ROSWELL, Ga. – The River Eves PTA hosted its fourth annual “Calling All Dads” breakfast Friday, Aug. 24 in the media center at River Eves Elementary School. More than 80 fathers and male role models and their students attended the breakfast at school, marking the largest turnout to date.
Fathers attending the event learned about an ever-growing program of activities that center on involving fathers in the academic lives of their children — ranging from volunteer roles in the classroom, technology support, landscaping and special events to tutoring and reading to students.
“It is great to be at a school that values the participation of fathers so much,” said Tom Luby, a new River Eves parent. “There are many more ways I can get involved at River Eves than I realized.”
A 10-year research study by the National Center for Fathering and the PTA shows a continued growth in the participation of fathers at school. While the gains are positive, there are still many areas for improvement, as measured by the percentage of dads answering that they “never” engage in the following activities:
• Read to their child – 39 percent
• Visit their child’s classroom – 32 percent
• Volunteer at their child’s school – 54 percent
• Have lunch with their child at school – 74 percent
River Eves expects to see otherwise.
“Our teachers and staff, PTA and foundation continue to build outreach programs for all parents in a family,” said Neil Pinnock, principal. “We have seen that children of involved fathers are more likely to enjoy school, have better grades, have fewer behavior problems and become more responsible adults.”
“Although we continue to broaden and promote the number of ways that dads can participate at school, I am most pleased by the growth in the number of dads coming in to simply have lunch with their kids,” said Preston Shirmeyer, River Eves dad and program co-chair for the Calling All Dads program. “Our Lunch with Dad program has really taken off over the last year. I’m hoping we can continue that trend this year, too.”
The next big event for dads will be the Boosterthon Fun Run Sept. 19. Dads will man the water tables and cheer on their students as they run laps to help their school.