Lynwood – Three- and 4-year-olds in Lindbergh Elementary teacher Maria Ledezma’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) class gathered around her room in eight groups as dads took charge of lesson plans on Oct. 4, leading students in excited recitations of “The Three Bears” and the coloring of “Thank you for being my super hero” pictures.

Dads attended ECE classes across the Lynwood Unified School District as part of the second annual Be a Hero Day, where more than 80 fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and other male role models read to children, helped with arts and crafts, and took part in other classroom activities.

At Lindbergh, Gabriel Rosales attended class with his 4-year-old son, Gael. He said he loved experiencing what his child does every morning.

“I love seeing him read books to his classmates and playing with friends,” Rosales said. “I do everything I can for him and want him to know that, so I’m glad I was able to be in class with him today.”

Studies show that fathers play a significant role in fostering social-emotional, cognitive, language and motor development in the lives of their children.

“Children strive to impress their parents, which pushes them to perform well in school,” Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “Parental support is an essential component in every student’s education, and we always want to provide opportunities for parents to get involved every step of the way.”

Be a Hero Day is part of a Los Angeles County initiative, in which parents and family members attended preschool classrooms throughout the day. Parents also received special gifts from the children.

“This is such a great opportunity for all fathers and male role models to get involved in their child’s education for a day and experience what it’s like to attend a Lynwood Unified preschool,” Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “It’s heartwarming to know our students have such dedicated parents who are so invested in their education.”


100416_LUSD_HERO1: Dads and their children hold up certificates after the dads took over classroom lessons at Lindbergh Elementary on Oct. 4 as part of Be a Hero Day.

100416_LUSD_HERO2: Gabriel Rosales (left) takes a look at 4-year-old Eric’s picture (right) as Rosales’ son, Gael, also 4, continues to color. Rosales attended class with his son at Lindbergh Elementary on Oct. 4 as part of Be a Hero Day.