BY AMANDA MOSES
On September 17th, fathers nationwide took part in Dads Take Your Child to School Day (DTYCTS). Since this initiative was introduced in 2007 by NYS Office of Children and Family Services it has helped improve family engage-ment in schools and garnered more fatherly involvement in both a child’s education and participation in extracurricular activities.
Local schools in Spring Creek Towers (SCT) were among hundreds of educational institutions in New York City to participate in this family engaging event: Abe Stark Primary School (PS) 346, Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) VIII, Gateway Intermediate School (IS) 364, and Starrett Early Learning Center (SELC). DTYCTS provided male figures the opportunity to meet with teachers, principals and other staff so that they could comfortably discuss their expectations and briefly touch on the curriculum for the school year.
Seldom do we sit down and enjoy a calm breakfast with our families. The morning rush of getting to work and school significantly reduces our time spent together. However, on September 17th fathers in all of the local schools were able to sit down for a light breakfast and converse with their children.
Hundreds of fathers gathered inside of PS 346’s cafeteria and auditorium for breakfast with their children. Students were given worksheets that allowed them to get to know their fathers better by interviewing them on their favorite color, snack, book, and so much more. They were also provided with coloring materials and asked to draw their father as a superhero. The entire affair had families laughing and sharing stories all morning long. As both a Principal and father, Kevin Caifa truly enjoys seeing all of the interactions between parents and their children at DTYCTS.
“Once again dads, grandfathers, uncles and older brothers have supported our boys and girls by attending our Dads Take Your Child to School Day. Over 230 visitors turned out and helped celebrate this special occasion. It was a true testament of the ongoing support we receive from our parents and the Spring Creek Towers’ community,” Caifa said.
Just across the hall from PS 346’s event, the fathers of FDA VIII scholars were able to speak directly to Principal Chantal Grandchamps over a fresh cup of coffee and breakfast. They discussed each individual child’s needs and what they hope to accomplish throughout the school year.
IS 364 held a similar event to DTYCTS, which was “Bring Your Hero to School Day” in their library because Principal Nicole Fraser-Edmund wanted to honor all of guardians who dedicate their time and efforts to nurturing and educating their children.
SELC also invited fathers and father figures to participate in an array of activities for DTYCTS. Some fathers painted with their children, while others played together with puzzles and building blocks.
Every year this event sees more and more fathers in attendance, which helps to bridge better communication between parents and the school administration as well as more active involvement in their children’s education. Each of the schools in the SCT community echoed a similar philosophy about these campaigns—it’s crucial for families to be involved in their children’s education. These events honor the unsung heroes, the parents who dedicate their time in providing love, care, and guidance.
Photos by Amanda Moses