HHS Fatherhood Initiative
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Region 8 Home
Colorado, Montana, North
Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and
Thomas F. Sullivan
Byron G. Rogers Federal Office Building
1961 Stout Street, Suite 926
Denver, CO 80294
The Fourth Annual Dakota Fatherhood Summit was held October 26-29, 2004.
Part of this educational conference was formal recognition of outstanding
individuals and organizations in the following categories:
Father of the Year.
Father Friendly Business/Organization.
Dad At A Distance.
A Child's View - Why My Dad is Best.
A Father's Day Fair was held at the Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS)
on June 17, 2004. The Fair was co-sponsored by the Fatherhood Coalition of
Metro Denver, in which ACF Region 8 staff participated. This event offered
approximately 20 vendors with information on programs and issues affecting
fathers and families. Mayor John Hickenlooper attended and read a Father's
Day Proclamation declaring June 20, 2004 "Responsible Fathers' Day." ACF
Region 8 staffed an information booth and distributed 225 packets of information
about the healthy marriage initiative, responsible fatherhood and relationship
skills. There were more than 300 attendees, not including small children.
The Director of DDHS personally greeted all vendors, welcomed the Mayor,
and visited with many fair attendees.
Region 8 Head Start and Early Head Start programs are making great strides
to promote the Fatherhood Initiative. The programs provided detailed reports
about the many activities they developed to support this initiative. Key
activities of programs' efforts to increase the participation of fathers
in Head Start centers are highlighted in the individual state reports.
Noncustodial Parent Programs
Boulder County Parent Opportunity Program (POP) Policy Studies Inc.
has operated a Welfare-To-Work (WtW) program for non-custodial parents (NCP)
in Boulder County since 2002. The program helps NCPs who are unemployed,
underemployed, or having trouble meeting their child support obligations.
The POP helps these parents overcome barriers to employment by linking them
with services in the community or through allowable WtW funds. The program
has been instrumental in helping clients increase their wages, child support
payments, and visitation with their children. Primary Contact: John
Mahaney, (303) 678-6318.
Denver Work and Family Center (WFC) The WFC is a collaborative effort
that receives its funding from the Department of Corrections, the Justice
Department, the Rose Foundation, WtW, and the Denver Child Support Enforcement
unit. The collaboration is designed to assist recently released felons with
reintegration from prison to the community. The WFC has a staff comprised
of one part-time child support representative, one part-time family therapist,
one-part time family law attorney, several full-time case managers, and
employment specialists who work together to assist ex-offenders with obtaining
fair child support obligations agreements, viable employment and a relationship
with their children when possible. Primary Contact: Mario Salinas,
WFC Manager (303) 825-1115.
El Paso County Parent Opportunity Program (POP) This program is in
its seventh year of operation. During the first three years, it operated
under a federal grant to develop an innovative approach to create a strong
community effort serving noncustodial parents who lacked the means to support
their children. The POP now operates as a partnership between the El Paso
County Department of Social Services, Policy Studies Inc. (PSI), the Center
on Fathering and Goodwill Industries. These partners work in coordination
with other community agencies to provide services including employment and
training, mediation, parent education, child support assistance and community
referrals to unemployed and under-employed non-custodial parents and their
families. Recently, POP has partnered with the Pikes Peak Workforce Center
to help them serve noncustodial parents eligible for WtW services. An evaluation
of the first three years of the program is available upon request. Primary
contact: Chad Eddinger, Project lead, El Paso Department of Human
Services (719) 444-5210.
Mesa County Parental Responsibility Employment Program (PREP) This
program is designed with "sticks and carrots." Noncustodial parents are referred
through the contempt-of-court process or drivers' license suspension enforcement
remedies. These parents are told by the CSE unit staff or court personnel
to cooperate with the local Workforce Center and the PREP to obtain employment
and training if needed, or to get other identified assistance such as budgeting
skills. If the parent cooperates with PREP, the contempt action and/or the
drivers' license suspension is lifted. In addition, upon completion of the
program and upon entering into a repayment agreement with the CSE unit, interest
is reduced and, if the noncustodial parent's family receives TANF, the arrears
assigned or owed to the State can be reduced. However, if the noncustodial
parent fails to cooperate with the PREP, then contempt, drivers' license
suspension, interest and assigned arrears continue. Primary contact: Janet
Hamilton, Mesa County CSE unit Administrator (970) 248-2787.
Southwest Colorado's Program of Self-Empowerment (POSE) This program
services Montezuma, La Plata, and San Juan counties. POSE is currently operating
under a contract with the Department of Labor for Welfare-to-Work funding
that is to expire September 30, 2002. They have developed good working
relationships with the community's employers and receive referrals from the
local child support enforcement units and by word of mouth for the noncustodial
Note: Jefferson and Montrose Counties have reported starting
noncustodial programs, though no additional information is yet available.
