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Dads Across New York State are Going to School with their Children

Father Involvement in Education Is Key Component of Success

September 19, 2012 - Dads and father figures across New York State are encouraged to accompany their children to school on Thursday, September 20, as part of an ongoing effort to promote healthy families.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), in partnership with federal, state and local government, local community groups, and local schools, are working together to encourage participation in “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.”

Dads Take Your Child to School Day, held every September, is a one-day event designed to engage fathers in their children’s education. Schools, Head Start centers and community-based organizations use this opportunity to get to know the fathers of their students, and to encourage them to remain involved throughout the school year. Active involvement of a father figure is likely to improve the student’s performance in school. Success in school will make the student more likely to have a successful life after school. There are various activities planned for the participating sites.

“When fathers and father-figures participate in children’s school activities and support and encourage lifelong learning, it makes a tremendous difference,” said OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión. “I urge the men in children’s lives, as well as their mothers, to be actively involved in Dads Take Your Child to School Day and to sustain that involvement throughout their lives.”

“Dads Take Your Child to School Day and the events planned around it send a loud and clear message of the importance of fathers or father figures in the educational achievements of their children,” said OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin. “The dedicated support and involvement of both parents with their children will help promote school success, which will also translate into a more successful future.”

“The department encourages schools to participate and engage their communities in Dads Take Your Child to School Day,” said State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, Jr. “We know that when families are actively involved in their children's education it can help lead students to positive academic outcomes.”

“When children have positive male role models in their lives, they have a better chance of growing into confident and productive adults,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “It’s important that we all support our students, and I look forward to the continued involvement of our fathers, grandfathers, and male caregivers.”

“Studies show that when dads get involved in a child’s education, they do better in school,” said NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “What can seem simple – something like walking them to school or helping them with their homework – can have a profound impact. So it is with great pride that once again, we are seeing dads from every corner of our city taking part in Dads Take Your Child to School Day. DYCD, our partners at the Department of Education, and parents working together can help our young people reach their full potential.”

"A father figure is an essential part of a child's life,” said Mayor Thomas M. Roach of White Plains, where a number of schools are participating. “Fathers have the ability to impart worth and confidence to a child in a unique way, and that is something children carry with them into adulthood. Children need positive male role models just as much as they need positive female ones while they are growing up to guide them through all of life's challenges and joys."

“There has been tremendous support for this event to reinforce the importance of men in the lives of children,” said Judie Gregory Glaser, Niagara Falls City School District’s community relations director, who is chairing the event for the district. “The participation of so many organizations, agencies, and individuals sends a strong message that the community supports men who support the educational and general well-being of their children and the children in their lives.”

Dads Take Your Child to School Day is part of OCFS’s fatherhood initiative promoting responsible fatherhood and healthy families. In its sixth year, there are over 300 participating locations including schools and Head Start centers statewide.

Research indicates that children whose fathers take a more active role in their lives have better outcomes related to academics, behavior, and social skills:

Academics

  • Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s.
  • Children that have a father involved in their life are two times less likely to drop out of school.
  • Children living in homes with a father present are two times less likely to repeat a grade in school.
  • Children of highly-involved resident fathers were 55 percent more likely to enjoy school.
  • Students whose non-resident fathers were involved in their schools were more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – nine times the national average.

Behavior

  • 85 percent of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – twenty times the national average.
  • Children living in two-parent households with a positive relationship with their father are 32 percent less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households.
  • Adolescent girls raised with involved Fathers are significantly less likely to be sexually active.
  • Boys whose fathers are present in the household are two times less likely to go to prison as boys with fathers that are absent.

Social Skills

  • Children with an involved father tend to have more self-control and tend to be less impulsive.
  • Children tend to have a higher self esteem and be more generous when there is father involvement.

More information about the event can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/dtyctsny/, including a map of participating sites.

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