In This Issue:

  • Community Access Funded Programs Complete Successful Fatherhood Training Academy
  • Colorado Fathers Encouraged to Read to their Children Every Day
  • National Fatherhood Initiative Distributes Awards to Colorado Fatherhood Programs
  • Program Spotlight
  • Join the Be There for Your Kids Campaign at an Upcoming My Dad Taught Me Video Shoot
  • Watercooler Blog Contest Winner
  • October Featured Father
  • Take the Pledge to End Domestic Violence
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

Community Access Funded Programs Complete Successful Fatherhood Training Academy

On October 1 – 3, more than 100 fatherhood practitioners from across the State gathered together for the 2008 Fatherhood Training Academy – Building a Successful Game Plan.

The academy began on Wednesday morning with a keynote address from Joe Ehrmann, the founder of Building Men and Women for Others. A former Baltimore Colts player and current assistant head football coach at the Gilman School, Joe's work is focused on redefining and reframing the social responsibility of sports. In 2004, he was named the most important coach in America by Parade Magazine.

Joe’s keynote address focused on the idea of masculinity in the U.S. “When did you become a man?” This is a question young men in this country are often asked. Society sends youth and adults many different signals – most often the wrong ones - on what it means to be a man including sexual conquests, violence and athletic victories.

According to Joe one of the single greatest crises in the U.S. today is the question of masculinity and what it means to be a man. This is something that prevents numerous men from being involved in their children’s and family’s lives. How does Joe define being a man? Having the ability to develop meaningful relationships with other men, women and your children. By the end of his presentation, it was clear that Joe was the right person to address our community access funded programs.

Those attending the three-day academy also participated in some of the following presentations: working with young, unwed fathers; theories of masculinities; case management 101; working with the Department of Corrections; understanding Hispanic/Latino fathers; and engaging the African-American man and community with the fatherhood initiative. Practitioners were given educational tools and advice to apply to their daily work with fathers at each session. Since the training academy was held in conjunction with the Colorado Works Conference, attendees were also able to participate in larger career and personal development sessions.

We capped off the academy with a recognition ceremony for the winners of the 2008 Be There for Your Kids awards. Click here for a complete list of winners.

Every child deserves a father or father figure who is committed to their well-being. It is our hope that through the annual fatherhood training academy our funded programs will be better equipped to help every Colorado father be there for his kids.

 

Colorado Fathers Encouraged to
Read to their Children Every Day

Throughout November, the Be There for Your Kids campaign is promoting Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) to all Colorado fathers. FRED is a four week program originally designed by Texas A&M University to encourage fathers, grandfathers and other positive male role models to read with their children every day.

Fathers play a critical role in their child’s literacy development. In a poll commissioned by the National Center for Fathering this year, it was discovered that 56 percent of fathers are now reading to their children at least one to two times per month. National education studies continue to show that when fathers take an active role in their children’s education they are more likely to earn A’s, participate in activities like sports and clubs, enjoy school and are less likely to repeat
a grade.

FRED asks fathers to read to their children for 15 minutes a day during the first two weeks of the month and 30 minutes a day during the last two weeks of the month. By visiting the Colorado Dads Web site, dads can download a reading log and fill out pre and post program surveys to be entered into a drawing to receive special prizes. Links to appropriate books for different ages and literacy resources can also be found on the site.

As part of our commitment to this program, the campaign has partnered with the Denver Nuggets to bring FRED to the library. At the Blair-Caldwell Library in Denver on Saturday, November 8 at 2:00 p.m., several Nuggets players will read with their children and other fathers and children in attendance. FRED reading logs and program information will also be available for distribution at the library.

For more information on the November 8 event, please e-mail Maggie Spain.

 

National Fatherhood Initiative Distributes Awards to Colorado Fatherhood Programs

Three community access funded programs – Ira E. Slack Women’s Missionary Society, the Center on Fathering and Urban Colors Arts & Mentoring – were recently selected to receive Fatherhood Resource Center (FRC) awards from the National Fatherhood Initiative, each valued at $3,000.

A FRC is a suite of skill-building resources - curricula, interactive CDs, brochures - designed specifically for dads. The information included in a FRC ranges from child health and safety to resources for teen dads, helping your child succeed in school, practical advice for new dads and resources for Spanish speaking fathers.

Programs eligible to receive a FRC award include community and faith-based organizations, health care organizations and other grassroots fatherhood and family-strengthening agencies nationwide. The National Fatherhood Initiative distributed FRC awards to only 150 fatherhood programs across the country.