Faith-Based and Community Organization Activities
On October 1st and 2nd, 2004, The Colorado Collaborative
for FatherHood and Families, and the Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver
co-sponsored a kick-off training conference called Journey to Manhood, attended
by nearly 30 local fatherhood providers and fathers interested in training.
Presenters included James Rodriguez of the Arizona Fatherhood Collaborative
and ACF staff. This was the opening session of a one-year certificate program
in Fatherhood to be offered by Red Rocks Community College.
Also on October 1st, 2004, the Fatherhood Steering Committee
of the Colorado Department of Human Services, with support from the Annie
E. Casey Foundation, held a Stakeholders Forum. Many excellent presentations
were offered by local fatherhood experts on how to make organizations more
father-friendly, and how to address barriers that keep fathers from full
participation in child welfare organizations.
The 14th Annual Expanding the Visions Conference was held
on March 20, 2004. This event, sponsored by the Denver African-American
Leadership Conference, was attended by approximately 1,000 boys and their
dads. Several hundred packets of ACF-related information were distributed
to attendees. This information focused on how to be a great dad and strategies
for avoiding divorce.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: Approximately 200 dads and daughters participate
annually in the Father-Daughter Purity Ball. The centerpiece of this
evening of formal dinner and dancing is always the reading of a pledge by
the dads to model purity and integrity for their daughters and to do all
they can to protect their purity.
In Douglas County, Colorado, Extension Agent Rich Batten has established
a monthly e-mail letter for those interested in fatherhood advocacy and committed
to increasing the probability of every child being intimately connected to
an involved, responsible and loving father or father figure.
The Denver Indian Family Resource Center has begun a Young Men's Sweat
Lodge project, which includes fathers and male mentors. Seven sweats have
been held so far.
Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs
Adams County: In March of 2005, 15 Adams County Heads Start dads met
and developed a strategic vision for their Centers. A Fatherhood Leadership
Council is now implementing their vision via 5 specific actions to increase
activities and support projects for dads. On May 6th, 2005, an
all-staff training session on fatherhood was held.
Akron Head Start: During the 2002-2003 school year, the program held
seven Fatherhood meetings and sponsored numerous events. Speakers that attended
the meetings spoke on topics such as, Communicating with Your Children, Age
Appropriate Discipline and the Laws Regarding Abusive Discipline, and The
Importance of Reading Early to Your Child. In addition, the program held
an event in conjunction with the Baby Bear Hugs Gala which focused on "Tools
for Healthy Brain Development" and "The Important Role of Fathers in Child
Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments-Fremont County Head Start:
The Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments has supported the fatherhood
effort through the inclusion of fathers on the Policy Council. In addition,
the program has recruited fathers to serve as Teacher Assistants, providing
positive male role models in the classroom.
Boulder County Board of Commissioners Head Start: This past program
year, Boulder County HS has collaborated with Boulder County Prevention
Connection to provide a seven-week parenting class in Spanish for fathers.
This series, called Love and Logic, took place in both Lafayette and
Boulder. The program's other fatherhood activities include a "Donuts for
Dads" day where dads stopped by for doughnuts and to see the great things
their children were doing in the classroom. On April 30, the program also
celebrated the Day of the Child targeting Spanish-speaking fathers
for a fun day of activities.
Catholic Charities EHS: The Head Start Family Services Coordinator
attended the Fatherhood Toolbox Conference in Jefferson County and has been
implementing a father-friendly atmosphere and father-friendly activities.
For the past two and a half years the Family Service Supervisor has consistently
participated in the Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver, bringing many
suggestions and ideas back to the program. Some of the accomplishments made
with the help of the Coalition include an annual Walk-A-Thon for Dads,
identification of gaps in service provided to fathers, and participation
in a Sunday morning radio show. Efforts to continue updating staff on the
importance of fatherhood include a father/male discussion panel and a male
involvement workshop offered at the 2003-2004 Pre-Service Staff Training.
Cerebral Palsy of Colorado: The program actively plans for and promotes
male involvement through the implementation of bi-monthly male events focused
on activities with children and bi-monthly newsletters and Men's group focused
on incorporating trainings and program planning. Male involvement events
are also held three times a year, with an increased focus on literacy. Last
year, 217 families were reached with male involvement activities. A total
of 38 male parents completed a 22-hour parenting class curriculum, which
incorporated classroom instruction, participation, and discussion.
