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New York State Dads Encouraged to Attend School with Their Children on Sept. 17

Research shows children with active fathers and father figures are more likely to have academic, social success

September 16, 2013 - The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) are encouraging dads and father figures across New York State to attend school with their children on September 17 in celebration of “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.” The goal of the one-day annual event, which began in 2006, is to help fathers engage in their children’s education, which has lasting effects on child development and academic success.

Schools, Head Start centers and community-based organizations use “Dads Take Your Child to School Day” to get to know the fathers or significant male caregivers of their students, and to encourage their continued involvement throughout the school year. Seven years ago, just one school participated in “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.” Today, the program has spread to more than 400 schools, Head Start programs, and community partners. In 2012, more than 4,100 fathers and significant male caregivers participated.

“‘Dads Take Your Child to School Day’ is just one way OCFS is actively working to bring fathers and father figures into the classroom to improve outcomes for all of our students.” said OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión. “This important event depends on the involvement of local schools and community organizations, and we are proud to partner with them to improve the educational lives of our youngest New Yorkers.”

“‘Dads Take Your Child to School Day’ is a wonderful way to further engage fathers in their children’s lives, and provide them with additional resources and contacts to better assist them as they strive to ensure their children succeed in school,” said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud. “We celebrate the participation of these fathers and father figures as their children work toward achievement in school and toward a bright future.”

"When it comes to parents getting involved in their children's education, more is better," State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said. "'Dads Take Your Child to School Day' is a great opportunity for fathers to get more involved and learn what's happening in their kids' schools. Seeing their dads sit at little school desks for a day can have a big impact on students' learning for a lifetime. Every school should participate."

“The involvement of a father or male role model in a child’s life plays a significant part in their development – emotionally and academically,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “When parents are involved in a child’s education they are more likely to succeed in school, that is why the DOE is thrilled to once again participate in the annual Dads Take Your Child to School Day.”

“When education matters to fathers, it also matters to their children,” said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “By walking their children to school and interacting with teachers and staff, dads and father figures teach our young people responsibility through example. It is also a time to learn more about what’s going on in their child’s life, how they are doing in school, who their friends are, and their daily struggles and accomplishments. DYCD and our Fatherhood Initiative strengthen these relationships by supporting high quality programs reconnecting non-custodial dads with their kids, teaching them effective co-parenting skills, and providing a pathway to good jobs and an education to help them support their children emotionally and financially.”

Statistics gathered by the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) show that children whose fathers take an active role in their lives have better academic, behavioral, and social success.

  • Children whose fathers are involved in their lives at school are more likely to earn mostly A grades in core subjects.
  • Fathers engaged in their children’s education have more self-confidence about their role as a parent, and generally feel more valuable to their children.

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse cites statistics that show the presence of a responsible father promotes academic performance, and reduces disciplinary problems among children.

  • Very young children with fathers who are actively involved in their lives have stronger verbal skills and have an increased capacity to problem-solve.
  • Girls with strong relationships with their fathers do better in mathematics, and boys tend to perform better on achievement tests.

Additionally, the National Survey of Families and Households reports that children are less likely to exhibit problem behavior in grade school when fathers are involved in their lives early on when they are preschoolers.

Schools and childhood learning programs can register at the “Dads Take Your Child to School” New York website.

Fathers and significant male caregivers can call their children’s school or program to find out whether it is participating in “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.” They are encouraged to arrive with their children 15 to 30 minutes before the start of classes, and will be welcomed guests at their children’s school or program.

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