Nearly 200 fathers and father figures swapped their offices for the classroom to engage their children and participate in the Take Your Dad to School event at Bond Elementary School.
The event is part of the districtwide Strong Fathers Initiative to encourage more male role models to participate in their child’s education.
“Studies show that when fathers are involved their children are more apt to do better in math and to do better socially,” said Erica Martinez, parent engagement leader at Bond. “It’s really important that the father figures are part of the child’s life.”
Typically, moms are more apt to participate in school activities and get involved at their child’s campus so the Strong Fathers initiative actively seeks out fathers to make them feel more comfortable at the campus and offer information on they can help their child become more successful academically. The school will be offering other evening Strong Father-themed events to boost math and reading skills.
The morning started with a kid-and-dads breakfast and then fathers proceeded to their child’s classrooms before returning to the cafeteria for a Strong Fathers presentation.
“The fathers are going into the classrooms and observing what their child is learning and maybe what kind of things he could take back home and work on with the child,” Martinez said.
“This gives dads a sense of connection with their child because they know what they are doing in the classroom and at the same time they are engaged with them,” said kindergarten teacher Lisa Lee. “I set up different centers so the dads are interacting with their child and building stuff in the classroom. They’re really connecting with their kids.”
Kindergartener Alina Burciaga took her dad Noel Burciaga to school. The two bonded over making a “Packers Station” out of popsicle sticks and clothespins to honor their favorite NFL team.
“It’s a good opportunity to see what she’s doing in school,” said Burciaga, whose job takes him away from home for half the year. “These little things mean a lot to both of us.”
When asked her thoughts on bringing dad to school, little Alina’s face lit up, flashing bright smile. She turned to her dad, giving him a tight squeeze.
“I like it very much,” she said, still clinging to his arm.
Dad Roman Marquez split his time with daughters Paisley, a kindergartener, and first-grader Tinsley.
He and Paisley worked together to build a catapult with a spoon, rubber bands and pompoms. Once Paisley got it, the pink pompom flew across the desk. Success!
“I love this,” Marquez said. “I like being involved in their education and letting them know I’m here for them.”