City of Lakewood: Through its fatherhood grant, the grantee organized
a Fatherhood Leadership Forum at which 65 dads and 102 children participated.
From this group, 32 dads were recruited to form a Fatherhood Leadership Council.
The Fatherhood Leadership Council recently created a three year strategic
vision for their Head Start which will be implemented during the fall of
Community Partnership for Child Development: The centerpiece of the
programs fatherhood involvement program is Calling All Men who Parent (CAMP).
Monthly CAMP meetings are held in which fathers gather to learn more about
their child's development and how to assist their child to reach his/her
full potential. The CAMP program includes a Book Bonus Bucks activity were
fathers read to their children and can earn free books after three hours
of participation has been completed. This activity has been extended to single
mothers where a group of Air Force Academy cadets read to the children and
earn free books while the mother participates in a parent workshop session.
Denver City and County-Denver Great Kids Head Start: Through their
$8,000 fatherhood grant, this grantee is initiating an effort to build staff
capacity within each of its delegate agencies which will ultimately translate
into a major Fatherhood Summit. The Fatherhood Summit will hopefully mount
enough city-wide support to have the city establish a Fatherhood Commission.
Individual delegate agency efforts include:
Catholic Charities offered staff training to teachers and Family Service
Workers focused on successful inclusion of fathers in the program. Recently,
nursing rooms for moms were adjusted to accommodate feeding times for dads.
Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers sponsored father involvement
breakfasts, made efforts to hire more male staff, trained staff on how to
work with fathers, and selected 12 fatherhood related themes for each month.
Clayton Family Futures sponsored a fatherhood basketball tournament, a
father-child luncheon, and developed a Father Interest Survey.
Developmental Opportunities (First Steps EHS): First Steps EHS has
been continuing their fatherhood involvement efforts with help from the Fremont
County Family Center, a partnership that began in 2003. Several fathers from
the Head Start program have been trained in the "Los Padres" curriculum as
well as the "Dialogic Reading" program. Work has begun with the local hospital
to provide pre-natal fatherhood classes. Two male staff members attended
the Fatherhood Training held in Dallas, TX in June, 2004.
Durango 4-C Council (Tri-County Head Start): The program schedules
time to share information at Parent Center Committee meetings and general
parent meetings. The program provides a "Focus on Fatherhood" handout and
the "Fatherhood Facts" book is available to staff/parents. Also provided
are pamphlets about involving men in the lives of children, monthly Father/Male
Mentor newsletters, the Colorado Fathers Resources Guide, and parenting
classes "The Incredible Years."
Iliff Community Center Inc.: The Iliff Community Center, Inc. HS has
involved fathers in the program for many years. One activity that has been
a great success for the program has been Lunch for Dads. Fathers are encouraged
to select one day each month to volunteer in the classroom. This year the
staff has begun sending both parents information about their child when they
reside in separate houses.
Jefferson County Board of Commissioners: The Family/Community Specialist
and a father from the program attended the Fatherhood Initiative Training
in Dallas, TX. Some of the improvements made since then include a monthly
fathers-only meeting, the use of a Father Friendly checklist to ensure centers
are maintaining a father friendly environment, and the addition of a fatherhood
section in the monthly newsletter.
Limon Head Start: An all-day staff fatherhood training took place
in March. The creation of a Fatherhood Leadership Council is scheduled for
Montrose County School District RE-1J: The program has implemented
several activities to encourage father involvement. The most significant
activities, called Guys Night, encourages fathers to bring their child to
a two-hour event which is designed to include activities from a typical preschool
day, such as gross motor skills, fine motor skills, literacy, and nutritious
meals. The program has also provided training to staff in the area of fatherhood
involvement. In June, 2004 two males were sent to the Fatherhood Instituted
held in Dallas, Texas.
Poudre School District: The program's Early Childhood Program hired
a part time employee beginning in the summer of 2004 to initiate a program,
which supports significant mails in establishing and maintaining healthy
relationships with their children.
Rocky Mountain SER Head Start Fatherhood Initiative: The Fatherhood
Initiative is connected with the Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver. This
Coalition is composed of representatives from over 50 different services
organizations and community members from Denver and the surrounding area.
These representatives meet monthly to network and share information on resources
and develop community activities that recognize, celebrate and support fathers.
This year the Coordinator of the Fatherhood Initiative led the members in
writing a Proclamation for Fathers Day.
Father Advocates made inroads in developing relationships with the fathers
in several centers increasing the participation of fathers in the HS centers.
