Return to Headlines

Celebrating DADS at Sanders Clyde

RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2023

DADSThe District 20 Principals Collaboration Program (D20PCP) kicked off in the 2022-2023 school year with a new initiative at Sanders Clyde Elementary School where dozens of men have formed a group called DADS (Dedicated and Diligent Service). DADS, a community-based organization, is designed to bring the presence of fathers and positive male role models into District 20 feeder system. The mission is to positively affect the attitudes and behaviors of young boys by increasing the presence of male role models in the schools.  

This group of men spent the first three days of school at Sanders-Clyde opening car doors and welcoming parents and students to an exciting, new school year. Rev. Calvin Malone is the founder, Jamaal President is the Site Coordinator, and members include Dwayne Hamilton Jr., Charlie Young, Stanley Chisolm, Terry Maurer, Rev. Dwayne Hamilton, Sr., and Chris Holdorf.

DADS was re-initiated in 2022 under Rev. Malone’s leadership in five D20 schools, focusing on its original purpose to positively affect the attitudes and behaviors of young African-American boys and boys of color by increasing the presence of male role models in the schools.  

“Our presence is our biggest marquee,” said Rev. Malone. “We wear vests so we are visible and those vests mark us as ‘men in vests.’ The play on words recognizes our investment in our children.”

“In an environment where principals and teachers are traditionally female, we feel there needs to be a male presence,” said DADS member Hamilton. “Many of our children are being raised without fathers in the home so our hope is to be present in the school so these young men have a positive male role model to look up to and can identify with.”

The men in vests (or DADS) arrive at the school every morning just after 6:45 a.m. to open doors in the car rider line and welcome students with enthusiasm. They also use that opportunity to invite the fathers, uncles, and grandfathers who may be dropping kids off, to join the group.

“We hope that we can serve as positive role models and mentors to these students like the men in my life did,” said Hamilton.

DADSThe response from families and students has been positive, according to Sanders Clyde Principal Janice Malone.

“The families were surprised and excited,” said Principal Malone. “It brought everyone so much joy on that first day of school and it has been all smiles every day after.”

“We as men can encourage each other and show by example that investment and reinvestment is beneficial is our goal,” Hamilton added.

The DADS leadership structure is designed to be replicated in schools across the district. The Site Coordinator for each school is a senior-level school staff member who schedules, organizes, and officiates the monthly DADS meeting at their respective school. The Parent Advocate works with DADS to communicate with and engage the parents of the school. Malone provides overall vision and leadership for the DADS program in each participating school.  

“Our teachers here at Sanders Clyde were just as excited as the students to see these distinguished gentlemen out front and then later walking the halls as students went to class,” said Principal Malone. “They felt supported and I personally felt a calm across the school. I think the DADS will have a great impact on Sanders Clyde and our D20 PCP community.”

“This school is a beacon of light for the families it serves and I hope that our presence, as men in vests create an environment where every male in the lives of our students wants to invest,” said Hamilton. “That’s when we start to see stability in the homes, schools, and community.”

To learn more contact Rev. Calvin Malone at calvinmalone919@gmail.com or Principal Janice Malone at (843) 724-7783.

D20CP is an effort to strengthen and direct the academic progress of students served in its feeder system of elementary, middle, and high schools. District 20 principals Janice Malone (Sanders-Clyde Elementary School), Amber Sainz (Julian Mitchell Elementary School), Wanda Sheats (Charleston Progressive Academy), Stephanie Spann (Simmons-Pinckney Middle School), and Cheryl Swinton (Burke High School) collectively agreed that addressing the most pressing needs that permeate D20’s student population was crucial. Their efforts will not only address the Vision 2027 goal of all students in Charleston County School District (CCSD) reading on grade level by fifth grade but will also engage students in real-world experiences, broadening horizons, and removing barriers to success.