Schools in many areas, such as in Shelby County, Alabama, started the year off right by promoting the importance of dads in education. A new program called All Pro Dads aims to bring fathers into schools. Once a month, elementary schools will invite fathers in for a special breakfast with themes on leadership and family empowerment.
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The program kicks off September 10 though event dates vary by school. Dads should be sure to check with their children’s teachers for breakfast dates and times.
How to Start Dad Events at Your Child’s School
Readers can check to see if their schools participate here: https://allprodadsday.com/chapters. If their school doesn’t already participate they can start their own chapter here: https://allprodadsday.com/chapters/how-to-start. The program is part of Family First, a charitable organization dedicated to strengthening families. There’s a system for finding sponsors, organizing breakfasts, guiding talking points and making the breakfasts run smoothly. Note that while Families First is a Christian-based organization, there is no religious affiliation requirement to participate in All Pro Dad!
Breakfast isn’t the only option either. The group hosts meetings before and after school and on the weekends! Meetings don’t have to be held once a month either. Choose a schedule that works for your needs.
Of course, you don’t need to use the All Pro Dad curriculum to integrate father-based activities into your child’s school. It makes things simpler to a degree, and it comes with one extra special benefit. Chapters of All Pro Dad are eligible to host an NFL coach or player, like Tony Dungy, who helped spread the program’s reach.
Involving Kids Who Don’t Have a Father at Home
Unfortunately, some families don’t have a father at home. Your child might be in a situation where you live apart most of the time. We think we can all agree we wouldn’t want kids to feel left out for something that is out of their control. Because of that, and because the organization wants to remain as inclusive as possible, mothers – and others – are allowed to attend.
Some see this as an erasure of a father’s importance as if he’s replaceable, but most mothers’ events are inclusive to dads as well. The curriculum stays focused on fathers and their children regardless of who is in attendance.
Show Up and be the Dad Every Child Wants
The beginning of the year is an excellent time to get involved if you haven’t before, regardless of whether there is a dad program. Just call your child’s teacher and ask how you can help. Is it intimidating? Sure. Don’t let that stop you.
You might feel unwelcome or like you don’t belong. You might worry you’ll make an embarrassing mistake. Instead of thinking about the opinions of the other adults at the school, try thinking about the kids. Not just your kids, but everyone else’s kids too. How will they feel when they see you making the effort?
They won’t care if you have to ask directions to the cafeteria. They won’t care if it’s the first time you’ve been there. They’ll care that you showed up because plenty of dads don’t — because they’ve been scared off.
We need to empower men to get more involved in their kids’ daily lives. Have you been active in your child’s school this year? Leave a comment below to let others know how they can get involved.