This was the heart of the program. Each of the Advocates learned to network
with other resources in their communities for the benefit of the fathers
in their programs. All of the Father Advocates participated in the Los Padres
St. Vrain Valley Child Development Council (Longmont): The program
conducted Fathers at the Pool night and a 14-week training program for Hispanic
fathers, called Los Padres. It involved sessions on early childhood education,
communication, and community leadership. Three fathers completed the training
successfully and received commendations from Governor Bill Owens. Bookshelves
were built for the fathers' homes to promote their own family libraries as
well as specific books about dads in Spanish and English. Each child also
received a set of magnetic letters (English and Spanish) to do a variety
of activities at home with their father.
Summit County Head Start: The Fatherhood Initiative has developed
a program called Parents as Teachers, funded through the Colorado Children's
Trust Fund. Workshops for new and expecting dads and dads of 2-3 year-olds
are offered along with a father & child monthly playgroup. This program
serves both custodial and non-custodial fathers. Primary Contact: Cindi
Harris-Krane at (970)-668-4188.
Thompson School District R2-J: The program has held several events
specifically with fathers in mind which include Men's Softball Games, Classic
Car Show, Basketball game, and Men's Tour of the Loveland Foundry. Fathers
are also encouraged to take part in the Family Partnership Agreement and
in their child's individual learning plan.
Wray School District RD-2 (Yuma County Head Start): The Yuma County
HS program serves 34 families with centers located in the communities of
Wray and Yuma, Colorado. A sample of the activities which took place during
the 2002-03-program year:
Provided a "Father/Child Play Night" in the Yuma Center for the fathers in
the Yuma Center to spend time in the classroom with their child;
During "Community Helpers" week, a policeman (father of one of our students)
came and presented information on child safety. Also allowed the children
to sit in his police car. Fathers involved in the Volunteer Fire Department
in the communities have also presented in the classrooms;
HS program, in conjunction with the Wray School District (our grantee) hosted
"Parent Academies" for entire families to learn more about the school and
their child's education (onsite childcare was provided).
Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs
Action for Eastern Montana Head Start: "Fun nights" including all
members of the family, have replaced some of the scheduled parent center
meetings. Male subject posters have been added in each Center's parent room
along with more male-type magazines. A BBQ for important males in children's
lives has been held.
Donuts for Dads/Granddads, etc. days are being held. Also, Males Read to
Your Kids days and specific projects geared to each center (i.e. design and
build a rock garden labeled as "Father's Park"), have been added, and information
for fathers has been added into the New Mothers Packets.
"Dad's Info" was added to the yearly calendar given out at the start of the
school year. Information was compiled from a male-friendly survey given to
all parents and staff and the results were sent to all parents. A committee
was set up to address areas to improve on male involvement. Attendance of
males at parenting classes has increased by sending personalized invitations.
Prizes purchased by parents for give-away gifts at meetings now include male
as well as female items.
A.W.A.R.E., Inc. Early Head Start: The program developed a weekly
male/dads group, made up of fathers from the program and the community, that
is a forum to discuss the challenges of fatherhood. These meetings are conducted
in collaboration with the Health Department and A.W.A.R.E. Case Management.
At each of these meetings, a literacy activity is sent home with the fathers
to share with their children. The program has seen a great increase in the
number of dads that participate in the classrooms as a result of their fatherhood
Central Montana Head Start, Inc.: The Fatherhood Initiative brought
many changes to the agency. Central Montana Head Start, Inc. has provided
training to Head Start staff and community partners to increase the knowledge
and skills of fathers by promoting active involvement of fathers in their
child's education. Staff plan to attend the National Institute on Fatherhood
Involvement over the summer.
Child Start, Inc.: Child Start, Inc. initiated the planning and
implementation of their Fatherhood Initiative by conducting needs assessments,
purchasing materials to make the program more father friendly, planning
activities, recruiting volunteers, and providing fatherhood training for
the Head Start staff. The program was also represented at the National Head
Start Institute on Father Involvement in Dallas, Texas June, 2004.
Deer Lodge County Commission: The program is continuing the Mr. Reading
program and dedicated a week to the males in the program, whether they are
fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other males in the child's family. Fathers
attend and participate in activities around the building with the children,
such as getting the yard ready for summer and projects in the classroom.
Kiwanis are involved with the males in the program. They also get a large
number of high school boys which are part of the key club to come and read
with the children, perform plays, and other activities.
District IX Human Resource Development Council: The program's Head
Start Director and Parent Involvement Coordinator attended the Fatherhood
Summit held in Helena, MT in October 2002 and used information provided during
the conference to focus their father and male involvement efforts. During
the winter of 2002, the program held a "Dad's Game Night" where dinner was
provided. Games played during the evening were raffled off at the end of
the night. During the fall and spring of 2003, children and fathers in the
program coordinated to build and paint storage units at the Belgrade and
Bozeman sites. During the 2003-2004 school year the program implemented the
"Faced-Home Tote" program, which is designed to be self-sustaining without
additional grants, and provides books, activities, and materials that can
be taken home.
