SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) —
One group of young boys at McKinley-Brighton Elementary School in Syracuse is taking a special journey into manhood.
They are a small army of young soldiers, reciting their affirmation creed– fighting a winning battle against violence.
Their mission is to be respectful, responsible and safe.
“In the past 10 years, I’ve been to seven wakes or funerals of students who have passed in the district,” said Eric Patterson, the Vice Principal at McKinley-Brighton.
He knew he had to do something, so he started meeting with second, third, fourth and fifth-grade boys every day– teaching them to be men.
“I’m going to set the example for those that will follow after me– there will be little kids you need to set the example for that they will know what to do in life,” said third-grader Cameron Wood.
One way they set an example is by cleaning up their school — from the hallways to the cafeteria. It’s part of a larger beautification project — teaching them how to uplift their community.
“It teaches us about things we need to do in life, and what are those things we need to have safe respectful responsible and caring,” Cameron said.
Every day, the members of the Boys Academy at McKinley-Brighton grow closer to developing character and being leaders in their school and community.
Click the player to learn more about their journey.