Group being formed for dads

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 7:14 p.m.

Studies show that children whose parents are involved in their education tend to do better in school and in life as a whole.

So to increase father involvement in a child's education, Head Start is re-establishing the Head Start Male Initiative Fatherhood Involvement Program with a kick-off breakfast.

"At the kick-off breakfast, we want to get the dads together to encourage them to be more involved in their child's education," said Horace Freeman, pre-school specialist for the Alachua County Head Start program and a team member for the fatherhood involvement program. "And to give them the opportunity to address difficulties by assisting them with our resources."

"It is not limited to dads," continued Freeman. "We want to include significant males in a child's life."

The free kick-off breakfast will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Fearnside Family Services Center at 3600 NE 15th St.

Besides breakfast, there will be guest speakers, including speakers from the judicial system, who will discuss topics that include male roles and responsibilities, and there will be a question-and-answer session where fathers can discuss their concerns.

Members of the clergy and also local agencies, such as Santa Fe Community College, will be on hand. In addition, fathers will have a voice to help plan activities for the school year.

"They (fathers) will have an opportunity to discuss concerns," said Freeman, "and we will be able to guide them to the right resources. We are trying to get the program back this year. Last year, it was abbreviated and we didn't have a major event."

According to Head Start literature, the goals of the fatherhood program include increasing male involvement, increasing the numbers of children growing up with involved, responsible and committed fathers, providing fathers with skills needed to become better parents, providing fathers access to community resources in order to reinforce responsible fatherhood, and continuing to encourage fathers to be active in their children's lives.

For more information, call Freeman at (352) 955-6875.

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