Local fathers and father figures are being given the opportunity to connect with their children following the start of a fathering project run by Edward Public School.
The school is the first in the region to start this type of project with principal Rhonda Blacker saying it has already been a success.
‘‘The idea behind the Fathering Project is to kick-start opportunities for dads and their kids to spend quality time doing fun activities and get to know other dads,’’ Mrs Blacker said.
‘‘Often dads do not have the opportunity to meet other dads so we’re bringing them together and creating support networks. We have also seen that learning has improved drastically with parents involved in the school and particularly providing dads with quality time with their kids.
‘‘Mums are often the people to do the reading groups and drop the kids off so we just want to share that opportunity with everyone, while building relationships with all of our parents.’’
Mrs Blacker was delighted with the number of dads who attended their first meeting and said some great ideas were shared.
‘‘All Edward Public School fathers and father figures were invited to attend an information session at the school on June 5 which was well attended and there was a lot of enthusiasm for the project,’’ she said.
‘‘It was great to see so many dads show up and the discussions we had were great. A follow up meeting and pizza night was held on June 27 and lots of ideas for future father/child and father gatherings were discussed.
‘‘We are taking small steps with the project, but it will become a long running program and I hope to see more parental figures get involved and create relationships, not only with their children, but other parents too.’’
The first official Fathering Project activity will be held on the final day of Term 3, September 27, when Year 6 will hold a Footy Colours Fun Day, and fathers, along with other family and community members, are invited to have a picnic lunch at school and participate in fun footy activities with their children.