West Virginia University, Extension Services, Families and Health
Project Description: iFather program is a program that promotes Father engagement thru k-2 grade. This program provides fathers with opportunities to learn and experience interactive activities that will enhance their child’s psychosocial development. The activities all require Fathers to physically touch their child and lead them thru various activities and the child also has to return the favor. The fathers experience trust in their child and the child experiences their fathers having fun while nurturing their child. The fathers also learn about reading comprehension and experience a demonstration of effective read allow methods.
How the project got started: The program got started by discussing the outcomes of a needs assessment that was done in the county and through the research found that a common variable to changing some the health risk factors was the engagement of fathers in children’s lives early in their development. The first program was geared towards international fathers and families and then we became specific to support the research and only facilitated programs for fathers.
5 steps to start this project:
- Develop needs assessment with stakeholders of community that you are serving
- Create working relationship with elementary schools and share outcomes and show where the engagement of fathers would support the needs assessment.
- Create volunteer list of men willing to support and facilitate activities for program
- Train volunteers and stakeholders
- Set dates and run program
What did you learn? Work smart and not hard. Get firm commitment from volunteers and school administration.
Did you have a “A-Ha or Light Bulb” Moment? The program has to be ran like a machine.
What was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? Volunteer list development and follow through.
What resources, videos, websites helped you put your project/strategy together?