The goal of Central Missouri Community Action's "100 Man Luncheon" is to highlight the significant role that males, especially fathers, play in the education of children.
Twenty-two Head Start centers in CMCA's eight-county service area are each hosting the luncheon today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including Cole East Head Start, 605 Cherry St.
The luncheon's name stems from each center wanting 100 fathers and male community members to attend and serve as role models for the centers' children. Head Start centers service family and children from prenatal through 5 years.
"We want to see fathers stand up as equal partners in the educational process," said Bryon White, family and community partnership coordinator with CMCA.
James McNairy, child and family development advocate with Cole East Head Start, said the role models act as an inspiration for the kids. The center services nearly 100 children in the county.
"We do it so we can show kids positive, male role models in the community," McNairy said. "It's important because it helps kids realize there are positive people in the community."
Mothers are also invited to attend the luncheon.
"We do a lot of stuff to get entire families involved," McNairy said.
The guests will share lunch with the children and will also act as reading partners.
Amy's Foundation out of Chillicothe donated a book for each child, to allow them to expand their personal libraries and to encourage knowledge and learning.
"It's really a bonding experience," McNairy said. "It inspires children and gives them someone they can look up to."
If you're interested in volunteering at the luncheon or other events hosted by Cole East Head Start, call 636-3577.