Growing up in a single-parent household isn’t easy. Kids often come home to an empty house while mom or dad is at work and miss out on positive male or female influences.
And according to New Harvest Christian Center minister Charles Parker, who works with the Calhoun County Department of Human Resources, those kids are also more likely to end up in trouble at school and later in life, with the law.
“I see a lot of families that don’t have a father at home,” said Parker. According to the 2010 census, 11 percent of households in Anniston are run by single mothers, homes that Parker says are missing positive male images.
Parker and co-minister Larry Montgomery developed the “Daddy for a Day” program as a response to the dwindling presence of male role models. The program begins today at New Harvest Christian Center where boys ages 3-13 will have a chance to spend time with representatives from the Anniston Police Department and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.
“Especially in the urban community on the west side of Anniston and the Anniston school system, young black males are fearful of law enforcement,” said Parker. “We believe law enforcement isn’t someone to fear regardless of the side of town you grew up on.”
His hope is to introduce the boys to police officers at an early age, not only to instill respect but to give the police force a human face — one the kids should know they can trust, explains Parker.
The kids will also have a chance to meet City Councilman Seyram Selase and Anniston City Schools Superintendent Darren Douthitt. The two city leaders won’t be speaking formally, but it will be an opportunity to show the boys they can grow up to become positive members of the community, says Parker. Afterward, the group will take a trip to Zinn Park for a cookout.
Source: Anniston Star | Benjamin Nunnally