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Bronx Dads Take Their Kids To School Day At PS 73

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Group photo at PS 73 in Bronx

Dads and father figures across New York State are invited to accompany their children to school on Tuesday, September. 20, 2011, as part of an ongoing effort to promote healthy families.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), in partnership with federal, state and local government and local community groups, are working together to encourage participation in "Dads Take Your Child to School Day."  OCFS and the New York State Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA) are collaborating with the federal Administration for Children and Families and the New York City Department of Education, Department of Youth and Community Development, Administration for Children’s Services, and the Human Resources Administration to encourage participation throughout New York State.

Dads Take Your Child to School is a one-day event designed to engage father’s involvement for the rest of the school year. Schools, Head Start centers and community organization use this opportunity to get to know the fathers of their students, and to encourage them to remain involved throughout the school year.

"We are urging fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers and other significant male caregivers from across the state to participate in the Dads Take Your Child to School Day,” said Gladys Carrión, Esq., Commissioner of OCFS. "Youth of today need positive role models in their lives to help them navigate their transition into adolescence and young adulthood.”

“Children look to adults, both men and women, for support and guidance in school, at home and in their other daily activities,” said Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Elizabeth Berlin. “We are hopeful that this day will kick off a year and a lifetime of involvement in the lives of these children.”

“Even the simplest gesture of walking a child to school shows that you believe in them and value their education,” said NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “I cannot stress enough the importance of positive male role models for our students, and I hope that today’s events will motivate fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and male caregivers to become more involved in their school community.”

“Studies show that when dads get involved in a child’s education, they do better in school,”
said Department of Youth and Community Development 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.”

“Fathers, foster fathers and important male father-figures need to be focused on their children's early care and education from infancy, which is why we are encouraging them to bring their kids to their Head Start programs,” said Commissioner Ronald E. Richter of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. “By starting early, children will learn from their Dads the importance of education, which will reap rewards for the rest of their lives.”

“A father is vital to his children’s emotional and financial stability,” said HRA Commissioner Robert Doar. “Children respond positively when fathers are active in their lives and are a part of their daily activities, like taking them to school, helping with homework, or meeting their teachers.  A dad’s advice, love and financial support are all necessary to help kids succeed.”

“When fathers are involved in the academic lives of their children, the results are better grades and an increase in our children’s confidence in the classroom.” said Alan S. Farrell, City-wide Fatherhood Services Coordinator. “NYC Dads – The Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative is happy to support Dads Take Your Child to School Day and believe that the day’s event is an excellent launching point for father engagement in our schools throughout the year.”

“Actively involved fathers are a positive force in the lives of their children and their community,” said Joyce A. Thomas, Regional Administrator for the federal Administration for Children and Families. “When fathers are involved in the lives of their children, especially their education, their children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior. Even when fathers do not share a home with their children, their active involvement can have a lasting and positive impact. Dads Take Your Child to School Day is a great step forward to encourage fathers to be more involved.”

Dad Take Your Child to School Day is part of OCFS’s fatherhood initiative promoting responsible fatherhood and healthy families. This year there are over 150 participating locations – including schools and Head Start centers – in 26 counties statewide.

More information about today’s event can be found here.

 

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Group photo at PS 73 in Bronx
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Rani Molla

is a multimedia journalist focusing on the Highbridge neighborhood of South Bronx. She has worked at a variety of publications, most recently serving as the culture manager and art critic at the Santa Fe Reporter, an award-winning alternative weekly in New Mexico.