 

Program Spotlight
Be A Man (BAM!) Fatherhood Program –
Summitview Community Church - Evans

1. What services do you provide to fathers with your community access grant funding? 

Our program is focused on building a strong and healthy bond between father and child. This is accomplished through a variety of activities. We meet as a group twice each month (1st and 3rd Thursday), with 20-30 people typically attending each meeting. The Quenching the Father Thirst fatherhood curriculum is used in discussions and life skills training for fathers is also provided throughout the year. During the other two weeks of the month, we provide each participant with a mentor who works with the dad on a more personal level and encourages them to open up on all aspects of their life - family, work, problems, concerns, etc. Participants may be referred to other services such as employment, shelter, legal or financial education depending on their needs.

Daycare is provided during group meetings and spouses/girlfriends are also welcome. We provide a full meal before class starts and meals to each participant when they have separate meetings with their mentor. They can also earn stipends of up to $50 for certain activities throughout their participation in the program. Periodically we do off site activities as a group such as hockey games, rope climbing, etc.

2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program? 

Our goal is to have each father participating in our program become a responsible, caring dad who is actively raising his children. This means that he pays child support in a timely manner (if needed), strives for better relations with the mother of his child, is actively involved in his child’s upbringing, has minimal legal problems and only limited need for social services through the county and State. If we accomplish any of these goals, it is our hope that their children will grow up to be productive and well-adjusted additions to society.

3. Describe at typical day at BAM! 

BAM mentors meet with participants on a daily basis. Our fathers are encouraged to keep in contact with their mentor or program director as needed. We are available for our dads 24 hours a day. The program is promoted every day through the distribution of flyers, posters and our newsletter and via communication with local agencies and businesses. 

4. What is the best part about working with fathers?

We have the opportunity to change future generations of fathers in a positive way. Most of the guys in our program didn’t grow up with a good father figure in their lives. They often express to us how nice it is to know what it’s like to be a good father and what it means for their children. It is wonderful to see them succeed and become great dads for their kids.

5. Share a program/father success story with us.

One of our participants has been in the program for about six months. When he first came to us he was a 16-year-old drop out with an attitude and a pregnant girlfriend. He was under the assumption that he could sit on the couch and play video games all day and didn’t have to work because his parents should take care of him.

Six months later he is now an active BAM participant and father of a toddler. He wants to learn how to be the best dad he can be for his child and has yet to miss a group meeting. He is gainfully employed and has lost his attitude that someone else is supposed to take care of him and his child. Now he is studying for his GED and sees a very bright future for his family. 

 

Join the Be There for
Your Kids Campaign at
an Upcoming My Dad Taught Me Video Shoot

Denver Nuggets fans are invited to join the public awareness campaign at our next viral video shoot. During the Nuggets home game at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, November 16, fans of all ages will have the opportunity to videotape a :30 memory of something their father has taught them. The top 10 videos will then be selected to air on the Colorado Dads site for one month.

Stay tuned for the next great My Dad Taught Me moment!

 

Watercooler Blog Contest Winner

In August, we asked readers of the Be There for Your Kids e-newsletter to submit entries we could consider posting in the Watercooler Blog section of the Colorado Dads Web site. The topic? What does being a dad mean to you.

Robert Fleming’s entry on life as a dad to Shelby was selected to appear in this section of the site throughout October. Here are just a few of his thoughts on fatherhood:

The responsibility of raising my daughter with a commitment to consistency, unconditional love, dedication, guidance and being a good listener is the most important decision I have made in my life. I understand that my decisions, attitude and love have a profound influence on how my child will ultimately make her own decisions throughout life. I travel throughout the year and when we share those precious moments together it’s quite obvious to me that my influences - good or bad - have an impact on how she anticipates and processes daily choices. Life with her has more to do with the quality of time spent versus the quantity.

 

October Featured Father –Ian Laperriere (Lappy)

Colorado Avalanche player Ian Laperriere is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of two, Ian is incredibly proud of his boys every time he sees them try something new.

What is the best part of being a dad?

Every time I see them do something new and they are proud of it, it makes me proud of them. Just this weekend my boys started playing hockey for a team. I was a little worried because they’re not great skaters just yet. I thought they might get upset. But they did a good job. It makes me proud to see them do so well.

What does fatherhood mean to you?

It means being responsible and being there for your kids when they need you.

 

Take the Pledge to End Domestic Violence

During the month of October, we recognize National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the strength of survivors across the country. The Be There for Your Kids campaign is taking that recognition a step further with the creation of the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign. CMADV is encouraging all Colorado men to take a stand against domestic violence by signing a pledge of declaration now. This pledge is available online at www.coloradodads.com or at various community organizations and social service agencies statewide. Together, men can rise above the cycle of violence.

