For the seventh year, men around the country will be asked to lead their children back to school this fall during the Million Father March.

The nationwide movement encourages Black men to drop students off on their first day of school and guard school doors to symbolize their support and protectiveness of all children earning their education.

Studies show that parental participation, especially among fathers, is linked to higher attendance, graduation rates and test scores.

Led by the Black Star Project, a Chicago-based social justice group dedicated to eliminating the achievement gap among Blacks and Latinos, an estimated 800,000 men in 600 cities across the country participated in the Million Father March last year, according to a press release. Men in cities of the international countries of Tamale, Ghana and London, England have also participated.

In Chicago, tens of thousands of men have been involved in the effort and helped increase first day attendance in Chicago by 3 percent.

Overall, coordinators expect 1 million men in 700 cities to participate this year, and to set the stage for year-long involvement in children’s educational, spiritual and emotional endeavors.

“A father who actively participates in the educational and social development life of a child is invaluable and irreplaceable,” the Black Star Project’s Web site states. “While there is no magic bullet to solving all of the problems that we face in education, getting fathers involved is a large step in the right direction.”

The Baltimore chapter of the National Action Network is planning to recruit at least 1,000 men to welcome children back to school on August 29.

For more information on the Black Star Project click here.