Families in Partnership, Inc.: A Father Involvement/Family Involvement
Specialist facilitates a male involvement group that meets once a month for
an activity night. Staff are provided with training and information on the
importance of male involvement with children, including non-custodial fathers.
Support for fatherhood involvement is also provided by a group of Head Start
fathers called Dedicated As Dads (DADs). The group makes an effort to call
each father involved in the program to inform them of upcoming fatherhood
Head Start, Inc.: The program provided numerous activities for fathers
and their children. Fathers' activities included: attending a children's
play at the local theatre, literacy events, support groups facilitated by
professional counselors (FAN Club - Fathers Are Necessary), Dad's Day in
the classroom, and a Dad's Newsletter. In the Head Start Inc. program, 149
fathers of 315 participated in one or more events. The plan is to have fathers
from the support group help other fathers through mentoring and networking.
Human Resource Council District XII (Butte): Donuts for Dads days
are held monthly. Fathers and other males built a library room in the gym
for families and children to use. Fathers attended a class to help the kids
make special gifts for their mothers for Mother's Day. A scholarship fund
for males volunteering at least a specified number of hours has been established.
The male volunteers write an essay to qualify for funds to continue their
Kootenai Vally Head Start: A part time Fatherhood Coordinator position
was created to assist in the coordination of fatherhood activities. "Guys
Night" is held once a month which offers various male focused activities.
A local newsletter for men is distributed and a bulletin board with information
related to fatherhood topics is displayed.
Missoula Early Head Start: All of the fathers in the program participate
in all activities provided, including a social work intern who started a
father's group. The fathers have elected their own leadership, a president
and vice-president. They are now deciding on the activities they would like
to do during the summer. The vice-president of the Parent Committee is a
father in the center-based program.
Northern Montana Head Start: The program has developed four main
objectives to support the fatherhood initiative: Increase the amount of time
that fathers positively interact with their children; Increase fathers' knowledge
of early childhood literacy development; Increase fathers' recognition of
their important role; and Help fathers develop a positive peer support system.
The program is working towards these goals by hiring staff dedicated to these
goals, purchasing books, and hosting a "21st Century Exploring
Northwest Montana Head Start: The program has held Donuts for Dads
days and a parent fair with booths geared toward males (i.e. a car maintenance
booth, a hunting booth). Audio tapes are sent home with the child's favorite
book for the fathers to read with them. Fathers are on the policy council.
Two staff recently attended the Fatherhood summit and collected several resources
and materials with ideas to implement next year on their Fatherhood Initiatives.
The male involvement is estimated at around 10% in most of their centers.
Opportunities, Inc.: The program sent four staff members to the Fatherhood
Summit in Helena, Montana. The program formed a Fatherhood/Male Involvement
Advisory Board made up of Head Start parents, community members, and staff,
and has overseen a father-friendly assessment of the program. The program
has initiated the "DIG IN" project, which is an incentive program for fathers
and males to earn "credit" for one-on-one time spent with children in the
program or community.
Ravalli County Head Start, Inc.: FY 2003 Fatherhood Outcomes as measured
against FY 2002: The number of male volunteers increased 37%, far exceeding
the program's objective of 15%; training, resources, and support to males
as role models in our HS program were increased 30%; exceeding the program's
projection of 15%; and strengthening the roles of fathers and other supportive
men in early literacy was on average 35% higher than the program's stated
A core group of fathers/father-figures was formed to organize a strategic
approach to increasing male involvement in the lives of HS children. These
men have planned and implemented activities for the whole family. They also
took part in the Reading Fair, RIF Book Give-a-ways, the Parent Expo, and
more. The fathers meet twice monthly, aside from events. Altogether, the
"Dads, Inc." group planned and held seven monthly outings including bowling,
skating, and sledding. Their goal was to provide children with activities
they do not typically have and to support healthy family relations including
Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc.: The program has encouraged
'father-types' to take larger roles in their child's preschool education
and their literacy education. They have had a Fatherhood Coordinator on staff
since December, 2002. The program has encouraged fathers to attend more
Parent-Teacher conferences and be present at more home visits. In addition,
the program distributes a "Dad's Notes" newsletter each month. The program
is planning a "dads only" support group and is offering a nine-week class
on parenting issues and skills that "father-types" are encouraged to attend.
