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Hundreds participate in Fathers Walk (Video)

At Dike School of the Arts, more than 110 fathers and father figures walked nearly a mile with their children Sept. 19. 

For some it was an opportunity to bond. 

 “I think it was important because it brings child and father together,” said father of two Clifton Wells. “It gives us some to talk about whatever. Because when she comes home she's in her books and I'm into my work. It  just gave us a little time together so we could talk and get to know each other better.”

His daughter Paige agrees. “We actually had fun. We talked and laughed.”

Fathers and children walked in pairs, some holding hands during the annual Fathers Walk sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative.  Almost all of CMSD’s PreK- and K-8  schools participated, as did some high schools.

Dike School of the Arts Principal Alisha Evans also participated in the walk.   

“The conversations that they were having with with their child and their dads were just amazing,” she said.  “It was just a beautiful thing to watch and listen to and to hear.”

The goal of the walk is to emphasize that fathers’ need to be involved in their children’s lives.

“We have 385 students,” said Evans.  “Many of them do not have dads.  But the dads that have participated in their child's life, they [students] have shown to be more successful.  They have shown to be more successful than those students who did not have a dad or any type of father figure in their life.” 

The walk ended at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. There, the fathers and father figures also had an opportunity to get tested for chronic illnesses because it is important that they stay around to see their children grow up.

“We added that extra component of the blood pressure check, the glucose check, the BMI check and cholesterol because so many of our men have these issues, so many in the black community as well,” said Evans. “We added that just so they can be aware of where they stand in that area so they can correct them.” 

Wells was among the fathers who wanted to get tested.  “I think my blow-up was a 120 to over 77 and my blood sugar was 128. You know I'm saying it was perfect.”

Paige, a fourth-grader at Dike, is happy her dad got tested and is in good health. 

“I’m happy because I know he's healthy,” she said.