Studies show that when fathers are involved in their children’s lives, their children learn more, perform better in school and exhibit healthier behaviors. An article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that, “Fathers influence their children’s health in specific ways, including:
- A father’s play tends to be more stimulating and vigorous. The dads’ so-called rough-and-tumble interactions may challenge children to explore and take safe risks, while less-intensive interactions with mothers provide safety and balance.
- Fathers are more likely to introduce new words when they talk with an infant or young child, which can speed language development. A father and child’s communication at age 3 can predict the child’s later language development.
- Adolescents with involved fathers are less likely to engage in high-risk behavior and are less likely to suffer from depression. Girls with involved fathers from an early age have a decreased risk of early puberty, decreased early sexual experiences and pregnancy.”
To encourage and support fathers and/or male role models of children in the Head Start/Early Head Start program of Beaver County, a Male Involvement Committee was created. The committee is comprised of staff members, community representatives, and most importantly, fathers and other male figures that play an active role in raising the children in the program. The committee is charged with identifying and planning activities, events and workshops that promote the importance of fathers’ involvement in their children’s early childhood education.
The committee has successfully planned events such as: Pizza and Game Night, Come Read to Me, Outdoor Adventures, Fall Festival for Fathers, Pancakes and Pajamas and Let’s Date and Create. Although these events on their own have been successful, on a much larger scale have been the end-of-year celebrations. The end-of-year event promotes not only the importance of male involvement but also the involvement of the entire family. Last year more than 300 family members attended the event.
For the second year in a row, the committee will be working hand-in-hand with the Franklin Center’s Fatherhood Initiative staff to plan and coordinate this affair. The committee will be responsible for planning and executing the entire event that includes determining a theme, planning parent/child interactive activities, staffing and soliciting donations to provide entertainment and light refreshments. Traditionally, the event is held in May at Brady’s Run Lodge.
If you would like to be a part of the Male Involvement Committee, please contact Natalie Meade at 724-728-2110.