LYNCHBURG, Va. – The moment Lynchburg City students stepped off the school bus Tuesday morning, they faced their first test of the 2022-2023 academic year – navigating through a sea of support.
A group called “Men2School” is made up of church members, fraternities, and other organizations with the goal of helping kids start off on the right foot by holding up signs of encouragement and shouting messages of support.
“You matter! This is going to be a great year; and we’re here to help encourage, mentor you, and support you,” said Dr. James Coleman, Chairman of the LCS School Board.
Coleman said he helped organize the group years ago, and he can tell it makes a difference.
“Some of the young people, who have gone through middle school and high school, said that this was one of the things that helped them start off the year well and to know they can learn and be successful in life,” said Coleman.
The group volunteered with the Lynchburg Police Department, Lynchburg Fire Department, and Lynchburg Sheriff’s Office to stand outside of the school buildings and greet more than 7,000 students.
Michael Brandon, a volunteer, said this is his first time showing support.
“You never know what the kids are going through [at] home or wherever, and we want to be a positive force,” said Brandon.
It was a force of fist bumps and high fives that Brandon wished he had growing up.
“It would’ve made our day,” said Brandon.
A small gesture hoping to make a big impact.
“A smile, a kind word goes a long way,” said Brandon.