TALLAHASSEE, FL. — During the month of September there’s a statewide effort across Florida to get more dads and father figures to be involved with a child’s education. Research shows that having an absent father hinders development from early infancy throughout childhood and into adulthood.
Dr. Christopher Small works in educational leadership and administration at Florida State University. He grew up in Houston, Texas as the oldest of five kids to a single mom. That experience is one of the things that led him to working in education and with at-risk youth.
Small is also a father and wanted to be a positive influence for not just his son, but other boys and girls as well. He says kids just need somebody to show up for them.
“Some conversations I’ve had with other dads, they say well I don’t know this new math or reading strategy that they’re using in school,” said Dr. Small. “It’s not always about being an expert in the content, but just being present.”
Dr. Small is one of six panelist that will discuss how to get more men involved in kids’ education. Wednesday’s panel discussion at Fairview Middle School (3415 Zillah St. in Tallahassee) starts at 6PM. That discussion will be moderated by ABC 27’s Brian Jackson.
A study by the fatherhood project breaks down the impact having a father or positive male role model has on a child’s life.
That kid is 2x as likely to enter college and 43% more likely to earn A's in school.
They're also 80% less likely to go to jail and 75% less likely to have a teen birth.