Whether they know it or not, fathers have a superpower to make a positive difference in the education and social development of their children, says Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator Thomas Garner. His belief is so strong that Garner is on a mission to recruit as many fathers and father figures as he can to support Dallas ISD’s All Pro Dad program.
With that goal in mind, Thomas is gearing up for the All Pro Dad “Dad’s Draft” at 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Adelle Turner Elementary School 5505 S. Polk St., in Dallas.
“If you visualize or have ever seen an NFL draft with the props on stage, the helmets, the green room for the young men being drafted in the first round, it’s the same hype. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge campuses who want to take the program beyond the draft and into their campuses to give men the opportunity to be leaders,” Garner said.
All Pro Dad is a national program with 1,000 chapters across 42 states that inspires men to embrace their roles as dads and husbands. It also provides guidance, support, and practical tips on parenting and family life through training, events, and emails. To hear about one father’s experience, click here.
“They get an opportunity to become a better husband, a better man, a better leader in the communities we serve,” Garner said of the participating fathers. “That’s the most gratifying thing I’ve learned from conversations with other dads in our programs. Of course, this is not a program for just African American men, but when you peel back the numbers, realize the number of homes in our community that lack fathers, and read the newspaper and see what’s happening with Black males, it’s important for us to serve.”
Calvin Grigsby, a counselor who works with elementary students at Barbara B. Manns High School and Middle School DAEP, believes an involved dad or father figure gives kids a role model, someone they can look up to, someone who is already established. “A man who has achieved some goals the student may have in mind for himself can guide the student on a path to success down the road,” Grigsby said.
Any campus can create a chapter with a $100 annual fee that covers the cost of training for the campus coach, a link to the All Pro Dad website, daily email affirmations, and a supportive network of men on other campuses. Interested campuses, fathers, or father figures who would like to join the 2023-2024 fall draft can contact Garner at (972) 925-5489 or (214) 802-1587 for more information. To find a chapter, visit allprodadchapters.com/chapters.