Dads being present: ‘FIRE’ aims to curb violence, inspire RCSD students

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FIRE says more good men are needed

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Inspired by groups of men going to schools in various parts of the US to try and make a difference in young people’s lives, George Warren of ‘Fathers Initiating Restorative Engagement’ or ‘FIRE’, says it’s about providing a parental perspective.

“We came up with something simple but effective: dads being present,” says Warren.

Warren says it’s not to come from a place of discipline, rather love and support. “And we want to be that guiding force to help get them from this stage to the next stage,” he says.

Warren says support from father figures, even in small doses, can pay off with many of these kids in their formative years. “Those are those little pushes that our young people need,” he says.

Anthony Marshall has a son at Edison Tech. Marshall says some students, come from broken families. 
“Black fathers get a bad rep, and we want to change that,” says Marshall.

He says the paternal perspective, is sometimes needed with youth… especially with the uptick in violence in the City. “If they see us in this type of manner, then they might want to push themselves to stay away from that violence,” he says.

Warren says when it comes to stopping the bloodshed on the streets, there’s no one solution. “What we’re doing won’t be the ‘end all be all’. But what it is, is another tool that the community will have to engage,” he says.

Warren says he hopes other men will step up and join them. “Our ladies, our moms, have been doing this for so long. They go to PTA meetings and support our kids, help with homework…we just want to start pulling our weight and doing our part,” he says.

Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., ‘FIRE’ will be hosting a recruiting meeting, hoping to get more dads to join the program at the RCSD offices on Broad Street. The dads are also distributing Thanksgiving meals to 100 families starting Saturday morning at Edison Tech. 

FIRE team assembles for group photo

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