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Fatherhood Engagement in Children's Education Presentation by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.

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Presentation on theme: "Fatherhood Engagement in Children's Education Presentation by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fatherhood Engagement in Children's Education Presentation by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

2 Fatherhood Engagement in Children's Education National Dropout Prevention Network Conference, Orlando, FL October 16, 2012 National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Presenters: Kenneth Braswell, Director Nigel Vann, Expert Consultant

3 Our Goals Today Take a quick look at the research on outcomes connected to fathers’ engagement in schools. Introduce you to the work of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. Hear about the work some of you are doing to engage dads. Share practical ways for dads to be more involved in schools and their children’s education. Provide resource ideas and recommendations.

4 National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Office of Family Assistance (OFA) funded national resource for fathers, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, the public at-large, and all who are serving or interested in supporting strong fathers and families. Visit the NRFC: Contact any of our staff: Please encourage any fathers or fatherhood practitioners to contact our national call center toll-free at 1 (877) 4DAD411 Facebook: Fatherhoodgov Twitter: @Fatherhoodgov NRFC Director: Kenneth Braswell, Sr.NRFC Manager: Patrick J. Patterson e-mail: kenneth.braswell@gmail.come-mail:

5 National Call Center for Dads and Practitioners The call center is a direct gateway between the NRFC and the general public. We listen to and address questions and concerns from fathers, professionals and other family members and stakeholders. Contact us by toll free phone or e-mail: –1 (877) 4DAD411 – Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9AM- 5PM EST.

6 National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Overview Resources are available for: Dads looking for tips, hints and activities for dads and kids (see the DadTalk Blog and the "For Dads" corner at Fatherhood programs looking to get started or expand – (check out the "For Programs" section). Researchers and policy makers looking for the latest on responsible fatherhood (search our Library). Twitter @Fatherhoodgov. Use #Fatherhoodgov

7 National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Overview Annual Media Campaign Fatherhood BuzzPublic Service Announcements Twitter @Fatherhoodgov. Use #Fatherhoodgov

8 What Does the Research Tell Us? When fathers are not involved in their children’s education, their children are: 2 times more likely to drop out of school. 2 times more likely to repeat a grade in school. When fathers are involved in their children’s education, their children: Develop stronger language and social skills. Enjoy school more. Get higher grades. Participate in more extracurricular activities. Are less likely to repeat a grade or drop out. “Bottom line: the closer the connection between father and child, the better off they both are now and in the future” (Kyle Pruett, Fatherneed, 2000)

9 Research by John Gottman Children with “emotionally available” dads: Do better in school Have better peer relationships Relate better with teachers Children without emotionally available dads are more likely to do poorly in school, fight with friends and suffer poor health. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, 1998

10 From National PTA Association Studies show students perform better when mothers and fathers are both involved in the education of their children. Men and women think differently and bring different perspectives and skills to school and PTA activities. School communities and PTAs thrive when both men and women participate.

11 How can we better engage dads in schools? What has worked for you? What obstacles/barriers have you had to deal with?

12 General Tips for Engaging Dads Begin by examining our own experiences and biases. Assume dads do want to be involved. Utilize strategies, handouts, activities that: – Engage – Challenge – Encourage reflection – Provide knowledge – Teach skills

13 NRFC Resources -- Webinars Fatherhood Buzz - Back to School Initiative: Effective Strategies for Increasing Father Involvement in Schools – a webinar presentation August 23,2012 –This webinar provided ideas and resources to help increase father involvement in schools and their children’s education. Information was provided on various initiatives that have helped engage fathers and father figures, inspire children, reduce bullying, and generally improve the educational environment in order that men may become more involved in the lives of their children.

14 August 2012 Webinar Presenters and Internet Resources Dennis Bega, Acting National Director of Regional Operations, Office of Communications and Outreach, US Department of Education. Betsy Landers, President, National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Philip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director, The Black Star Project. J. Michael Hall, President and Founder, Strong Fathers - Strong Families.

15 Six recent back-to-school tips from US Dept of Education Share with moms and dads (from Visit the School. Introduce Yourself. Volunteer. Participate in Activities. Make Homework a Priority. Take Charge of TV.

16 Advice from National PTA Use specific messaging aimed at men – use summary points and bulleted lists. Make it relevant to men. Create volunteer opportunities and special events for men. Have clear agendas for meetings. Publicize and celebrate male involvement to encourage others to participate. Just ask them.

17 Invite the Fathers in Math Nights Reading Nights Science Nights Picnics/Events Activities Make it relevant – and about the kids Photos from – see activity ideas there and at

18 Reach out to all father figures Not all dads are in the home, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be involved. Reach out to granddads, stepdads, uncles and other male role models in a child’s life too. “Stick to your message of father involvement and allow the children to choose to bring their father figure, whoever he may be” (J. Michael Hall).

19 Reach the fathers through the kids Send homework assignments home that require input from dad – e.g. ask kids to interview their dad (or other father figure) and report back; ask them to do something together and report back. Use homework assignments to involve all family members in the home – e.g. family tree, photo album, family stories.

20 Start with the Moms Ask moms to invite dads in e.g. for activities or events, to attend parent-teacher meetings, to join PTA, to visit the class and read to kids. Listen to any concerns from mom, but be ready to talk about the benefits of father involvement as appropriate.

21 Help all staff be father friendly Use staff trainings, meetings, etc to talk about the importance of father involvement and discuss strategies to bring dads in. Make sure agency/school environment is father friendly – posters, brochures, general attitudes. Don’t just say “parent,” say mother and father.

22 NRFC Resources Quick Tips for Dads – from Check your child’s homework, make sure to see what was assigned, not just what was finished. Join a parent organization at your child's school, like the PTA, to show your child that you care about how he or she does in school. Be a chaperone at your child’s next school function or field trip. Talk regularly with your child’s coaches, teachers, and club leaders. Volunteer with your child’s sports team. Bring water, or oranges to a game, or help keep score. Get everyone in the family a library card, and start visiting! Not sure where the nearest library is, try searching online, or ask your child’s teachers.

23 Reading With Your Child sample activity from Parents as Teachers Reading aloud to children: Helps them hear the sounds of speech so they are able to speak them and later read them. Helps dads form attachments with kids. Introduces children to new ideas and concepts and exposes them to proper sentence structure, which is not always used in everyday language. Means they are more likely to enjoy reading themselves as they grow up. Associates reading with love, comfort and pleasure if you cuddle while you read. *from Parents as Teachers curriculum “Focus on Fathering” (available for free download at

24 Video with Shared Reading Tips See this interesting and informative video for dads, produced by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, on You Tube at: 3CzKo&feature=player_embedded

25 Contact Us | 877-4DAD411 Kenneth Braswell: Nigel Vann: NRFC Team – Lisa Washington-Thomas, NRFC COTR: lwashington- thomas@acf.hhs.govlwashington- Patrick Patterson, NRFC Manager: Ed Lawson, Outreach Coordinator: Matt Crews, Outreach Specialist:

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