If your program has received any completed CMADV hard copy pledge forms, please mail them back to this address at your convenience:

Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
1575 Sherman St., 3rd Floor
Denver, CO 80203

Congratulations are also in order for Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services, and Ruth Glenn, director of the Colorado Domestic Violence Program. The two were recently recognized with the Team Work Award at a reception honoring the winners of the Colorado Department of Human Services Employee of the Year Awards. This award was given to Rich and Ruth because of their collaboration in developing partnerships between fatherhood programs and domestic violence agencies statewide. The two have also been instrumental in the creation of CMADV.

 

Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives

Our public awareness campaign strives to get the message of responsible fatherhood out to local communities in a variety of ways.

The Fastbreak for Fathers blog, written by Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include technology and the American family and A Walk in Her Shoes. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

As online social networking Web sites continue to connect various groups throughout the country, the Be There for Your Kids campaign has created our own fatherhood Facebook and MySpace pages as well as a YouTube channel. We are looking for new fans of these pages to comment on recent fatherhood notes and videos and discuss relevant topics in the discussion boards.

Upcoming Events

Family Development and Credentialing Program
November 4 – 7, 2008
Adams County Extension Office – Brighton

This program is a major national initiative that provides frontline workers with the skills and competencies they need to empower families to attain a healthy self-reliance and interdependence with their communities. This voluntary, interagency training and credentialing program is beneficial for frontline workers from a wide variety of public and non-profit service systems.  

Best Practices in Fatherhood Programs
December 10, 2008
Families First – Denver

Would you like to apply what works for other fatherhood programs to your program? Would you like to avoid reinventing the wheel? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then this free workshop is for you. This one-day course highlights the best practices in the fatherhood field organized into a seven-component best practice model. Ron Clark, director of programming for The National Fatherhood Initiative will facilitate the  workshop.

Stay tuned for online registration on the Colorado Dads Web site. For more information, e-mail Rich Batten.

Call for Presenters – 2009 Colorado Head Start Association Conference
February 20 – 21, 2009

The Colorado Head Start Association is pleased to invite practitioners to submit a workshop abstract for the 2009 parent and staff training conference. Workshops will be 75 minutes long and the following topics will be considered:

Advocacy
Self-Sufficiency
Children with Special Needs
Child Development
Strengthening Families
Policy Council Training
Transition to Public Schools
Child Assessments
Mental Health
Health & Dental
Domestic Abuse        

Parenting Skills/Techniques
Guided Networking
Fatherhood
Financial
Management/Budgeting
Innovative Collaborations
Taking Care of Yourself
Healthy Couple Relationships
Organization/Time Management
Stress Management
Challenging Behaviors

Workshop abstract submissions are due by November 30, 2008.

 

Regional Fatherhood Forums

Front Range Fatherhood Forum
Held on the third Friday of every month from 9:00-10:30 a.m. For more information, contact Ben DeVoss from Lifelong Adult Education Services at 303.573.0839.

Boulder/Larimer/Weld County Fatherhood Forum
Held on various days throughout the month. For more information, contact Tyler Osterhaus, Family Focus Program Manager, Weld County Department of Social Services, Family Focused Prevention Unit at 970.352.1551 X622.

Arkansas River Area Fatherhood Team
A monthly meeting in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and for sharing ideas related to working with fathers. For more information, contact George Hoherd from the Community Partnership for Child Development at 719.635.1536 x262.

Southwest Fatherhood Coordination Council
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Diana Buza from The Pinon Project at 970.564.1195 x41.

Northwest Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Steve Aurand from Garfield County Department of Human Services at 970.625.5282 x624.

Northeast Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Jackie Reynolds from Rural Solutions at 970.526.3216.

Check out coloradodads.com to register for free or low-cost opportunities for dads to connect with their kids. Current offers include:
. . .

Free admission
to the Denver Children’s Museum 
. . .

Free passes to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids

. . .


Each month, coloradodads.com is excited to profile a Colorado dad and his view of fatherhood. If you know of a Dad who works hard to be there for his kids and should be profiled on the Colorado dads Web site, please contact Maggie Spain.


To speak with someone directly about fatherhood support services, please call:

1.877.695.7996 (English)
or 1.866.527.3264 (Spanish).

Trained volunteers from Families First staff this line.

To speak with someone directly regarding the Be There For Your Kids public awareness campaign or the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please contact an individual listed below.

Colorado Department of Human Services Contact Information:
Rich Batten
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Email

Mary Roberto
Manager, Family Strengthening Section
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
303.866.2641
Email

The Bawmann Group Contacts:
(regarding the public awareness campaign materials – Web site, advertising and media relations).

Jennifer Nuhfer
Vice President of Communications
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email

Maggie Spain
Account Manager
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email