Owensboro students welcomed back by role models

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Some elementary school students were greeted by their role models on their first day in Owensboro.

Firefighters, business leaders, and a potential NBA draft pick were among those welcoming them on their first day.

Before these students saw their teachers, they saw others supporting them as they start another academic journey.

“It means a lot,” says Aric Holman, a forward at Mississippi State, who went to Cravens Elementary as a kid.

“It’s something that, you know, on the first day of school, kids need encouragement for the rest of the year,” adds Rick Searcy, Who was one of a few dozen encouraging those students at the school his son attends. He says the sign of support means a lot to these kids, and the community.

“These are all our children, even though my son goes here. But we are all about the community, we’re all one city,” says Searcy. “So, it’s good when we can come together and support all our children.”

Owensboro Public School officials say it’s the second year these mostly male role models, along with some staff and teachers — welcomed kids on their first day. The idea came from the Million Man March movement. Holman says he wished this was around when he walked the halls at Cravens as a child.

“When I was growing up, we didn’t have anybody, we didn’t have any fathers or role models doing this on my first day of school, so it means a lot,” Holman says.

Parents like Hannah Sosh, whose son attends Estes Elementary, says it’s an encouraging way to start the year.

“It was very interesting for one and very creative, something that is a very new way to welcome these students to an elementary school that’s never been to one like this before,” she says.

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