The Pinon Project Fatherhood Classes

On April 25, 2007, The Piñon Project Family Resource Center, in Cortez, began its Responsible Fatherhood program. On that first evening, there were six men in attendance and the program has grown significantly over the last 2½ years.

The Piñon Project provides Wednesday evening classes, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., utilizing the Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum; communication training utilizing the Core Communication curriculum; outside speakers including Domestic Violence, substance abuse and nutrition; and Family Development Planning advocacy.

The ultimate goal is to assist fathers in living up to their responsibilities while becoming better parents. This is achieved by helping the fathers to explore more about themselves and their children. In addition to this, we work with the fathers in an advocate role to help them become and sustain self sufficiency.
As the material is covered, intense discussions frequently occur from the fathers’ experiences. Sessions always end by 8:00 p.m., but the Facilitators often stay after to work one on one with fathers who may need information or support.

The best part about working with fathers is seeing their success. Often, when they first start the program, they are unsure of what is happening and who to trust. Frequently, they feel that there is no place in the community in which a male can go to receive help.

After working with the fathers, the trust starts to build as they experience a group of men who have faced similar issues and are supporting each other. As the fathers work together, changes are made in each of their lives which dramatically affect their lives and the way they interact with their children. Over the past 2½ years, The Piñon Project has witnessed fathers reunited with their children from child protection; fathers moving into housing; change of custody; and, increased involvement between fathers and their children. We have also noticed that the material covered in the classroom has helped to improve communication and increase confidence in each father.

For further information, please contact The Piñon Project Family Resource Center, 300 North Elm Street OR P.O. Box 1510, Cortez, Colorado 81321 or call (970) 564-1195.