Monday, September 13, 2010

Daddy & Me Dino Dig

On Saturday August 28, the Delta First 5 Center in Brentwood, CA hosted its first “Daddy & Me Dino Dig” from 10 am - 12 pm. This free event was designed to encourage more father participation at the Center, which regularly provides a place for families with infants and young children ages 0-5 to collectively receive services and support. Fathers were encouraged to dig for fossils and create “dino” inspired art projects with their children. Mothers also visited the Center with their children, and were encouraged to participate in this event. Rhea Hodges, Delta First 5 Center Program Assistant, played a key role in designing the “Daddy & Me Dino Dig” event.
Since first opening in 2004, the Delta First 5 Center has offered programs, support groups, parent participation classes, and activities that promote Early Literacy and Learning, as well as Parent Education, Prenatal/Postpartum and Transition to Kindergarten Support.

Families that visit the center live primarily in the Brentwood, Oakley, Antioch, Discovery Bay and outlying areas. First 5 recognizes that children learn and grown more during the first 5 years than at any other time in their lives. In partnership with parents, caregivers, and public and private organizations, the center supports a comprehensive integrated set of sustainable programs, services and activities designed to improve the health and well-being of children, prenatal to five years of age; advance their potential to succeed in school; and strengthen the ability of their families and caregivers to provide for their physical, mental and emotional growth.

In addition to providing an opportunity specifically for fathers to engage with their children, the “Daddy & Me Dino Dig” event gave families and children, new to the Center, a chance to enjoy its warm staff, family-centered atmosphere and early learning focus, firsthand. In attendance were a total of 12 families with 25 children. Three new families registered to begin receiving regular services, including enrollment in early learning classes with their children.

The event had multiple positive outcomes. Children enjoyed the benefits of self-directed play while digging for fossils in a toddler pool filled with sand; exercising both problem solving and interpreting skills. Many parents expressed their delight at having the opportunity to spend quality time with their children on the weekend. Families unfamiliar with the Center were registered to begin participating in upcoming classes and activities, and fathers realized that the Center is a place where they can come with their children to participate in numerous age appropriate activities.

The Center looks forward to providing fathers with future opportunities to engage in making a difference in their children’s lives. Fathers at the event now realize that the Center is a place where classes, support and encouragement are offered to help them grow with their children.

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