What’s a Neighborhood Dad? Neighborhood Dads can be found in every community across the country. They are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and cousins. They are teachers, coaches, clergy and family friends of all ages, races, different physical abilities, educational backgrounds, interests and work experience. They take an active part in our communities by being positive role models. Their presence and participation demonstrates to children what it means to be an involved male in society today.
Neighborhood Dads are role models for kindness and affection.They speak up and advocate for resources for children, show an interest in their education and are their protectors. They encourage other men to get involved.
Neighborhood Dads recognize their importance to children and consistently remain involved as a guide to life. Boys need Neighborhood Dads to create a positive perception of a man’s various roles in their life and family. Neighborhood Dads can help build a girl’s and young woman’s self-esteem by giving them opportunities to feel capable and smart.
The Fatherhood Task Force has published a book entitled Neighborhood Dads. It is a motivational and inspirational tale that follows real-life participants who have made a commitment to their children and their communities. Many of the subjects have participated in the Fatherhood Reading Squad, a classroom-based literacy program in Miami schools that trains and encourages on-going participation from Dads and male role models of all ages and from all walks of life.
Excerpted in the Neighborhood Dads book is a speech made by Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent Miami-Dade County Public Schools at the 2017 Fathers in Education Day Celebration. Superintendent Carvalho stated, “When we talk about the importance of Fathers in Education, we are talking about fathers in the lives of kids. Not just in schools but in the parks, libraries, museums, and their athletic activities….show up, stand up.”
Within the Neighborhood Dads book is a call to action for all men to step up and be the Neighborhood Dad who gives children purpose and allows their own children and neighborhood children to feel that they are special.
Holly Zwerling, President and CEO of the Fatherhood Task Force stated, “When Neighborhood Dads actively participate in the lives of children, they’ll see gratitude in their child’s eyes and their spirit will soar. You’ll feel in your heart that you have made a difference. Simple acts such as reading together, telling stories, sharing interests, playing or watching sports together…and sometimes just being an active listener can leave a lasting impression on a child.”
“We applaud and salute the Neighborhood Dads who take positive action to improve the lives of children and their communities. We have declared October Neighborhood Dads Month encouraging all men to take their children to school whenever possible and be actively involved in their lives 365 days a year,” continued author Zwerling.
The Neighborhood Dads book is available on the Fatherhood Task Force website and soon to be on Amazon.
About the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida (www.ftfsf.org):
An advocacy organization with national influence, the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida’s mission is to facilitate the involvement of Fathers in children’s lives by developing and promoting programs for fathers, grandfathers, uncles and male mentors/role models related to all stages of parenthood. Their Fatherhood Reading Squad trains fathers from all walks of life to read, tell stories and mentor students in Pre-K-12 schools. Their flagship programs are the Fatherhood Reading Squad, Paternal Health Care, Most Valuable Father Award, Raising Boys/Teaching Boys, Raising Girls/Teaching Girls, the annual Fathers in Action and Advocacy Week (May 6-11, 2018) and Fathers in Education Day (May 10, 2018.)