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Back to school ... for a little while

By Hermann Pereira

Sometimes you have to change your routine to refocus yourself. The other day I spent about three hours at Carver/Indian Spring Middle School simply being present with the students during their lunch period.

I work everyday to promote improved education in Greater Waco, but it had been a while since I simply spent time with students in a school setting. It reminded me of my past days as a principal.

This break in my routine came about as part of a partnership between Waco ISD and Grassroots Community Development. It is modeled after a program named “Dad’s on Duty,” which has received national attention. It was an initiative in response to a series of fights in a high school in Shreveport, La. If you missed it, here is a link to the CBS News story.

Grassroots’s staff started a similar program at Carver/ISMS, with the purpose of providing male and female community volunteers to provide additional support during lunch periods and transitional times on campus.

I am thankful for community partners like Grassroots that stepped up to be the conduit between the community and the school district. This effort has brought more adults into the schools, which has been a positive and calming presence on campus.

Any community member can sign up for one or multiple times during the week. I encourage you to consider this if your schedule allows it. Hanging out and building positive rapport with the future of Waco is totally worth your time.

If you want to hear more about this opportunity reach out to Elise Jones ( or Josh Caballero (

If you want to have a conversation about this and/or other topics about our community please feel free to reach out —

Hermann Pereira is chief program officer for Prosper Waco.


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