11 13 21 Will Smith treats Southwood kids to movie 1260x720 1

Actor Will Smith treats Southwood college students to preview of film ‘King Richard’ after being impressed by Dads on Obligation

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Practically 1,500 Southwood college students on Friday acquired do one thing is often reserved for Hollywood VIPs – they acquired to preview an upcoming film, compliments of actor Will Smith, who stars within the film.

The scholars have a particular group of dads to thank for attending to see the film, “King Richard,” earlier than most people, as a result of it’s Southwood’s “Dads on Obligation” who impressed the actor to offer the particular deal with.

Dads on Obligation, a bunch of fathers and me who patrol Southwood Excessive Faculty, was shaped in September by Michael LaFitte, a Southwood Excessive Faculty dad who was involved about violence after a number of fights broke out on Southwood Excessive Faculty’s campus in September.

On a Sunday following a Friday struggle at Southwood, LaFitte organized a gathering with different Southwood dad and mom to attempt to determine a strategy to fight violence and assist make the varsity secure.

What got here out of that assembly was LaFitte and a bunch of different fathers who determined to go to the varsity and present a robust male presence.

And that’s precisely what they did – the very subsequent day.

At 7:30 a.m., 40 dads confirmed up on the Southwood Campus and have performed so each college day offering help for college kids whereas encouraging them to assist preserve their college secure.

Native media first picked up on the story, and shortly the Shreveport dads had been all around the mainstream and cable tv networks, in addition to newspapers throughout the county, together with the Washington Submit.

And a month have Dads on Obligation grew to become celebrities throughout the nation, the Shreveport Metropolis Council and Mayor Adrian Perkins honored them in a particular ceremony.

Smith heard the story of the dads and wished to do one thing particular for them and the children, and had the proper factor in thoughts – an early viewing of “King Richard,” which is the story of Shreveport native Richard Williams, the daddy of Olympic tennis champions Sabrina and Venus Williams.

With the logistics labored out and Friday chosen for the viewing, the plan was executed.

Lafitte was there, and was excited in regards to the college students seeing the film, saying, that story of Richard Williams, who grew up in Cedar Grove, was “a chance for our youth to have the ability to come and see this very film on this very big day.”

Dads on Obligation co-founder Zack Johnson was elated about Smith’s reward and what it might do for the scholars. “Crucial factor is the children,” Johnson stated, “the children are going to be joyful at the moment.”

Southwood board member Tony Nations stated, “They’re bouncing off the bus excited skipping down the best way to get into the theater. And so they had been greeted with smiling faces from the theater personnel. And with popcorn and coke; able to go see an ideal film.”

However educators noticed the film as extra than simply leisure, and “King Richard” and his story will proceed past the theater, because it additionally will likely be used as a instructing instrument contained in the classroom

It’s going to even be used as a instructing instrument contained in the classroom.

Southwood Principal Dr. Kim Pendleton supplied some concepts for the classroom follow-ups “So that you’re going to see how does the game of tennis have an effect on the physique? How do you plot a diagram all through a film? How do you’re taking it out even a bit additional and say alright let’s discuss Mr. Richard Williams and the life he lived in Cedar Grove through the time he lived.”

In the meantime, now that the Dads have constructed a stable relationship with the scholars, they’re getting ready to maneuver ahead with Part 2 of their program.

Craig Lee, board member of Dads on Obligation stated that section will include working to rework “the minds and spirit of the youngsters, their quick household and their prolonged household.”

As well as, Lee stated, plans embody bringing alumni in place, “so we will encourage the neighborhood to embrace their college.”

On Nov. 19, “King Richard” will open in theaters and be streamed solely on HBO MAX.

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