Fathers in the Nassau County Jail will now have access to fatherhood classes as part of the Coalition’s expansion of a program designed specifically for incarcerated men, InsideOut Dad. Classes began May 21 and will be continuous.
InsideOut Dad is a unique set of fatherhood modules that include 12 core sessions along with 26 optional sessions to allow the curriculum to be tailored to fit the unique needs of fathers in specific correctional facility or setting. Ultimately, the goal of the curriculum is to increase the proportion of children growing up and the mother of their children with involved, responsible and committed fathers. The evidence-based program was developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative.
The Coalition began InsideOut Dad classes in the Baker County Jail in July 2012. Eleven fathers participated in the first series of classes, and at least 17 have taken part in the latest series at the facility that concludes in July.
Dig Into Reading, a Jacksonville Public Library summer reading program, encourages not just children to read over summer, but also for parents to read to their infants as well.
The program, set to run from June 11 to August 2 is free and open to newborns and children up to 12 years of age. Children who read 10 books over the course of the two summer months will receive a free book at the end of the program.
All library branch locations will be participating in Dig Into Reading. Registration for the program will be available on the Jacksonville Public Library website June 1. The event schedule for the program will be posted online May 15.
The Magnolia Project’s new male outreach initiative ”Men of Magnolia” concluded its first five sessions March 27 with three graduates and 19 men still currently attending sessions.
It is the first program for men to be held at the Magnolia Project. ”Men of Magnolia” focuses on fatherhood & male responsibility training. Men and fathers from the community participated in open discussions based on four main topics: Understanding Yourself, Spirituality, Handling and Expressing Emotions and Balancing Work and Family. Participants were given incentives such as refreshments and prizes to attend.
The program’s goal is to foster personal growth and teach fatherhood skills and responsibility to men in the community. The first group of men who attended the sessions were given a survey to evaluate the new program, the positive feedback was overwhelming.
“This group has made me think about what I should do before I do it. I know some people need help and I want to say thank you for teaching me.”
“Really enjoyed the class! Wish there were more weeks of the class.”
“It’s really great, I like what we talk about in the group.”
The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition also provides Responsible Fatherhood Training workshops as part of the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division’s B.R.E.A.C.H. Project.
Studies show a large learning gap between poor and wealthy children, according to a New York Times article. And although not all researchers agree on what specifically causes this disparity, there is one idea that is becoming increasingly popular: The amount of conversation a child is exposed to as a baby.
A child born to high-income parents is more likely to hear more words and have more conversational interaction by the time they are a toddler, than a child born to low-income parents, according to research by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley at the University of Kansas.
The Providence Talks Program based on the research by Hart and Risley, aims to narrow the learning gap by collecting conversation data from families eligible for early childhood home visitation services. The families would be equipped with a recording device which would measure the amount of words the child hears in a day. The families would also receive coaching from the home visit counselor.
Other reports have also shown the benefits of early childhood visits to a child’s early learning development.
The Healthy Start Coalition provides prenatal and postnatal home visits to high-risk women and infants through one year of age enrolled in the Healthy Start program. One program implemented within Healthy Start in Duval County, the Nurse-Family Partnership, provides home visits to low-income mothers throughout their pregnancy and the first two years of their child’s life.
The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition’s 24/7 Responsible Fatherhood Training concluded its first 8-week workshop of 2013 with 17 graduates.
The workshops are provided by the Coalition as part of their partnership with the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division’s B.R.E.A.C.H. Project.
B.R.E.A.C.H. (Bringing Relief, Education and Assets to Children and their Household) is a volunteer program that offers support to fathers who are behind on their child support payments.
At the graduation certificate ceremony, the training program also recognized a nonparticipant, Ben Conner.
Ben Conner (left) is presented with a graduation certificate by Jack Johnson.
Each week Ben Conner drove his grandson Amos Conner (a participant of the B.R.E.A.C.H. program) and his two great grandsons to the fatherhood training classes held at the Wells Fargo at the corner of 6th and Main Streets. He would sit in the back of every class with Amos’ sons.
When Jack Johnson, the regional outreach director of the program asked Mr. Conner why he was coming to the classes with Amos and his great grandsons, Mr. Conner replied that his grandson was a good boy who made some bad mistakes in the past but, his two great grandsons were not a mistake. He thought these classes would build on the many lessons he has been trying to teach Amos about how to be a good father.
Jack was moved by the grandfather’s dedication to his grandson’s future.
“Even though he was not a B.R.E.A.C.H. participant, I thought it fitting that he should receive a graduation certificate as well,” Jack said.