One activity that the program provides are "Dad-Child Bookshelf Builds" where
the dads and children have dinner, build a simple bookshelf, and then take
the bookshelf home along with a new book for the child.
Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs
Community Action Agency VI: Each parent committee plans one activity
per year that is focused on father/child interaction in addition to fatherhood
classroom activities that are planned twice a year. Information is mailed
to the non-custodial father to ensure he is kept up to date on his child's
progress in school. The "Father Times" newsletter is distributed to every
father in the program while a special section focused on fatherhood related
topics is included in each sites monthly newsletter.
Community Action Partnership (CAP): The program provided training
to parents and staff to increase their skills and knowledge of the important
role fathers play in children's and family's lives. Father and father figures
of the program were fully involved as parenting partners for all the program
activities such as parent-teacher conferences, field trips, home-base
socializations, parent committee meetings, and parent training. In addition,
a Fatherhood Week was hosted for fathers to spend at least one hour in their
Partnerships of Understanding were developed with key community agencies.
West Dakota Parent and Family Resource Center provides specific parenting
training for families, some of which is geared specifically toward fatherhood
involvement. The Dickenson Public Schools Early Childhood Speech and Language
Pathologists developed a series of Borrowed Boxes containing a book, a list
of suggested follow-up activities and instructions, and needed materials
to complete the activities by parents. CAP also established partnerships
with other community, state, and nationwide agencies to support early literacy
development and fatherhood involvement.
The program hired a Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator who organized a Fatherhood
Advisory Committee comprised of fathers and father figures. The committee
organized fatherhood activities throughout the program year.
Grand Forks Public School District: S.A.F.E. (Strong Active Fathers
Educate) is an active program committed to involving fathers in every aspect
of the Head Start program including promoting special events planned especially
for fathers and mailing weekly newsletters to fathers who live out of town.
Two Head Start parents that are involved in the S.A.F.E. program attended
the Fatherhood Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Mayville State University (0-5): The program encourages father involvement
through monthly parent/child activity days, participation in Donuts for Dads,
requesting assistance from fathers in helping out around the facilities,
and providing fatherhood materials for families. University male sports team
members volunteer in classrooms and males provide childcare for Policy Council
and Parent Trainings and meetings.
Newport School District #4 (TGU): The program invited a local famous
racecar driver to the HS site to meet with the children and their fathers.
He also brought his racecar. The children and their fathers were able to
have their picture taken with the driver and his car. They also held a race
with Matchbox cars that children brought from home.
A MAPS (Males Achieving Parental Success) newsletter is sent monthly to each
father in the program. Articles include Fathering Non-Custodial Children,
Fathering, Couple Relationships, Kids, etc.
Williston Public School District #1: Outreach to male participants
has increased over the past year, through an effort led by a father-friendly
evaluation of the program, with the guidance of a father on Policy Council.
Male support was reflected in many ways: through parent surveys, parent meeting
agendas, resources specific for fathers in the parent lending library, male
involvement events, and with fathers volunteering in the classroom. The Trenton
HS center has books on display featuring fathers joining their children in
the classroom, participating in literacy activities for a "Daddy, Donuts,
and Me" event, and family activities. Last year events focused on fatherhood
included a game and fish program, bowling night, ice-fishing project, and
a football game.
Faith Based and Community Organization Activities
A Purity Ball was held on March 11, 2005 in Sioux Falls, SD. Nearly 200 dads
and daughters participated in this event, organized by the Abstinence
Clearinghouse in conjunction with other abstinence organizations in South
Dakota. The evening of dinner and dancing was designed to help young women
make healthy choices for their future.
In April, 2004, the Sioux Falls, SD Fatherhood Initiative held "A Celebration
of Fatherhood" in conjunction with a game played by the Sioux Falls SkyForce,
a local Continental Basketball Association team, which donated 2,000 tickets
for fathers and their children to attend the game for free. The theme of
half-time activities was a celebration of Fatherhood. They have also obtained
the cooperation of local Krispy Kreme franchisees, who have begun a 'Donuts
for Dad' each month. On these days they give free donuts to each father and
their children who come into their stores on these days.
Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs
Northeast South Dakota Head Start Inc.: At the beginning of the program
year, a Fatherhood Leader is selected/recruited from each site to help organize
fatherhood activities in the area of literacy. Activities include father/child
readings in the classrooms, father/child bowling, and Donuts with Dad. The
program also provides training, fatherhood resources, and Making a Difference
videos for parents and staff.
