In This Issue:
- What’s New on www.coloradodads.com
- Highlights of the 2009 Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign
- Program Spotlight
- Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence NOMAS Roundtable
- Fatherhood Programs in their Communities
- December Featured Father
- Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
- Upcoming Events
What's New on www.coloradodads.com
With versions in both English and Spanish, the Colorado Dads Web site continues to serve as an all-encompassing resource for fathers and fatherhood practitioners. Because the site is updated almost every day, you may have missed some of our most recent updates.
New My Dad Taught Me Videos
On December 1st, the Be There for Your Kids campaign traveled to the Denver Nuggets game to get fans to share what they've learned from their dads or what they've taught their children on-camera. From a son learning how to be brave because of his father's advice to a dad thrilled with the opportunity to experience each "new and exciting" day with his daughter, this footage is can't miss.
Over the past few months, the Spanish version of the Colorado Dads Web site has been updated to include more comprehensive resources for Spanish-speaking fathers. New links to Hispanic educational resources and activities along with PDF documents focused on bullying, school success and using the Internet have been added to the Relaciones Saludables section of the site.
Each month, the Child Welfare Information Gateway adds new research abstracts to their library. We glean abstracts from this site that focus specifically on fatherhood related research projects, building strong parent/child relationships and reaching at-risk families. Abstracts from August – October 2009 have now been added to the Colorado Data and Research section of the Colorado Dads site.
Highlights of the 2009 Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign
2009 has been another tremendous year for our public awareness campaign. Did you know that:
- We hosted the 2009 Colorado Fatherhood Rally on Saturday, June 20th in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Father's Day? Hundreds of Coloradans joined us at City Park on June 20th for a special fatherhood recognition ceremony, family friendly activities, giveaways and more.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper opened our fatherhood recognition program with his son, Teddy. Representatives from Urban Colors Arts & Mentoring, winner of the 2009 Be There for Your Kids Program of the Year Award, followed Mayor Hickenlooper on the stage before Joel Webster, the recipient of the Father of the Year Award, was introduced. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter closed the fatherhood recognition program by emphasizing the need for fatherhood programs in our state and the importance of fathers being involved in the lives of their children. The crowd was entertained by performances from the Denver Indian Family Resource Center dancers, East High School Drumline and Planet-O, a local Denver band, throughout the day. This successful event truly raised awareness of the exceptional fatherhood work taking place in Colorado.
- More than 100 representatives from fatherhood programs across Colorado participated in three 2009 regional fatherhood trainings? These individuals joined us at various sessions in Denver, Durango and Colorado Springs last month.
- Hundreds of people joined us for a special screening of the critically acclaimed documentary "Daddy Hunger" in Aurora last April? This screening led to the launch of the 1,000 Male Mentors campaign, which seeks to recruit 1,000 men across Colorado to participate in existing organizations and ministries to become mentors to boys and girls in father absent homes.
- We completed three My Dad Taught Me video shoots at locations around the state? From learning how to laugh, to be a cowgirl and live a life of meaning to learning how to get through life with a positive mental attitude, this footage captures the many different ways dads can be there for their kids.
- Together with the Administration for Children and Families, Region 8, we hosted more than 50 Colorado fatherhood, healthy marriage, faith-based and domestic violence program representatives at a Strengthening Families Community Forum last September? Featuring presentations from federally funded programs and local community leaders, forum attendees discussed national priorities of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, best practices in serving Coloradans, partnership development and current challenges.
- We distributed thousands of dollars worth of free giveaways to Colorado fathers and their children? These items ranged from free tickets to Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and University of Northern Colorado basketball games to free admission to the Pueblo Zoo and Elitch Gardens Amusement Park. Each month, the Be There for Your Kids campaign strives to distribute several free or low-cost giveaways to Colorado dads so that they can spend more time with their children.
- In 2009, the Colorado Dads Web site received more than 1.8 million hits, 475,000 page views and 100,000 unique visitors? With versions in both English and Spanish, the site is a comprehensive resource for Internet users around the world.
We look forward to continued success in 2010 as we raise awareness of the availability of fatherhood programs in Colorado and build stronger relationships between fathers and their children.
Program Spotlight – TwoCor Projects – Colorado Springs
1. What services do you provide to fathers and families with your community access grant funding?
TwoCor provides individualized mentoring and hands-on coaching for young dads in the community. The program also offers a 10-week parenting class utilizing the Fatherhood Development Curriculum. This curriculum focuses on three main categories: family origin of the teen dad, parenting skills – including a module from the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome – and childhood development.
2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?
To increase the resiliency of young fathers by facilitating new attitudes and beliefs that are learned from weekly fatherhood classes and individual mentoring support.
TwoCor's goals are to:
A. Encourage young fathers to stay involved in their children's lives.
B. Teach fathers to be safe, non-violent men in their relationships with their children and their children's mother.
C. Reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases within the relationships these young men may have with their partners.
3. Describe at typical day at the TwoCor fatherhood class.
A typical class consists of a little social time during which the fathers check in with each other. Then the topic of the week is announced followed by a group discussion. The various activities move the class along and are designed to hold the interest of the young men.
4. What is the best part about working with fathers and families?
It is seeing new beliefs, attitudes and behaviors develop that result in steps being taken by young fathers to build stronger and healthier relationships with their children.
5. Share a program/father success story with us.
One young man put an idea into action and returned the following week to share how it improved his relationship with his son. The idea was that in order to get his son's attention, he would gently touch his arm, pat his back or pat his head. Instead of raising his voice to get his son's attention, he would use gentle and appropriate physical contact. The father was encouraged to see that this technique actually worked. He also gained confidence in himself to use an effective tool in his every day interactions with his son.
Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence NOMAS Roundtable
Save the date for a unique roundtable discussion next month. On Saturday, January 16th, the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign, Abusive Men Exploring New Directions (AMEND), Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence and SafeHouse Denver will host the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) National Council from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. We will begin the morning with a continental breakfast before moving to introductions and key discussion topics.
NOMAS was founded 35 years ago on the principle that the organization must take a highly visible and energetic position in support of women's struggle for equality. The movement was born directly out of and is continually nourished by feminism. NOMAS' support for women's rights and specific women's issues is vigorous and unmistakable. The NOMAS National Council consists of 17 members, eight of whom will be attending the January roundtable session.
The Roundtable will be held at the Denver District Three Police Station Community Room (1625 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80210). Please contact Rich Batten to RSVP or for more information.
Fatherhood Programs in their Communities
Cowboy-Up at the Mustang Center
Written by Ray Washington, program administrator, Jefferson County Child Support Fatherhood Program
Winston Churchill once said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man".
Horses possess an amazing ability to mirror our human emotions, exposing our hidden attitudes and human agendas. In this way, horses are able to act both as teachers and healers. The mirroring behaviors between a human and a horse can offer us opportunities to recognize and choose our behaviors. They enable us to experience a sense of accomplishment in that very moment. Horses have innate healing power. They are empowering and are able to assist with the development of new insights, thought patterns and behaviors.
On September 26 and 27, 2009, the Mustang Center was the scene of a "Cowboy-Up" activity and two-day workshop for parents and their children. Twenty participants in the Jefferson County Human Services Fatherhood Program and their children shared in an "experiential" weekend of Equine Assisted Learning. The theme of the workshop was Parenting – Communication and Leadership. Parents were introduced to new information by their horse partners. Families bonded through team building, trust and communication exercises they performed with their horse partners. Specific exercises were conducted with the families and horses in a permission-based and safe environment, allowing for a variety of emotional responses from the participants. Some of the exercises were challenging, while others were comforting, rewarding and built self-esteem. These families were exposed to a new environment, with the specific intention of sharing and learning new techniques, which empowered them as individuals and as a group.
We shared thoughts, stories, laughter and tears during this activity. We shared the joy and smiles on the faces of the children. Twenty families left the Mustang Center with refreshed relationships and new insights into themselves. These parents are now better equipped to effectively communicate with and lead their families, thanks to our four-legged teachers!
Fall 2009 at the Parent Pathways Young Fathers Program
Written by Tim Cunniff, program administrator
Parent Pathways' Young Fathers Program is based out of the Florence Crittenton School. The school is an alternative Denver public school for pregnant and parenting teens. Young dads are able to take advantage of a computer based GED prep program at the school. Flexible hours are extended into the evening so dads who are working during the day are able to work toward their educational goals. Many of these dads are not used to being in school for extended periods of time, so self-paced, non-traditional education suits them. While working toward their educational goals, many of the dads are also trying to improve their parenting, relational, and job readiness skills. Parent Pathways offers co-parenting classes on Thursdays after school. Parents are able to take advantage of these classes while their children are in the school's Early Learning Center being cared for and taught by qualified child care professionals.
Additionally, Young Fathers Program staff travel to other Denver Public Schools to deliver services to young parents. These parents are identified by teen parent social workers, nurses, coaches and teachers. Services at these schools primarily focus on parenting, but also help develop skills that allow students to navigate the systems they encounter such as child support, Colorado Child Care Assistance and Medicaid. The services in these schools vary and are dictated by the needs and schedule of the school. Some services are delivered one-on-one, others involve co-parenting and some are delivered to dads only.
Parent Pathways' many generous donors enabled us to give program participants Thanksgiving baskets that included a complete holiday meal. A donor driven Sponsor a Family and Giving Tree project also helps ensure that our participants and their families do not go without during the holiday season.
December Featured Father – Dale Yazzie
Denver resident Dale Yazzie is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of one, Dale enjoys dancing at powwows with his daughter and taking in her one-girl talent shows.
What kind of dad do you strive to be?
I strive to be like my dad. He taught me how to be a good provider for my family and teach my child to respect her elders, be kind to others and learn about our culture and traditional ways. I want to fully hand that down to my daughter so it will continue onto the next generation.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
Watching my daughter grow up and learn new things every day inspires me. She inspires me to be the best dad I can be. Morning Star is the best thing that ever happened to me and my wife, Dina.
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 "No room in the inn", Dads & kids like FRED", "Making two lists" and "Remembering the future". 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. Become a fan today!
2010 Father/Daughter Dance
Friday, January 29th, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 30th, 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 31st, 12:00 p.m.
Greeley Recreation Center, Main Gym
Fathers and daughters of all ages are welcome! Don't miss this unique opportunity to spend an evening with your favorite girl. Ticket price includes dance, finger food, refreshments and a professional photo of you and your princess. Tickets can be purchased at the Union Colony Civic Center or at ucstars.com.
- Dance Ticket Fee - $18 advance purchase per couple.
- $24 per couple the day of the dance, $9 each additional daughter.
- Dinner/Dance Fee $38 per couple, $5 each additional daughter.
- Dinner will be held at the Greeley Senior Activity Center.
Calling All Dads Fatherhood Group
The Calling All Dads group is for non-custodial and custodial fathers, meeting every Tuesday for six weeks. This is a great opportunity to interact with other fathers; you are not the only one dealing with the difficulties that come along with relationships and fatherhood. The group can help you become a better person and, most of all, a better father.
Regional Fatherhood Forums
Northern Colorado Dads 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 Colorado Springs, 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.