Harrington Elementary School got the 2017-2018 academic year off to a great start with a group of more than 100 men, including members of the Albion College cross country/track & field, men's basketball, men's soccer and swimming & diving teams, and some women from the community welcoming the students to their first day of school.
As the students and some adults accompanying them walked along the front sidewalk to enter the building, the men and women gathered on either side of the sidewalk and gave them thunderous applause.
"I thought that it was a huge success. It was terrific to help the community of Albion with such a small, but still powerful gesture," junior defnder Sam Coleman said. "We saw many smiles as my peers and I cheered all the youngsters on for their first day of school. Seeing the kids smiles really warmed my heart. But the kids weren't the only ones smiling. As we hooted and hollered, the parents also looked just as happy as the children. The parents knew that the cheers could really have given the kids just what they needed to have a great first day."
Businessman John Shedd, of Parks Drug Store, also felt the occasion was an important one.
"We've got to show support for these kids whenever we can!" he said.
Robert Dunklin, president of the Albion Branch of the N.A.A.C.P., said it was not only important to support the children, but their parents and the community, as well.
"This is the beginning of a new year," said Dunklin. "This ties in with the N.A.A.C.P.'s Back to School kickoff (which took place last Wednesday). This is a carry over of what is to come throughout the year."