Kids, parents make final preparations as CPS set to begin - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Kids, parents make final preparations as CPS set to begin

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Labor Day holiday is over and school is set to begin at 7:45 Tuesday morning for Chicago Public Schools students.

People around the city spent the day spreading the word about the big day.

"Fathers becoming involved in the educational process of their children is absolutely necessary. That will improve schools faster than anything else that we've tried to date," said Phillip Jackson of the Black Star Project.

The Black Star Project spent the day at the African Festival of the Arts, reminding parents about the first day of school and trying to get as many fathers involved as possible.

"Tomorrow we're actually asking 1,000 men at Mollison Elementary which is at 44th and Cottage Grove and we're actually asking men to take children to school on the first day of school," said volunteer Vin Centcain.

Organizers said the Million Father March is an effort that began in Chicago, but has spread to hundreds of cities across the country. They believe it is important for parents to be involved, not only to assist in their children's' education, but for safety reasons as well.

Safe Passage is entering another school year and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy believes it will be another successful one.

"It worked last year, we anticipate that it will work again. We've been doing work in those zones behind the scenes, undercover operations like narcotics enforcement, gang enforcement," said McCarthy.

Over at Cain's Barber College on 51st Street, more than 600 low income kids were able to get free haircuts before they go back to class. It's the 13th year helping kids to look their best.

Educational leaders are hopeful all parents will step up to the plate and make this a good school year.

"A lot of us we need to stand strong and stand firm in what we believe in. If we believe in education, if we believe in educating our kids, we need to do something different," said Rev. Lonnie Newman.

Some kids were thrilled to go back on Tuesday.

"Yes. Yes (I'm excited about school) Because me and my daddy, we read a lot and we do school a lot too," said 6-year-old Juelz Johnson.Others, not as much.

"I don't like it," added 5-year-old Lonnie Newman IV.

At least he's honest.

For kids heading back on Tuesday, the CTA will offer free rides to students on the first day of school. Last year it said the program provided more than 147,000 free rides.

Students are also eligible to buy a discounted fare for $0.75 throughout the year to ride weekdays between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., the CTA said. Last school year, students took roughly 25 million rides using the discount.

For all the information you need to go back to school, VISIT HERE.

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