Strong Fathers: EPISD focuses on dad's role in education
(LOGAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL -- Sept. 11, 2018) — Students walked hand and hand with their dads down the halls Monday morning here to give their father’s a glimpse of their daily lessons and routines.
The students brought their fathers with them to school this morning for the Strong Father “Take Your Dad to School Day” initiative. Elementary campuses throughout EPISD will be participating in a similar event, which begins with classroom time and ends with a group activity for the dads.
At Logan, prekindergarten and kinder students sat eating breakfast with their dads before going to class while older students lined up with dad on the blacktop.
“This is my dad,” Joshua Ellis Jr. said, tugging his dad’s fingers. “My dad gets to stay with me today.”
Dad Joshua Ellis’ twin pre-k boys enjoyed seeing him at their school and especially in their classroom.
“This is my spot,” little Joshua told his dad before the announcements and National Anthem began.
The soldier dads watched their little ones carefully during the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, some guiding them to make sure their right hand was correctly placed on their heart.
“I think it’s great that they get to see their dads are here to support them in their education,” Ellis said. “I was glad to see them interacting with their classmates and teachers. I want to be able to help them improve and know what they are doing.”
At PE, dads and kindergarten students gathered in the multipurpose room to play with beanbags – a lesson in coordination and motor skills. The coach gave instructions to the little ones to toss the beanbags in the air, clap, catching it with another hand. The dads stood next to their kids guiding them, smiling, playing a little catch and posing for selfies to mark the occasion.
Brian Ault stood back watching his son Steven, who is in the kindergarten collaborative, toss the beanbag amid dozens of his peers.
“I haven’t been very active in his school I’ve just been picking him and dropping him off so this gives me a chance to see him interact with other kids instead of relying on what the teacher says,” Ault said. “I want to have an understanding of what my son is doing and see if there are any issues we need to address at home.”
Alfredo Chavez, who teaches prekindergarten dual language for the 3-year-olds, gathered parents outside his class to talk about his classroom rules and routines.
“It’s important that parents feel comfortable with the school,” Chavez said. “We want to build structure and bond from the beginning to build trust with the parents.
Chavez and the other early childhood teachers have been working on rituals and routines for the little learners since school began last month. “We want them to know we are not a day care. We are an academic settings and we have rules and structures that need to be followed and even rules for the parents to follow.”
Fathers posting photos during “Take your Dad to School Day” this week are encouraged to use #episddads.
Photos by Leonel Monroy