Group Of Encouraging Dads Roll Out Red Carpet On First Day Of School To Eliminate Kids’ Anxiety

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper,, HelloGiggles,, What to Expect, and more.

Philadelphia’s Stearne Elementary School rolled out the red carpet to welcome kids back to school.

Jai Crabbe and Dave Miller wanted to remove the anxiety and start kids’ first day off with excitement, so they organized the red carpet, complete with Disney characters Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie.

The pair found each other on social media and started organizing.

“I reached out to them and said, ‘Listen we want to come with some fathers and high five the kids.’ Changed their whole plan, and look what happened! It was amazing!” Jai said.

“It’s just an amazing feeling,” said Dave.

The red carpet was more than a success. One of the students was so nervous about walking in for his first day of sixth grade that he began crying. The group of dads cheering on the red carpet rallied together to comfort him.

“When he bypassed the gate, I guess that’s when the tears started flowing. And a lot of the guys who were with us were towards the end of the carpet. And they just rallied around him and, you know, started encouraging him,” Dave said. “I went over and rubbed his shoulders and told him, ‘You got this, kid. Come on, let’s go.’ And he gave me some high fives, and his tears went away.”

Jai and Dave are all about spreading love to their community. Jai runs a nonprofit in Philadelphia called DOPE, (Doing Our Part Eclectically), providing meals and other events for those in need. Dave runs a clothing line called Peace and Love Attire.

Their efforts won’t stop there.

“For some of the schools we’re even going back for PSSA [Pennsylvania System of School Assessment] time, for their school testing, to lift the anxiety during that time, and then also we’ll be doing some assemblies, pep rallies, hyping them up on random days just to encourage them with some DJs, music, rapping,” Jai said. They also plan to provide extra help to lower-income students and those suffering from bullying or mental health issues.

Watch below to see the special moment between the dads and sixth-grader Ian as well as hear Jai and Dave’s plans for community outreach.

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