On September 18th, fathers throughout the tri-state area participated in “Dads Take Your Children to School” (DTYCTS), an event that was created to help strengthen the relationship between students and their guardians. This campaign was developed in 2007 by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, who strive to increase family engagement within the educational system. DTYCTS focuses on promoting fatherly involvement in both a child’s education and participation in extracurricular activities.
Local schools in Spring Creek Towers (SCT) were among hundreds of institutes in New York City to participate in this family engaging event. Each of the schools, PS 346, IS 364, and FDA VIII were pleased with the turnout and the support they received. Male figures in each of the children’s lives were able to meet with principals, teachers, and other staff to discuss the expectations they have for the upcoming school year. In addition, fathers were able to take a step back and enjoy breakfast with their children—a time of day that can sometimes be overlooked because of the busy morning rush.
PS 346 decided to take this event one step further and hosted Moms Take Your Children to School on September 25th. Parent Coordinator Onika Hawker was very impressed by the number of parents who attended these events. “We had 173 dads and 214 moms,” Hawker said.
The sound of laughter and the smell of freshly brewed coffee emanated throughout PS 346’s cafeteria on both occasions. During these events, parents talked with their children as they filled out information activity sheets on what makes their parents so great and how much they love them. Many in-depth conversations filled the cafeteria as children discussed all of their favorite things. Some learned a lot about their family history while others impressed their parents with their inquisitive minds.
Just across the hall from PS 346’s DTYCTS event on September 18th, FDA VIII held their own breakfast with middle-school fathers. Principal Chantal Grandchamps thanked all of the fathers in attendance and explained that just by being present they are having an impact on their children’s lives. This should continue with their child’s homework and participation in extracurricular activities.
IS 364 held a power point presentation in conjunction with their DTYCTS event. This presentation spoke about how fathers should approach discipline and how their everyday demeanor affects their children emotionally. Compassion, understanding, and patience were a few traits highlighted. These qualities do not always come easy when dealing with teenagers, so it’s important to always think about our words and actions first.
Each of the principals from SCT’s local schools echoed a similar belief about these campaigns, which is that it is 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. The DTYCTS initiative, like many of the programs developed by the local schools, help create opportunities for parents to bond with their children and meet with teachers and other parents.
Photos by Amanda Moses