MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – It was the first day back to school for Murfreesboro City Schools students Friday and they had a welcoming crew cheering them on.
Several Greek organizations visited three elementary schools hoping to serve as positive role models.
With an uptick in violence among youths in Middle Tennessee, fraternity and sorority members are hoping their presence will keep students on the right track.
It was a back-to-school welcome like none other.
Members of Omicron Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Rutherford County Alumnae Chapter greeted students with high-fives at Hobgood Elementary School.
“These young people need to know that there are people who support them outside their household, not just their parents, but we have people in their community who love them and we want to see them do well,” said Charlene Montrose, a Delta Sigma Theta member.
Besides serving as mentors, the Deltas sponsors Delta Gems and Academy for young women ages 11 to 17, and Embodi for young men of the same age.
The Alphas take pride in their Men of Distinction program and serve as mentors at Oakland High and the Boys and Girls Club of Smyrna.
“There are so many outlets to see negative images and negative things and be steered in the wrong direction, but it’s always great to balance those out with super positive images and role models,” said Alpha Phi Alpha member Bret Fitchpatric.
Meanwhile at Bradley Academy, members of MTSU’s Eta Gamma Chapter and Murfreesboro Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity also welcomed students back.
“Bright smiles, brighter future, let’s go man,” yelled one man as he high-fived students.
The fraternity is committed to serving youth by becoming mentors and providing college scholarships through its Guide Right Gentlemen’s Academy.
With the recent rise in teen violence, fraternity members say young people have other options.
“Really try to show young men that there is a positive alternative to violence and to drugs, there are things you can do,” said Kappa Alpha Psi member Greg Garrett.
Students at Mitchell Neilson Elementary were welcomed back by members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
“If we come out and show them how we live and how we help them, they will strive to do better things in the future,” said Omega Psi Phi member Jacob Patten.
This is not just a one day affair; most of these Greek organizations are in schools in Rutherford County throughout the year serving as mentors.
The Greek organizations welcome back to school meet and greet was the brain child of Murfreesboro police School Safety Education Officer Chris Williams.