Deer Valley Dad member Lane Siddall and his nine-year-old son, Bentley, at Deer Valley Elementary. Photo by Roy L. Williams.
Hoover City Dad Brigade Inaugural Cleanup Project
Aug. 1, 6:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
Meet at Riverchase Galleria Home Depot, 3670 Galleria Circle
Volunteers will be assigned to projects at all 10 Hoover elementary schools
To sign up: email
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Hoover City Dad Brigade on Facebook
For more than 10 years, a group of men calling themselves Deer Valley Dads have been a regular staple around Deer Valley Elementary School. They include fathers, grandfathers and others who want to bring a male role model to a school setting traditionally dominated by Homeroom Moms and women.
“Our purpose is to promote dads, granddads and any type male figure to become more involved in the school,” said Deer Valley Dad member Lane Siddall, who has been active in the group for three years. “In the past, a lot of who they see is mostly the homeroom moms. The kids love seeing us here.”
Deer Valley Dads is one of the organizations that inspired Hoover Board of Education President Derrick Murphy in May to start a new organization called Hoover City Dad Brigade. The Brigade shares Deer Valley Dads’ goal of getting fathers and other male role models active in all city schools. Murphy, whose 8-year-old daughter, Bailyn, is a third-grader at Deer Valley Elementary, is one of about 100 members of Deer Valley Dads.
Ten years ago, Murphy recalls, the Deer Valley Dad group provided valuable mentorship to his now 17-year-old son and other boys attending the school.
“Anytime you can get more men involved in schools, it’s beneficial to parents,” he said.
Hoover City Dad Brigade’s debut project will take place Saturday, Aug. 1, when Murphy has set a goal of getting 400 fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and teen boy volunteers to work together doing various volunteer projects at Hoover’s 10 elementary schools.
At Deer Valley Elementary, Deer Valley Dads plan to focus on three projects, according to Siddall. The dads will paint the two main hallways at Deer Valley Elementary, pressure wash the sidewalks and clean up the playground area.
“We will spruce it up and make it look better for when school starts back in August,” Siddall said.
The Dads put a lot of energy into helping the students at Deer Valley. They volunteer in the library every month, host “Donuts with Dads” breakfasts, help with field day activities and do a summer cleanup project.
Siddall said he appreciates Murphy spearheading the Hoover Dads Brigade cleanup on Aug. 1.
“I think it’s outstanding way to get more dads in other schools involved,” Siddall said. “Dads want to volunteer and become more engaged not only in the community but in their children’s lives. But they don’t know where to go or about different opportunities that exist. It will be easier for them to get involved through this.”
The Hoover City Dad Brigade is already having a spillover effect. It inspired Alex McRee, who has a daughter going into the third grade at Bluff Park Elementary and a daughter headed to Simmons Middle this fall, to create the Bluff Park Dad Club. The group’s first project will be pressure-washing sidewalks and cleaning up around Bluff Park Elementary School during the Aug. 1 Hoover City Dad Brigade event. They hope to eventually have Walk Your Kid to School Day and other events for fathers.
“The Deer Valley Dads have done this for some time and are part of the inspiration for this,” McRee said. “I was bound and determined to get this off ground before school started, then Derrick came out with Dad Brigade. The timing was great.”
Murphy said he hopes Hoover City Dad Brigade will inspire other fathers to get more involved in other city schools. Men who want to volunteer can email him at email@example.com or sign up on the Hoover City Dad Brigade Facebook page. Information about the group is also on the Hoover City Schools website, hoovercityschools.net.