Decatur- Men in the community are stepping in when young men need a mentor. The Caring Black Men volunteers have been going to 13 schools, out of 22, in Decatur. They have been teaching boys what it means to be a man and how to navigate through society as an African American male.
Some of the mentors grew up without a father. That is one reason why they can relate to some of the children they advise in the program.
Each grade has a specific topic they discuss each week. Although, every student is required to carry around and know the six pillars of character.
"We're hoping down the road as we have had them for two or three years in school that they will in turn become caring black men themselves and be able to talk to the young ones that are coming around behind them," said the Founder, Jeffrey Perkins.
"We see their grades improve. We see their behavior improve. Once Caring Black Men starts in the school, I can document a decrease in discipline referrals for the students who are participating regularly. They are making better choices because they know they will be held accountable and not just by me or mom and grandma at home, but by this group of men," Said Sarah Oakes the Principal at Durfee Technology Magnet School in Decatur.
Some people think they only mentor African American students, because of the name of their organization. However, they talk to all races from grade school to college students.
The nine other schools in Decatur they are not currently in, wants the program. However, they need more male mentors in order to have Caring Black Men in all Decatur Public Schools. If you would like to be a mentor contact Jeffrey Perkins at (217) 454-2154.