The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 12, 2012

Program at Joplin schools aims for better bond between dads, kids

JOPLIN, Mo. — Ben Hendrix, 8, got to share a special hour before school Wednesday with his father.

“Sometimes I don’t see him that often because he has to work, so I like hanging out with him,” said Ben, a third-grader at Eastmorland Elementary School.

His father, Jody Hendrix, equally appreciated the opportunity for some one-on-one time with his son.

“I really am just always looking for more reasons to spend quality time with my son,” Hendrix said after walking Ben to his classroom. “You get so much into the routine that it’s hard sometimes to find time (for) just me and him.”

Hendrix was one of more than 35 fathers who turned out with their children Wednesday morning at Eastmorland for All Pro Dad, a monthly event designed to help dads and their kids spend more time together. Participants were treated to breakfast, a chance to chat with each other about this month’s topic (spending quality time together), and an experiment with Mentos candies and Diet Coke (the result of combining the two: a geyser of soda).

Jarrod Newcomb, the father of three young children, launched the program at Eastmorland last year because he has a passion for the connection between dads and their kids, he said.

“The involvement of the dad plays a key role in their (children’s) success,” he said. “This program facilitates that involvement. Moms are awesome; they do a lot, but they’re not dad. Dads bring a different perspective to their kids’ lives.”

Karl Wendt, a marriage and family therapist and director of the Mount Hope Counseling Center, said a father’s presence in a child’s life has been shown to have positive effects on the child. Higher grades in school and higher self-esteem and less aggression in the child are more likely to be documented in children with involved fathers, he said.

“A couple of hours of special time with dad — what a difference that makes,” he said.

Wendt, who served Wednesday as a mentor, said the program is good both for fathers who already are involved in their children’s lives and for fathers who want to become more involved but aren’t sure how to do so.

“It’s an easy start for anybody who wants to get more involved,” he said.

Eastmorland Principal Heather Surbrugg said the program has grown “by leaps and bounds” since debuting last year with a total of 12 participants.

“It’s really increased our parent involvement; it’s brought the dads into the schools,” she said. “I feel like the dads are hopefully feeling more comfortable being in the school (because) our students need to feel supported wherever they are.”

All Pro Dad is expected to be in place at all Joplin elementary schools by next month, according to the district. Other local schools are also beginning to look into it.

Nathan Carson, the father of two young girls, plans to launch the program at his daughters’ school, College Heights Christian, as early as next week. He mingled in the background Wednesday morning, observing and gathering ideas.

Carson said he hopes the program will increase parental involvement at school, and help strengthen the bond between children and their fathers.

“For me personally, it’s an opportunity to establish a better relationship with my children,” he said.

National program

All Pro Dad is a program of Family First, a national nonprofit organization with a focus on families. For more information about local efforts: allprodadjoplin.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter