Schools, child care programs host fathers each year to promote positive outcomes for children
Two state agencies that serve New York's families have encouraged fathers and significant male caregivers to participate in "Dads Take Your Child to School Day" on Tuesday, Sept. 16. The annual event helps fathers across New York engage in their children's education.
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services partners with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance each year, helping the grassroots movement grow from a few participating schools little over a decade ago to hundreds of schools, Head Start programs, and community partners, plus thousands of fathers and father figures.
Educators and child care providers use "Dads Take Your Child to School Day" to get to know significant male caregivers and encourage their involvement throughout the school year.
"Dads play a vital role in a child's life and are often their children's first role models," said Sheila J. Poole, OCFS acting commissioner. "Being an active father not only reaps tremendous benefits for the child, but also gives fathers self-confidence about their role as parents. Bringing their children to school is an important step for fathers to take toward building a lifelong bond, and teaches children that they are loved, cared for, and supported by one of the most important people in their lives."
"We encourage dads and other significant male caregivers to visit their children's schools on Sept. 16 and make it the first of many visits throughout the school year," said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud. "Research shows that children of fathers who visit their classrooms and meet their teachers do better in school compared to their peers, whose mothers are the only involved parent."
Studies indicate children benefit from fathers who are engaged in their education and in their lives. A 2006 report by authors from the U.S. Children's Bureau Office on Child Abuse and Neglect shows children with active male caregivers are:
•Likely to have better academic achievement, verbal skills and intellectual functioning, and higher IQs. A U.S. Department of Education study conducted in 2001 showed children whose biological fathers were involved in their lives were "43 percent more likely to earn mostly As, and 33 percent less likely to repeat a grade" than peers whose biological fathers were not actively engaged in their lives.
•More patient, and are better able to handle stress and frustration at school.
•More likely to be emotionally secure and confident.
•Less likely to get in trouble at home, at school, or in their communities.
•Better able to connect with their peers, as they grow older.
Each father should call his child's school to confirm it is participating in "Dads Take Your Child to School Day." Schools and learning programs can register to participate prior to Sept. 16 through the state's "Dads Take Your Child to School Day" website. Fathers who join their children this day are advised to arrive at school with their children at least 15 minutes before the start of classes.
OCFS serves New York by promoting the safety, permanency and well-being of children, families and communities. Its "Fatherhood Initiative" encourages fathers to take a more active role in a child's life, and promotes programs that support responsible fatherhood. For more information, visit ocfs.ny.gov.
OTDA oversees a range of state programs that assist low-income residents and families of all incomes who need child support services. The agency provides leadership, guidance and support to local departments of social services in the administration of such programs. For more information, visit otda.ny.gov.