ReChad Bradley, an algebra teacher at Southeast High School, decided this year that he was going to challenge his students in more than just math equations.
Instead of dressing down and wearing jeans on Fridays, Bradley dresses up in a new sweater vest and matching French cuff shirt at the end of each week. “I don’t like suits,” he says. “Black top, black bottom, what’s special about that? So I throw on the sweater vest with the tie that brings out the color of the sweater vest, and a shirt that goes along with all of that.”
Once Bradley’s students noted his style, they started dressing up — and Funky Fresh Fridays were born. Every week he challenges them to come up with more creative outfits. Kim Moore, a friend of Bradley’s and co-founder of The Network, the host of young-adult events like Expressions in the Dark, recently started spreading the word around Springfield to get more people involved.
“This is definitely a concept that can be used to inspire, motivate, have fun, teach and mentor ourselves, our friends and our young people,” Moore says. “Because if they see us doing right and making it, hopefully it will inspire them to inspire their friends to do right and do better.”