100 male role models for 100 days of school

By By Kara Carrier / American Press

Dwight Gardner, a family service counselor at Combre Memorial Park, didn’t spend Monday morning as he normally would. Instead

of going to his office, Gardner spent the morning playing leap frog, dancing and reading to a class at Brenda Hunter Head


Gardner, whose 3-year-old grandchild attends the school, was one of more than 100 male role models who were invited to Brenda

Hunter to celebrate its 100th day of school.

Sarah Brummett, school education facilitator, said research shows that it’s important to have male role models in children’s

lives at an early age.

“We decided that we were going to invite 100 men to come in and play with our children, read to our children and interact

with our children because we thought it would be a great way to incorporate our 100th day of school,” Brummett said.

Brummett said that as of 1 p.m. Monday the school had exceeded their goal — having 119 men visiting the 238 3-year-old students,

including many dads, grandfathers and local community leaders such as police officers, firefighters, school board members,

the school superintendent and the mayor of Lake Charles.

“We’ve had some important people here today, but we want to emphasize that the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, people like

that, are very important in these kids’ lives,” she said.

Samuel Booker also attended the event

to support his granddaughter. Booker said he spent the morning at a

table with his granddaughter

and two other girls placing elephants on diagrams according to

size and color, counting numbers and identifying numbers.

“These young ladies are definitely in charge and are training me,” he said laughing.

Booker, who is retired from the city of Lake Charles Water Division, said he was proud to come because children need masculine


“Events like this motivates us as fathers and grandfathers to come out and support our children,” Booker said. “They need

father images to let them know we are backing them up.”

Brummett said the school has been

preparing for the event for two weeks, and this was the first year the

school hosted something

like this. Brummett said the entire staff at the school

contributed to making the day a success. The school now plans to make

this an annual event, she said.