While March Madness is heating up, local students recently left their family rooms and went back into school to watch the tournament. Boys at Crone Middle School invited a male family member to the gym recently for the school’s first “Guys Night Out.”
“I’m feeling great that I get to spend time with my dad because he’s kind of busy sometimes with work,” said Michael Peters, seventh grader at Crone Middle School.
This type of male bonding is exactly why Crone Middle School’s new principal Allan Davenport planned the event, which drew more than 150 guys out for an evening of basketball, pizza, bags, and video games.
“Mostly it’s moms that get involved at school, moms that volunteer with PTA and so I’m passionate about getting dads involved,” said Davenport. “And usually pizza and sports brings out dads!”
But the event proved to be more than just fun and games. It provided an opportunity for young boys to bond with a male role model in their lives.
“We all need our own time with someone, so I think this is a good time to have that time,” said sixth grader Mason LeBreck.
One of the nation’s largest and oldest organizations connecting young men with an older male mentor is the YMCA. Experts there explain why male role models are so important for kids and adolescents.
“It’s just essential that we have fathers or uncles or grandfathers, whoever it may be step up and get in the lives of the youth today,” said Matt Lund, the Sports Director for the YMCA Sports Complex in Naperville. “If we don’t have them stepping up and being role models, a lot of [the kids] won’t have the opportunities to play sports or even develop into the young man or young person they’re going be into their adulthood.”
Crone Middle School has already planned a similar event for females. “Girls Night Out” will be on April 28 from 6pm to 8pm.
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