South Central Child Development: The program has made efforts to train
staff and to sustain a father-friendly environment for fathers and father
figures. The program has provided ongoing staff and parent in-service trainings,
a joint Dakota Fatherhood Conference, the Father Factor Training, and fatherhood
materials and packets for both staff and fathers. In addition, a father-focused
activity/event is held at least twice a year and in-service trainings are
held on healthy marriage for staff to use in collaboration with fatherhood
materials to better educate families.
Youth & Family Services: Staff have attended the Dakota Fatherhood
Summit IV, fatherhood involvement awareness trainings, and have added
non-custodial parent and fathers/father figures to their mailing list. The
program provides activities that involve fathers at least quarterly, and
also provides educational opportunities for fathers and children by hosting
monthly Father/Child Activity Nights and Father Involvement Meetings. Other
efforts to encourage father participation include home visits are conducted
with fathers on nights and weekends, development of resources specifically
for rural fathers and families, providing training and workshops to staff
Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs
Davis County Public Schools in Farmington, Utah: A fatherhood specialist
was hired and assisted in the development of a program called F.I.S.H. (Fathers
Involved in Shaping Head Start children). Various tools are used to assist
the men involved in the program in becoming successful fathers. Some of the
tools include an educational video on father involvement, a fatherhood workshop
that teaches the men "secrets" to effective parenting, monthly FISHin' trips,
and a literacy project called "License to Read".
Mountainland Head Start, Inc: Many efforts are being made to encourage
and involve fathers and father figures. Two Family and Community Service
Coordinators attended the Fatherhood Institute held in Dallas Texas June
2004. Several activities have been held to promote fatherhood involvement
such as the Daddy Dodgeball activity. Staff are trained to make specific
requests to get men involved in the classrooms. The program held a Dads and
Donuts literacy program in classrooms offering the opportunity for men read
to their child and finish with donuts. Trained Family Service Specialists
provide a pamphlet titled "Be there, Be a Dad" to families on their second
home visit during the year. A monthly newsletter is sent out, which includes
a special page titled "Activities for Men and the Children they Love".
Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership (CAP), Inc.: Ogden-Weber
CAP has been very successful in the implementation and continuation of
father-focused activities. The Transportation Specialist oversees the fatherhood
activities in the community. A Fatherhood Committee comprised of current
Head Start parents provides input and support for father focused
Funding for the fatherhood programs have been made possible through donations
of goods and time by our community partners and very limited Head Start funds.
Monthly Fatherhood Newsletters are sent home to all families advertising
upcoming fatherhood activities, recruiting fathers for the Fatherhood Committee
and providing useful information on how fathers can impact the lives of their
children in a positive way. Ogden-Weber CAP strives to host a fatherhood
involvement activity at least once a month. Past monthly events include the
Storytelling Night at OWCAP in partnership with the Weber County Library.
Volunteers from the library read stories to our fathers and their children.
Father/Child Hike in Eden in partnership with the US Forest Service. Fathers
helped their children identify and match a variety of leaves along the mile
College Football game in partnership with Weber State University. Fathers
were able to take their children to a college football game using free tickets
donated to the program.
Fire Safety/Career Night in partnership with the Ogden City Fire Department.
Children were able to examine fire trucks and equipment while firefighters
talked to fathers about careers in firefighting.
Paper Airplane Night. Fathers and their children made and flew a variety
of paper airplanes. This activity was featured in a local newspaper article
for bringing children and fathers together.
Rural Utah Child Development: Each center classroom and home-based
unit has elected a Fatherhood Volunteer to assist in the coordination of
male activities and the recruitment of fathers to participate in Head Start
functions. The Fatherhood Volunteer is also in charge of the "Male Home Work"
project which provides ideas and materials for activities fathers can do
with their children at home. Many of the ideas come from the fathers themselves.
In the past three years RUCD has seen a 60% increase in male involvement.
Faith-Based and Community Organization Activities
The University of Wyoming, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, and Wyoming
Head Start State Collaboration Office held the Wyoming Conference on the
Family in Casper, WY April 21-24, 2004. Ninety professionals from the
fields of early childhood, community services, parenting research, and
developmental disabilities convened to discuss Healthy Marriage and Responsible
Fatherhood. The Regional Administrator and Marriage Specialist from ACF Region
8 were among the speakers.
Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs
Absaroka Inc.: At the beginning of the year, a Male Involvement Survey
is given to each family from every center. A Spanish survey is available
for males that primarily speak Spanish. If there is no father in the home
the staff finds a male role model for the child (with the mother's permission)
to fill out the survey. This survey is used to set up activities and to solicit
resources from father /males. The program has shared the survey with other
Head Start programs in Wyoming. The program maintains a Father Liaison for
each center. The program has hosted activities for dads such as:
Doughnuts for Dad,
Father/Mother Fundraiser competition,
Dad Read to Me (A doctor from the community came in and gave this training),
Super Bowl Sunday with fathers,
Movie night with fathers, and
Carbon County Child Development Program, Inc.: The Carbon County Child
Development (CCCDP) has successfully made their program a more father friendly
place. They accomplished this through improving the environment, ensuring
communication, increasing activities, and implementing trainings. CCCDP staff
are diligent in ensuring that fathers receive all communications such as
newsletters, and announcements for activities and trainings. The staff is
especially conscientious in ensuring that fathers who are absent or have
a joint custody arrangement receive these communications so that they can
Children Development Services of Campbell Co. (Gillette, WY): The
strategies geared toward Male Involvement at CDS-CC/EHS this program year
include; Family Fun Nights, information dissemination on the importance of
male involvement and ways to be involved, scheduling home visits and
Socializations to fit the father's schedule, networking session at the Wyoming
Head Start Association meeting, and additions to our library resources.
Family Fun Nights These events are scheduled quarterly and staffed
by staff volunteers from all program components at CDS-CC. All family members
are invited to participate in the activities, which seems to improve attendance.
Activities have included woodworking, a barbeque, and kite-making.
Community Action Laramie County, Inc.: The program is in the beginning
stages of creating a comprehensive family and community involvement plan
that will include a specific plan for fatherhood development and male
involvement. The staff has participated in the fatherhood audio conference
as well as several workshops at the regional conference. The staff has received
training throughout the year on this issue. The plan will be fully implemented
in the fall. The program has a Family and Community Involvement Coordinator
and the fatherhood involvement piece is included in the job description.
The coordinator compiled resources for the management team to begin the process
of developing a plan.
Laramie Child Development Corporation: In June 2004, the Parent
Involvement Coordinator and the Executive director attended the National
Head Start Institute on Father Involvement in Dallas, Texas. They utilized
the knowledge gained to emphasize the importance of males/fathers in the
life of children. Laramie Head Start is now part of the University of Wyoming's
Athletic Department-sponsored community program to donate home-game football
tickets to children and their families. In addition, the University of Wyoming's
men's basketball team is working with Laramie Head Start to plan activities
and social events for children and their families. Some of the basketball
players are volunteering weekly in the classrooms.
The Learning Center, Jackson, WY: The program held a meeting of all
the fathers in the program and had a discussion on their role as fathers.
The meeting was facilitated by a father in the program.
Lincoln-Unita Child Development Association: The program held four
literacy events, with a large participation from fathers, throughout the
2002-2003 school year. The program held two of the events at the local library,
that included registration for a library card, and an average of 58% of parents
attending the events were fathers. Fathers were encouraged to read to their
children at home through a voucher/reward program, where parents signed the
voucher when they had read to their child and the child received a free book
after returning ten vouchers. Other activities have included, Boats and Books,
Dad's Day, Pizza Night, and Book and a Buddy. These activities build on literacy
by structuring reading time for father and child and by including books in
"take home activity packets."
Northeast Community Action Program of WY (NOWCAP) Early Head Start:
Throughout the past year, more and more men have become active participants
in all aspects of the Early Head Start Program. In some cases, home visits
are conducted primarily with the father and the child. There are even single
parent families, headed by the father, who are actively involved in the
NOWCAP Early Head Start includes pictures of males in recruiting materials
and these materials are posted in businesses such as hardware stores, service
stations, barbershops, farm & ranch supply stores and auto part stores.
NOWCAP Early Head Start also incorporates father-friendly curricula like
the Florida State Curriculum into the program. This material is rich in handouts
for males that include pictures of fathers with the expectant mom and with
Sweetwater County School: Fathers are encouraged to attend parent
teacher conferences, home visits, and parent meetings. Books and materials
that emphasize the father's role, such as dollhouse families, and family
Lego sets, are used in classrooms. Staff received training early in the year
to address the Fatherhood Initiative. They were provided information regarding
the benefits of male involvement as well as instruction on how to encourage
families to participate. Teachers report that male involvement appears to
have increased and more males attend Head Start home visits and socials than
Wyoming Child & Family Development, Inc. EHS: Throughout the 2003-2004
program year the program has conducted a variety of male-focused activities.
The "Fathers, Fitness, and Food" activity brought fathers and children together
to have breakfast together and receive free access to the Community Recreation
Center fitness equipment. The Drive-in movie night had fathers and their
children create cars out of cardboard boxes then take "cars" outside where
fathers and children enjoyed popcorn and a short movie. Last but not least,
Home Visits have been rescheduled to accommodate fathers' schedules.
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Last updated June 29, 2005