Dads greet students in ‘Brother’s keeper’ initiative

By Hillary Simon, CBS 42

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — A group of dads, who are also part of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, greet students walking into Phillips Academy every morning.

The program is called “I am my Brother’s Keeper.”

The men help students cross the street, open car doors, and direct traffic. One familiar face for the students is Tarnett Morris, also known as “Cowboy.”

“Good morning, sunshine,” said Tarnett Morris, a Phi Beta Sigma brother and part of the program “I Am My Brother’s Keeper.”

Students are greeted and approached by the men, making sure they’re having a positive start to the day.

“Good morning. Give me some. There we go,” said Phi Beta Sigma brother Robb Everett as he was handing out fist bumps to students.

This group of Dads is helping kids get to school safely with a smile on their face.

“It’s almost like they’re your own kids. Its unconditional love and these kids know someone is here for them, loving on them and doing something they didn’t really have to do,” said Morris.

Morris said he looks forward to this every day. He said one of the reasons he does this is to show more dads getting involved.

“A lot of times in African-American communities, people say there is not enough male involvement but when our kids are able to see us working in the communities we live, work, and play in, and we’re putting in service and care for the kids, it makes a difference,” said Morris.

The Phi Beta Sigma brothers said, just like parenting, not every day are the kids smiling and in a good mood. But that’s part of their mission, to change that.

“Sometimes I don’t know what they deal with when they leave home. Some don’t have smiles on their faces but it brings me joy to actually put a smile on their face when they get out of the car and see me,” said Robb Everett, a Phi Beta Sigma brother.

Even if they get a smile for one second, they said it’s worth it because that small moment follows them to the classroom.

“These kids, especially for our young men, these are role models for them people they can look up to, people can see on a daily basis doing positive things and helping them out,” said Dr. Emeka Nzeocha, the principal at Phillips Academy.

The principal said it’s helping the teachers and staff out a ton, just by a simple greeting.