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Donuts & Dudes event draws men into elementary schools

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Scott Johnson helps his daughter, Kayla, center, and her friend second-grader Massiah King complete a worksheet during the Doughnuts & Dudes event last week at H.B. Sugg and Sam D. Bundyy Elementary School.

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By DONNA MARIE WILLIAMS

The Farmville Enterprise

Thursday, November 8, 2018

FARMVILLE — Donuts, coffee and the desire to demonstrate they care brought more than 375 dudes to H.B. Sugg and Sam D. Bundy elementary schools last week for the school’s annual Donuts & Dudes event.

The event is designed to show students that the men in their lives and in their community support them and their education, according to principal Allison Setser.

“It shows our children how many men in their lives care and support them,” Setser said.

The men who attended the event consisted of fathers, brothers, uncles and volunteers from the community.

“I think it’s a wonderful way of giving kids the support they need to be prosperous in school. It’s a wonderful way parents and kids can interact at school,” said father Damion Moye. 
Grandfather Tom Dickinson added, “I love the chance to for the kids to see that parents and grandparents are interested in what they are doing.”

Men arrived to the school at 8 a.m. and received a donut and coffee provided by The Biscuit & The Bean, Duck Donuts, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts. Students also received two small donuts and juice.

“It’s fun. The donuts taste good and our dads get to come to the school for an hour,” fourth-grader Jayden Ramos said.

“It makes me feel really happy,” said first-grader Jazmine Fields.

Farmville’s Food Lion and the school’s PTA contributed funds to the event.

School staff members were touched by the number of men that attended the event.

“You look at this and see how many men are showing up. I’m tearing up as people are walking in,” Setser said, as visitors streamed into the cafeteria.

The men visited spots around the school. Fathers and grandfathers went to their child’s classrooms. Men unrelated to students helped to fill in the gaps and partnered with students who did not have a male figure able to attend the event.

Teachers decorated the halls with donut cutouts to prepare for the day. Worksheets, crafts, crossword puzzles and other activities in classrooms encouraged interaction between students and the men.

The activities gave fifth-grader Hunter Braxton an opportunity to learn about his stepfather William Jones’ experience in school.

Students were provided question-and-answer sheets to jumpstart conversations with their guests.

“I’m a gymnast. I’m good at stuff, and I really like to help people,” fourth-grader Harmony Cherry shared with one visiting father.

This year marked the third annual Donuts & Dudes, which is held on or near Halloween.

“We do it on Halloween because these men are superheroes in (their children’s) lives, and other kids should be able to look up to them as well,” Setser said.

Men were also encouraged to wear a costume or a superhero cape or superhero T-shirt.

Grandfather William Justice of Farmville dressed up as a knight per a request from his grandson, fourth-grader Adrian Justice. Adrian came as a military spy.

William was thrilled to enjoy breakfast with his grandson.

“I get to spend some time with him,” he said with a smile.

Father Stephen Bunch was also happy to spend extra time with his daughter, fourth-grader Camryn.

“I get to be a part of my daughter’s education … and meet her friends,” Bunch said with a smile.

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