Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why Every School Needs an All Pro Dad {The Statistical Influence of Invested Fathers}

Last Friday our school kicked off 2015-2016 All Pro Dad. I posted this picture

with words of honor for my man and pride in my children's school.

It was met with intrigue - many asking me what the program was and others suggesting the news should pick positivity happening in a local gym.

All Pro Dad is missioned to help fathers "love and lead your family well. Be a hero to your kids."

Following in the footsteps of a great leader, my husband guesstimated food for 150. As time neared, all the tables filled, overflow started into the bleachers, and I ran to the store for more breakfast because what we had was not enough. A WONDERFUL problem. We figure more than 240 (dads + kids) were there.


I stood speechless at the visible investment being made before me. My heart to strengthen families encouraged by what statistics tell us to be true.

  • Children who feel a closeness to their father are: twice as likely as those who do not to enter college or find stable employment after high school, 75% less likely to have a teen birth, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and half as likely to experience multiple depression symptoms  The Fatherhood Projec

  • High levels of father involvement are correlated with higher levels of sociability, confidence, and self-control in children. Children with involved fathers are less likely to act out in school or engage in risky behaviors in adolescence. The Fatherhood Project

  • Children with actively involved fathers are: 43% more likely to earn A’s in school and 33% less likely to repeat a grade than those without engaged dads. The Fatherhood Project

  • Research shows that even very young children who have experienced high father involvement show an increase in curiosity and in problem solving capacity. Fathers’ involvement seems to encourage children’s exploration of the world around them and confidence in their ability to solve problems. National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse 

  • Father engagement reduces the frequency of behavioral problems in boys while also decreasing delinquency and economic disadvantage in low-income families. The Fatherhood Project

  • Parent connectedness is the number-one factor in preventing girls from engaging in premarital sex and indulging in drugs and alcohol. 76 percent of teen girls said that fathers influenced their decisions on whether they should become sexually active. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D.

In a world that touts the negative affects of fatherless youth and continually questions how to increase academic test scoring it is time to reframe our thinking. We must forego the old-style stereotype that PTA/PTO is just for women and celebrate the unique piece fathers (or a trusted male mentor) play in students’ lives because without the whole picture we will never achieve complete success.

Ours is a community shaken be a recent school shooting that’s left every parent yearning for a connection with their kids. The irony that this event followed my echo of Mother Teresa’s “Go home. Love your family” call was not lost on me.

And it has me dreaming for all our nation. What might society look like if fathers everywhere gathered around school tables & spoke life into their children’s lives?

I say we give it a try.

**For more information on starting an All Pro Dad unit in your school visit this link. The program provides for you the topic/discussion pieces for each month. To begin only takes one father who cares & an administration wishing school best.**

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  1. Melissa, I loved this post. My blog is solely devoted to addressing the needs of fatherless women whether it be a result of incarceration, death, divorce, abandonment, or emotional absence. I wholeheartedly agree with your statistics and have seen first hand the ramifications of absentee fathers. Continue in the work that you are doing because this message is greatly needed. Your post reminds me of one I most recently wrote, "Why You Should Not Ignore the Fatherless" http://www.fatherswap.com/2015/09/why-you-shouldnt-ignore-the-fatherless/. Glad to discover this post today and be blessed! - Kia

    1. Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment and sharing of your blog. It sounds like getting at the heart is a passion we both share.


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