The Shippensburg Head Start Program has implemented a Male Involvement Initiative in an effort to increase our enrolled father's roles as their children's primary educators, particularly in the area of literacy. It is our intent to provide all of our enrolled fathers and significant others with the opportunity and means to become an integral part of their child's education and growth process through a number of educational and social activities. Through the Male Involvement Initiative, we hope to provide our Head Start fathers and families a variety of opportunities for personal growth and awareness. The following is a list of initiatives and time frames that outline the Program's Male Involvement efforts. These initiatives, in addition to new initiatives, will continue to develop as new volunteers become involved with the program.
- Male Involvement Committee Meetings: Committee meetings will be scheduled throughout the year to encourage fathers and significant others to be a part of the male initiative planning. New initiatives, along with special projects and activities, will be discussed and planned as applicable.
- Literacy: Through the establishment of a magazine library in each classroom, children will have an opportunity to choose from a variety of magazines to take home for their fathers or significant others to read to them. Children will be able to choose magazines that they feel their dads would like to read to them. Participation will be tabulated and submitted to the Assistant Director on a monthly basis.
- Newsletter/Community Calendar: A monthly male involvement newsletter/calendar will be included in the Parent News to Know distribution in an effort to inform fathers and significant others of a number of opportunities and areas of growth. Fathers are encouraged to submit special interest articles that they would like to share with the program.
- Male Involvement Survey: A survey will be distributed to all fathers and significant others in an effort to collect information that will assist the program in the planning process. Results will be tabulated to define specific interests and potential male involvement volunteers will be identified.
- "Dad" Day in the Center: Specific days will be scheduled within each Center Based classroom to encourage Fathers and significant others to come to the classroom to volunteer and spend time with their child. Fathers and significant others will be encouraged by the staff to become involved in the classroom throughout the year. Dad's days will be listed in the male involvement monthly calendar and take place every two weeks.
- "Share Your Trade Day": Fathers and significant others will also be encouraged by the staff to bring their trade or hobby to the classroom to share with the children. This will present the education staff with the opportunity to tie literacy and word recognition into each activity.
- Parent Training: Parent training opportunities will be made available in the areas of male involvement and literacy as appropriate. Educational articles and informative web sites will also be included within the monthly newsletter on a regular basis.
- Annual Kite Fly: An annual Kite Fly will be conducted each year for the children and families during the month of March or April. All family members are invited to participate in this event.
- Special Activities/Events: Male involvement volunteers will have opportunities to plan and organize special activities and events as opportunities arise.