Media Contact
Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group

July 29, 2008

Back to the Books for Colorado Dads and their Children

It’s that time of year when Colorado kids hang up their swimsuits and pull out their backpacks. Heading back to school can be an exciting yet nerve-racking time for kids and parents. This year, Colorado dads are working hard to make the transition from summer to school as seamless as possible for their children.

According to the National Education Association there are several notable research findings that support the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education. Father involvement particularly has been shown to be a contributing factor in a child’s success.

  1. When parents are involved in their children's education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school — and the schools they go to are better.
  2. A family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.
  3. Reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than math or science achievement. Reading aloud to children is the most important activity parents can do to increase their child's chance of reading success. Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.
  4. When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.
  5. Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child's time, helping with homework and discussing school matters.
  6. The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child's educational process, the more powerful the effects.
  7. Positive results of parental involvement include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling.

Being active in your child’s education can mean:

• Reading to your child

• Checking homework every night

• Volunteering in the classroom

• Discussing your child's progress with teachers

• Voting in school board elections

• Helping your school to set challenging academic standards

• Limiting TV viewing on school nights

• Becoming an advocate for better education in your community and State.

“As parents it’s important that we help our children as they transition through life,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Going back to school is an opportunity for fathers to teach children the importance of preparation. By establishing positive study habits and a healthy sleep routine from the beginning they can help ensure a year of success.”

In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division was awarded a $10 million federal grant over five years to strengthen father/child relationships and improve parenting. Colorado is one of two locations nationwide, including Washington, D.C., to receive this federal community access grant. The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative distributes more than $1.1 million in community awards to state, community and faith based organizations to assist in providing direct services to fathers and families. Awards of up to $50,000 are distributed per program per fiscal year. For more information on a fatherhood program in your community, please visit