Graphic by Martín A. López
Fathers and father figures are encouraged to get more involved in the education of elementary school-aged children through Bring Your Dad to School Week, a five-day series of events throughout EPISD.
Elementary campuses will host a “Bring your Dad to School Day” at least once during the week of September 10-14 as part of the – Strong Fathers Initiative. Dads are encouraged to check with their child’s campus for details of activities planned for the week.
“The Strong Schools, Strong Fathers program aims to strengthen our District and campus efforts in making fathers and families active partners in the education of their children,” said Ray Lozano, executive director of Student and Family Empowerment. “These types of programs benefit our students by enhancing their parents’ capacity to provide social-emotional and academic support.”
EPISD has been working with Michael Hall, founder of Strong Fathers-Strong Families, to build the capacity of parental engagement in the District. Bring your Dad to School Day is one of many initiatives in which campuses are participating in conjunction with Student and Family Empowerment.
Elementary campuses also are planning other specific academic nights for students and their dads.
“Studies have shown that when fathers spend time with their child on homework, share meals together, and spend play time together, those children do better academically, are in less trouble in school and the community, are more likely to pursue post-secondary education,” Hall said. “When fathers read to kids their verbal skills can increase by up to 15 percent which does not happen when moms read to them.”
The program also hopes to strengthen bonds between fathers and their child or children, and make fathers feel more comfortable at the campus itself.
“When dads get to see what actually goes on during the school day in their child’s class they are empowered to be more engaged in the education of their child,” Hall said. “Today’s classroom is drastically different than even those of our youngest fathers and when dads see how kids learn and how they are being taught, then they have a better understanding of how they can help guide their child in their learning.”
Hall added that “Bring your Dad to School Day” allows dads see how the classroom functions they also get to see their child’s interactions with the teacher and the other students.
“Dads also get to see how children work together and how their child compares to their peers and their expected development,” he said. “Having an understanding of how the classroom works and how it works for their child helps dads to be engaged the entire school year.”
Stay connected with all Strong Schools, Strong Fathers initiatives in the District by following the hashtag #EPISDdads