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Old 30th January 2010, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting dads to join school activities

Getting dads to join school activities



by Melissa Sim


BREAKFAST with dad was the order of the day at one school, to kick off the new year.

At Pasir Ris Secondary, fathers and their children were treated to a morning meal funded by the newly formed Fathers Action Network (FAN) under its Fathers@School initiative.

Schools which are part of the new initiative have access to $2,000 each for similar activities which promote greater paternal involvement in schools.

Ms Cheng Hwee Yeang, principal of Pasir Ris Secondary, said it was a 'good opportunity for fathers to get to know one another'.

Fathers play an important role in their children's daily lives - their involvement seals bonds with them, and helps the kids through difficult life experiences.

Approved activities must fulfil objectives such as promote father-child bonding, equip fathers with parenting and marriage skills, and enable them to encourage one another to be active contributors in schools.

For example, the money could be used to organise father-child camps, sports workshops or even parenting and marital courses.

The network, funded by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, has been set up to get men more involved in parenting.

Mr Richard Seow, who heads the network, said schools are a 'logical place to start spending time with children'. Of the 44 schools which have signed up, some already have parents' groups, but will be focusing on fathers.

Greendale Primary, for one, hopes to form a Fathers' Core Group by the middle of this year to oversee all father-child bonding activities and chart the overall plan for the future.

It also intends to organise an effective fathering workshop in September this year, to 'support fathers in their parenting efforts', said Miss Foong Yin Wei, the school's principal.

Dads like Mr Jimmy Yap, 42, a freelance writer, are looking forward to doing much more. The active member of the Northlight School's parents' support group is thinking of hiking trips and even lazer tag - an interactive shooting game - that will offer 'more active experiences so that people are engaged'.

Source: http://www.divaasia.com/article/7144

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