been incredibly challenging, creating friction between officials, administrators, teachers, unions, parents and the public at large. Everyone has different opinions about what should and shouldn't be done, which sometimes conflict with what can and cannot be done and don't always line up with what is and isn't being done, and the result is that everyone is just … done.

And as is usually the case with education-related controversies, teachers are taking the brunt of it. Their calls for safe school policies have been met with claims that kids aren't at risk of severe COVID, as if teachers' health and well-being are expendable. Parents' frustrations with remote or hybrid learning are taken out on the teachers who are constantly scrambling to adjust to ever-changing circumstances that make everything about teaching more complicated.

Superheroes, seriously.

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This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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