The Compton Unified School District (CUSD) has launched an initiative to increase father’s active involvement in children’s education. Monthly “Men Matter Meetings” at the district offices started in January. Dads, grandfathers, uncles, and even other men from the community, who could serve as positive role models were invited. The evening meeting included introductions, a “think tank activity” where attendees were asked for their opinions, and recommendations on how to improve the participation of men, in improving academic achievement?
CUSD high school (Dominguez HS) sponsored a “Dad’s Day on Campus” event, where dads, grandpas, uncles, and other men participated by greeting students at the main entrance, on a cool & foggy winter morning. Afterwards, the men were invited into the school cafeteria to have coffee and continental breakfast with Principal, Blain Watson, and his staff.
Mr. Watson introduced himself, along with his staff, (also in attendance was school board member Charles Davis) and Watson said he was inspired by a male parent, who said he would like to see more fathers involved on campus, and in their children’s education. The morning meeting included introductions, sharing of resources, and a “Developmental Assets” exercise where the men discussed internal and external building blocks, that lead to healthy development for young people.
There has been more than 30 years of research (e.g. Fatherhood Institute, National Education Association, National Center for Education Statistics, etc.) detailing the benefits of parental involvement in education...including specifically, the involvement of fathers, whether the father lives in the home or not. And the research documents not only do students benefit socially, emotionally, academically but fathers also benefit by being more involved in the community. In addition, the involvement of grandfathers, uncles, older male siblings, cousins, and other men in the community can also serve as positive role models.
Children of involved fathers are more likely to perform better on tests, manage stress better, have better attitudes toward school, and are more likely to have higher levels of economic achievement, and career success. So yes, overall when fathers are more actively involved in their children’s education, society is the big winner!
Congratulations to Dominguez High School, and CUSD’s Special Projects Office…. Family Engagement Project. Continue the work that improves schools and society.