Hartford students return to school with cheers, applause - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford students return to school with cheers, applause

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A group of men from Hartford cheered on students as they returned to Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. (WFSB) A group of men from Hartford cheered on students as they returned to Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Thousands of Hartford city kids returned to class on Tuesday morning, however students at one school were greeted by some very enthusiastic neighbors and concerned leaders.

The organizers said the goal was to empower students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, but they added it’s only the beginning in helping these kids understand they’re appreciated

 Tuesday was a day many students and teachers won’t ever forget.

“We want to start off the first day right with a lot of enthusiasm and encourage them to put their best foot forward,” organizer DeVaughn Ward said.  

On Tuesday morning, while many kids were making their way, 100 men from the Hartford region decided to be just a little bit late for work, but all for good reason.

“They need to know education matters,” said Brian Martin, who was of the event’s participants. “They need to know there are people there supporting them. Even if they don’t know their names.”

“We have insurance executives. We have attorneys. We have TV producers,” Ward said.  We have banking executives. We have nonprofit executives, law enforcement, firefighters, chefs.”

As each student got closer to the front entrance of Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, their name was shouted out loud.

 Each of them were cheered, high fived and encouraged to do well in school.

“I never had anything like this when I attended MLK,” Ward said.  

These 100 men are not part of any group. They are just concerned neighbors and friends who were inspired by an Atlanta group of men, who also celebrated students as they went back to school last week.

After seeing the picture of the event in Atlanta, the men in Hartford started sending Facebook messages to each other in hopes of organizing something similar and it was a success.  

The morning ended with a prayer

“Lord we thank you for allowing us to usher in these kids back into school with some positivity and momentum,” Pastor AJ Johnson said.

In the end, it’s a declaration that these kids won’t be forgotten.  

“What I want to do going forward this year is to bring as many career professionals back to the school and have them talk about their career experiences,” Ward said.  

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