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Fathers Encouraged to attend Statewide 'Dads Take Your Child to School Day' on September 16

Schools, child care programs host fathers each year to promote positive outcomes for children

September 03, 2014 - Two state agencies that serve New York’s families today encouraged fathers and significant male caregivers to participate in Dads Take Your Child to School Day on Tuesday, Sept. 16, an annual event that helps fathers across New York State engage in their children’s education.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) partners with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) each year, helping the grassroots movement grow from a few participating schools little over a decade ago to hundreds of schools, Head Start programs, and community partners, plus thousands of fathers and father figures. Educators and child care providers use Dads Take Your Child to School Day to get to know significant male caregivers and encourage their involvement throughout the school year.

“Dads play a vital role in a child’s life and are often their children’s first role models,” said Sheila J. Poole, Acting Commissioner of OCFS. “Being an active father not only reaps tremendous benefits for the child, but also gives fathers self-confidence about their role as parents. Bringing their children to school is an important step for fathers to take toward building a lifelong bond, and teaches children that they are loved, cared for, and supported by one of the most important people in their lives.”

“We encourage dads and other significant male caregivers to visit their children’s schools on September 16 and make it the first of many visits throughout the school year,” said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud. “Research shows that children of fathers who visit their classrooms and meet their teachers do better in school compared to their peers, whose mothers are the only involved parent.”

Numerous studies indicate that children greatly benefit from fathers who are engaged in their education and in their lives. A 2006 report by authors from the U.S. Children’s Bureau Office on Child Abuse and Neglect shows that children with active male caregivers are:

  • Likely to have better academic achievement, verbal skills, and intellectual functioning, and higher IQs. A U.S. Department of Education study conducted in 2001 showed that children whose biological fathers were involved in their lives were “43 percent more likely to earn mostly As, and 33 percent less likely to repeat a grade” than peers whose biological fathers were not actively engaged in their lives.
  • More patient, and are better able to handle stress and frustration at school.
  • More likely to be emotionally secure and confident.
  • Less likely to get in trouble at home, at school, or in their communities.
  • Better able to connect with their peers as they grow older.

Fathers should call their children’s school to confirm that the school is participating in Dads Take Your Child to School Day. Schools and learning programs can register to participate prior to September 16 through the State’s Dads Take Your Child to School Day website. Fathers who join their children are advised to arrive at school with their children on September 16 at least 15 minutes before the start of classes.

About OCFS

OCFS serves New York State by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, families, and communities. Its Fatherhood Initiative encourages fathers to take a more active role in their children’s lives and promotes programs that support responsible fatherhood. For more information, visit, “like” the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Facebook page, or follow @NYSOCFS (English) or @NYSOCFS_espanol (Spanish) on Twitter.

About OTDA

OTDA oversees a range of the State’s programs that assist low-income residents and families of all incomes who need child support services. The agency provides leadership, guidance, and support to local departments of social services in the administration of such programs. For more information, visit, “like” the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Facebook page, or follow @nysotda on Twitter.

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