U.S. Department of Education Senior Official to Facilitate Forum on Pivotal Role of Fathers and Father Figures in Academic Success of Their Children

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Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will facilitate a workshop at an all-day forum, “Strong Fathers, Strong Families, Strong Schools: A Forum for Fathers and Father Figures,” on Saturday, June 2, in Chicago. She will host a discussion with participating mothers on parental needs and support.

The day’s activities will include workshops designed by fathers for fathers. They include “Fathers Have a Right to be Involved: Best Practices for Becoming Engaged in Your Child’s School,” “Positive Leadership of Male Role Models: The Research Behind the Important Role Males Play in Education,” “Continuous Learning: How Afterschool and Community Programs Improve Parental Engagement and Student Achievement,” and “College Bound Success.” Participants include fathers and father figures from the Chicago area, local pastors, and community leaders.

Research shows that when dads are not involved in their children’s lives, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, and become involved in criminal activity. This event reinforces President Obama’s goal of joining with fathers across the nation to take personal responsibility for involvement in their children’s lives (www.fatherhood.org).

The event is hosted by the Department, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Chicago Public Schools, the Office of the Mayor, City Colleges of Chicago, the Pastors Leaders Network, Black Star Project, Real Men Charities Inc., Fathers Who Care, WATCH D.O.G.S, and the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative.