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Dads at Charlotte elementary school bring holiday cheer, positive role models to young kids

The dads worked to put smiles on every child’s face with every car door they opened and every word of encouragement they provided.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A group of dads at Smithfield Elementary in south Charlotte are working to make a difference in the lives of every student.

From greeting students in the morning before class to being some of Santa’s helpers, these dads are out to show students how much they care as part of the All Pro Dads group.

"It's a really important part just to make sure we're spending time with them,” Josh Teague said, “And also showing them that it's important to try and volunteer some time and also invest in them at the same time."

The dads don’t just do it for their own children at Smithfield but for all students to have a positive role and see male figures being involved and present.

"We love the thought of being a positive male role model for all the kids, doesn't matter what their home life is like,” Andrew Swistak, one of the group's leaders, said.

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Smithfield principal Allison Plunkett said the school welcomes parents to be a part of everything they do.

"The main thing is for every child to know that they have a significant adult who cares about them,” Plunkett said. “And so whether that comes from school or home, it doesn't really matter. If we could just ensure that no child ever feels like they're by themselves, we don't allow for any of that at our school."

Credit: WCNC Charlotte

The dads greeted students in the drop-off line at school all week, but on the last day before winter break, they dressed up in holiday festive attire and gave out presents to all the students as they walked in the door to school.

"We had a child walk in and say, 'How did he know this is exactly what I wanted?’” Jill Trotter, assistant principal at Smithfield Elementary, said. “And his eyes were lit up."

The dads worked to put smiles on every child’s face with every car door they opened and every word of encouragement they provided.

Contact Kendall Morris at kmorris2@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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