AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) – This morning at Deer Chase Elementary School, more than 40 fathers showed up for “Dads on Duty.” It’s a tradition that’s gone on for nine years, but it’s the first time since the pandemic.

“We usually have it in the fall of the year, but we thought this would be a great time to have it because it’s right before testing,” Dr. Valerie Kelly said.

 Fathers of all ages showed up to express their support for the children. We spoke to the grandfather of a young boy who stressed the importance of representation and came because his grandson’s father was unable to today.

“We’re doing this because it’s great for the kids and it shows them that we’re here to represent them and show them  that we are here for them and this is to get out to all parents—mainly the fathers—since this is what it’s about,” Brian Ingram said. 

 With this being the first “Dads on Duty” day since the pandemic, Ingram says opportunities like this can help alleviate the stress of uncertainty that at-home learning caused many students.

 “That means a lot because the thing is, with the pandemic, everybody was home. Now that we are out and can come, it’s saying that we all can get together again.”

 The dads held up several supportive signs for the kids to see as they got out of their cars, which were geared towards motivating them before testing begins next week.

The primary messaging from the dads is for the kids to remember they are in control of their testing…. And their future as long as they remain confident.