CHICAGO (CBS) — Thursday was Dads’ Day at one south suburban elementary school, an annual effort to promote the idea of men as role models for their children and grandchildren.

More than 75 fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and father figures showed up at Sauk Elementary School in Richton Park.

“If you be in your child’s life, and they be in your life, feel like they have a better chance in life,” said Jayson Smith, whose 9-year-old son is in the 4th grade at Sauk.

Another dad, Jimmie Bowen, said his own father was a role model for him, giving him lessons in life as well as providing an example of how to be a good father.

“I’ve been involved from Day One, so she loves it. She loves the fact that she can call on me, and I’m there, and she doesn’t ever have to worry,” Bowen said.

This was the 10th year for “Dad’s Day” at Sauk School. The keynote speaker was Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, who told the assembled dads that their “being there” for their children will make them smarter and healthier.

Eric White has three children at Sauk Elementary School, including an 11-year old daughter. He said his own father was a role model for him, but couldn’t be as involved in his life as White is now for his own children. He said his father was busy working multiple jobs to support a family of 10.

For his children, White said, he stresses to them: “If they’re given instruction here in the school, whatever those rules and regulations are, I want them to respect that. But that starts at home; so instilling in them morals [and] values.”

School administrator Jason Streeter is a father figure to a 4th grader and says it comes down to one thing simply enough: love.

“Every day when he comes in, I make him … listen, ‘Let me see your homework. What grades have you gotten today? How have you been doing in school?’ Yesterday, I had to talk to him ‘Listen, you walked in the building. You didn’t have your coat on.”