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For immediate release: September 22, 2015
Contact: Monica Mahaffey
Phone: 518-402-3130

Albany's Public Schools Host Dads Take Your Child to School Day

 Fathers and father figures of students at Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) today brought their kids to school as part of Dads Take Your Child to School Day. The annual event encourages fathers to take an active role in their child’s academic life, whether or not they live in the same home with their children.

“My goal is for my child to do well in school and do well in life,” said Armando Bunagan, father of a student at TOAST, one of three themed magnet elementary schools in the City School District of Albany. “While bringing my child to school may seem to be a small gesture, it sends a clear message that I care about education and I am here to help my child achieve excellence.”

Dads Take Your Child to School Day is an initiative of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in conjunction with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). More than 600 schools, day care programs and head start programs will participate statewide.

“Research has proven that children whose fathers have an active role in their lives have better outcomes in academics, behavior and social skills,” said Bronia Ashford, Management and Program Specialist at the U.S. Health and Human Services agency’s Office of Administration for Children and Families. “This event reminds Dads of the importance of being involved in their children’s lives and highlights the lasting difference their involvement makes.”

“Fathers, grandfathers, male relatives or other male role models must make a commitment to be engaged in their children’s education,” said acting OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “I applaud those who are helping with homework, bringing their child to school, being part of the parent-teacher association or volunteering at school activities, because it makes a big difference in their child’s life.”

“Taking your child to school sends a strong message that classes are important and doing well in school matters,” said OTDA Commissioner Samuel Roberts. “When both parents are engaged with their child’s school, it helps their child succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Children whose fathers are active in their education are more likely to graduate high school and college.”

“Albany County is pleased to support ‘Dads Take Your Child to School Day.’ I commend our partners for their work to engage fathers in New York,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “Encouraging more parental involvement in our children’s education helps children and families while building stronger relationships in our community.”

City School District of Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D. said, “Involved dads are important – there’s no question about it. Research shows that kids who have a father or father figure engaged in their education are more likely to get good grades, feel better about themselves and make good choices.”

“This is a great event for Albany's students,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “We are committed to supporting efforts that engage our children and their parents because we know how important families are to student success."

Dads Take Your Child to School Day is celebrating its 12th year in New York State. The day focuses on fathers because they tend to be less involved in their children’s school lives.
Organizers hope that it will encourage fathers – or any male caregivers or relatives – to meet their children’s teachers and school principals and motivate them to stay involved with the school and their child’s education throughout the school year.