SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Faith-based leaders are "calling all men" to stand with them on the first day of school to greet students.
"A lot of our children in Memphis and Shelby County don't see a strong father figure in their home," said C.M.E. Bishop Henry M. Williamson Sr. "The three most important elements coming together: church, home, and school with everybody on board."
Pastors, businessmen, fraternities, and community leaders will be at Cherokee and Peabody Elementary and Melrose High School on Monday morning to welcome students and teachers back to class.
The theme is Value Life, Value Learning.
"If they value life they won't be bullying, they won't be bullying and hazing, they won't be doing drugs," Bishop Williamson said.
The initiative will blanket 207 Shelby County Schools as part of the One Church, One School program.
"How do we get into the minds and hearts of our people?" asked community member Darrell Catron. "It's important for us to mentor, it's important for us to show up on the first day of school with our children, it's important for us to be there on the last day of school."
Crossing racial, economic, and denominational lines, leaders hope this day of mentoring will extend throughout the school year.
"We will follow up with our principals and let that principal say to us here are some of the needs of our schools we need these kind of supplies, we need these kind of uniforms, we need these kind of tutors and mentors and we want them to be both men and women," Bishop Williamson said.
To learn more about this event and other volunteer opportunities, call the Shelby County Schools Community Engagement line at 901-416-7600.