Dads Comfort Nervous Students Heading Into 1st Day of School

What better way is there to start the school year than with the red carpet treatment? 

What better way is there to start the school year than with the red carpet treatment? 

That’s exactly what happened at Philadelphia’s Stearne Elementary School to welcome kids back from summer vacation. School officials literally rolled out the red carpet for the kids, complete with appearances from popular Disney characters Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie.

As a group of dads lined the red carpet to join in on the welcome, they noticed a little boy named Ian, who was so frightened to walk into school that he started crying. 

"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 Miller told

He added, “I went over, you know, and rubbed his shoulders and told him, ‘You know you got this kid. Come on let's go.’ And he gave me some high fives and his tears went away." 

It was Jai Crabbe’s idea to have the parents line the carpet and cheer the students on. She organized the group to participate in the school's first day.

“I reached out to them and said, 'Listen we want to come with some fathers and high five the kids.' It changed their whole plan. And look what happened! This is amazing!” Crabbe told 

Miller added, "It's just an amazing feeling."

Both Crabbe and Miller are in the business of spreading this kind of positivity. Crabbe runs a non-profit in Philadelphia called DOPE, which stands for Doing Our Part Eclectically. The group primarily provides meals for those in need, as well as organizes community events. 

Miller runs a clothing line called Peace and Love Attire.

While Miller was looking for ways to give back to his hometown, he found Crabbe on social media.

“A few weeks ago I hit Jay on Facebook. I've been following her for some time and you know I was impressed with the efforts that she was doing with her community outreach," he said.

They say they’d like to continue to work together to bring these kinds of moments to more schools around the city.

“So for some of the schools we're even going back for their school PSSA testing to lift the anxiety during that time and then also we'll be doing assemblies, pep rallies, hyping them up on random days just to encourage them with DJ's, music, rapping,” Crabbe shared.

They also plan on helping out in other ways.

“For all of their lower income kids or the kids who are suffering from bullying or mental health issues, we will step in and provide the resources or if some of them are without uniforms or school supplies or even clothing we just provide those as well," she continued.

Remembering their own emotions from their first days of school, Crabbe and Miller offered this advice for those who may be grappling with anxiety.

"It gets intense sometimes so it's good to know there is a support system out there. We all need one," Crabbe said.

"I mean we could probably make something cool up, but it's a really simple solution. Just think positive, be positive. You want good things to happen to you. Put that energy into the world and it will definitely come back to you," Miller said.