Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

Fatherhood Initiatives Expanding in Pre-schools

November 1, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - At many day care centers, male teachers, and fathers, are absent or all but invisible, but new initiatives to bring male role models into the classroom are blossoming around Connecticut.

Keith Young Sr., male involvement coordinator in New Haven's Head Start Program, spoke at a recent conference in the state. He has pioneered the work since he was a Head Start dad who volunteered in his son's class more than 15 years ago.

"I was one of those dads the teachers just walked by. They might have said hello to me, but they didn't know what to do with me. They had me fixing things in the classroom; they had me maybe washing dishes. But that has changed. They don't just see us as a fixit man: they see us as a part of the equation."

He says getting fathers involved in the pre-school experience of their children is critical as they're learning language and socialization skills, and studies show such involvement benefits children, parents and society in general.

"Male involvement should be at all levels of every agency of every program, because, like I said, they're the other parent, they're the other human being. The easy part is to include men; the hard part is sustaining the inclusion of men."

He adds that even though men are still a rare commodity in an early learning classroom, their presence can be influential.

"One dad that might be involved with his kid, there might be two or three other children in that classroom that might not have a dad involved at all. And that dad right there does bring something to the table for those kids."

He says often dads are called upon to discipline their kids, not to nurture them, but adds that there's more to it.

"You have children furthering their education. You have better relationships as they're growing up. Every single reason why a mom should be involved should be the same reason why dads are involved."

Young has worked in Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and other communities around Connecticut, and all over the country, providing training to early learning programs and mentoring to fathers who want to be active parents.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT