Profound Gentlemen highlights male educators of color and our work in public education. Principal Wayne Dennis is an educational leaders who believes in fatherhood initiatives. This PG Highlight focuses on tips for educators and leaders to better engage male parents in the school program provided by Principal Dennis.

In my capacity as Principal now, I serve on Minorities Issues Committees. I am also a past member of the Fatherhood Initiative in Middlesex County, New Jersey. I was responsible for creating trainings that empowered the educational system with a better understanding of Fatherhood. To do so, I often seek presenters that were balanced and equally Fathers as well as female presenters. I worked on programming that enhanced a balanced view to educators.

The key to long lasting bonds is to invite the Fathers in for more events.

Create welcome backs for students with Fathers lining up to “pep” the students up with support. Father and daughter dances, Father and sons’ sports or educational events.

Here are suggestions of how educators and leaders can help support fatherhood initiatives at schools. 

Please encourage fathers to: 

Attend back-to-school nights or other orientation events. Get to know your child teachers in the beginning of the school year. These events are also a great way to meet other dad’s. Attending parent-teacher conferences throughout the year ensures you are on the same page.

Ask your teacher how they would like to communicate. For each teacher, find out whether phone calls, emails, or texts are the best way to stay up-to-date on progress and communicate if a problem arises. Don’t be afraid to speak up for your adolescent’s needs.

Demonstrate a positive view of education at home. Fatherhood school involvement does not only occur inside the schools. It is also about communicating your larger values and attitudes regarding education and the hopes, dreams, and expectations you hold for your children. Communicating these values motivates young people to be persistent when faced with challenging educational tasks.

Encourage reading. 

Helping your children develop a love of reading is the single most important thing you can do to help them succeed in school and in life. Show them the importance of lifelong learning by reading books on your own. Even better, read the same book with them. Taking it one step further, discuss the book together afterwards!

Help manage the homework process. Let your child know you think education is important and that homework is a priority. Set aside a special place to study and establish a regular time for homework. Help your child stay organized, ask about daily assignments, and monitor their work. Always remember to notice and praise effort.

Volunteer in the school. Schools often allow volunteers to chaperone trips or dances, help in classrooms, or run a school event. If your work schedule doesn’t allow you to volunteer in the school building, there are other ways to offer your time.You can volunteer to translate newsletters into other languages, make phone calls to let others know about school-related activities, or work on materials for school events. Be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities and share your special skills!

Encourage active learning. Young people need to be encouraged to ask and answer questions, solve problems, and explore their interests. Have frequent conversations about what they are learning and be prepared to ask questions. When you encourage this type of learning at home, your child participation and interest in school may increase.

Mr. Wayne M. Dennis, M.Ed.  is the Principal of The E.J. Wright School, 2600 Flat Shoals Road, College Park, GA. 30349, phone: 678-257-2696, email: wdennis@thewrightschool.org, Website: https://thewrightschool.org/.