The Down to Earth Dad®








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A “Dad-Involvement” ‘System’ that Spotlights Your BEST Dads and Makes Them ‘Famous Mentors’ For the Rest to Copy—With Almost ZERO Effort on Your Part!”

Exciting New, But Already Proven ‘System’ That'll Get YOUR Dads DEEPLY Involved

You’ve got some great men connected to the children in your program.  They “give their all” for their kids every day.  Some even work 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet.  They volunteer, and you know their names.   But… you’ve also got some “Daddy Duds” who need to open their eyes” and see how vitally important they are to their kids’ lives.

I’m going to tell you how to get MANY more men involved. 

But first – I need to share this “sobering” truth:  No matter what you tell them, SOME of your dads are never gonna “GET IT.”   Not today.   Not tomorrow.   Maybe never…

 “…THE UNPLEASANT, UNCOMFORTABLE "SECRET" RESISTED BY SO MANY HEAD START PROFESSIONALS and other EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS (especially those who are “new” to the game) IS THAT EVEN WHEN YOU "ASK MEN TO GET INVOLVED,” YOU WON’T GET A BOATLOAD OF THEM LINING UP AND DIVING IN TO VOLUNTEER…”

…And that’s a shame, because 1 out of 6 kids has no significant man at home.  Trouble is, 85% of early childhood educators are women – GOOD women and good teachers.  But that means about 1 in 10 kids aren’t getting ANY significant male involvement at home or at school!!

None of this would matter except for THIS fact…

“…Father Involvement Matters as Much as Life and Death…”

Fatherhood research over the past 25 years is crystal clear that children without involved fathers are more likely to grow up poor, get into trouble with the law, abuse drugs and alcohol, become a teen parent, drop out of school, and commit suicide (the suicide rate for kids without involved dads is 10 times higher than other children).

 You have HIGH EXPECTATIONS for your fathers.  But let’s be honest – getting men “involved” can be like PULLING TEETH.  Aren’t you frustrated with your father involvement “results?”  I mean, you knock yourself out trying to get men in the door – and to stay long enough to do something meaningful.  In truth, you’ve had some success.  (But nothing to write home about.)  You offered the men food (probably pizza), and that worked... sort of.  But you’d like to see more (on-going) male involvement.   Correct?

You’d like MANY MORE DADS involved, like that one ‘Super Dad’ who volunteered all the time.  He was so good you put him on ‘Policy Council’.  Remember him?
 

And then there was that GRANDPA who came in just about daily… he was like a GIANT MAGNET and the children were like little metal shavings drawn to him…. clinging to his legs when walked into the classroom!!   …He was great!!  (But he’s gone.)  He left when his granddaughter left the program.

Let me ask you this – Wouldn’t it be great to see that kind of enthusiasm in a Grandpa or Dad again?

You took this job to make a difference.  And you have made “SOME” difference.  But you were hoping for a bigger “splash” with father involvement, right?  Here’s one of the things you’ve learned:

“…‘Reading’ Men Is Difficult...”

Let’s face it – men are STRANGE creatures.  And it can be tough getting them to do “exactly” what you want.  Just ask any wife.  Or girlfriend.  Or mother.   Or Male Involvement person, principal, or program director!

You’ve “brainstormed” ideas to get dads more involved.  Some ideas worked (for a little while)… and others fell flatter than “poorly flipped pancakes” that landed on the kitchen floor and had to be scraped up and thrown away.  Then the dog ate what was left over.  Goodbye great idea.  We live and learn.  “Woof, woof!”

Then there was your “Dad’s Group.”  Let’s be honest:  It fizzled.  You tried to get those guys interested, and you cranked father involvement up BIG TIME (four about four months) … but the group vaporized….. disappeared……   Made you wonder if men can stick to anything at all.  Yes, men are busy, but you KNOW they could (and should!) get more involved, for the sake of their child.  And you’re justified feeling a bit “angry” about the situation.  Let me ask you this question…..

Don’t you sometimes feel you could just slap some sense into those men?  Or reach out with L-O-N-G arms and “wring their un-involved necks?”  Or HUG them??  Or SOMETHING?!!  (By the way, please don’t slap the dads or wring their necks… they really DO want to be involved….they just don’t know “exactly” HOW.   (And besides, somebody very small loves them VERY MUCH!) 

“...But I Know How to ‘Read’ Your Dads...!”

How can I say I can “READ” your dads?  Do I have a big crystal ball?  Do I consider myself a “seer”? 

HardlyI know how to “READ” your dads because I WRITE them all the time!  Let me explain:  I have long conversations with dads by phone, when I interview them each month. 

…They talk to me – they tell me amazing things.  Then I WRITE ABOUT what they tell me, creating “feature articles” based on our conversations.  Other men READ these articles about YOUR men.  (Your “community partners” eat these articles up, too.)

I’ve personally talked with THOUSANDS of fathers connected to early childhood programs, and I've interviewed HUNDREDS of them.  I want to interview YOUR dads.

HERE’S MY OFFER:   I will interview your dads.  I will write about them in magazine-quality professionally edited articles, and I will send the articles to you (and you make copies and give them out to your families and community partners) – ALONG WITH The Down To Earth Dad monthly newsletter, now in its eight year of publication.

  • I’ll ALSO publish the articles (with PICTURES of your dads and kids) on a WEBSITE custom-made JUST FOR YOUR PROGRAM OR SCHOOL.

  • I will “quote” your dads the way a journalist does (I, and my team, are seasoned journalists.   I will make your dads “famous” within your program or school community for one thing:  Being Dads!! Doesn’t that sound EASY on your end?  It is!!  I do all the work FOR you!

  • It’s called the National Dads Matter!™ Project, and I want to CUSTOMIZE and LOCALIZE it for YOUR Program!

  • You give me the “Go-Ahead,” and MY TEAM INTERVIEWS, FEATURES, and SPOTLIGHTS YOUR MEN!!  Here’s how it works for the MANY programs (and schools) already using this:

  • In a Nutshell I am inviting you to implement my TRIED, TESTED, and PROVEN National Dads Matter! Project for your SCHOOL or PROGRAM and DRAMATICALLY increase your male involvement.  I’ve done it successfully for others, and I’ll do it for you, too.  I focus with GREAT ZEAL on ONE thing:  FATHER INVOLVEMENT in kids’ lives!’

My PROFESSIONAL experience gives me “Keen Insight” into the minds of the men in your program.  And I can tell you this:

“... I Will Get Your Men

DEEPLY Involved…”

And … I do 95% of the work FOR You!!!

It’s called the National Dads Matter!™ Project and it’s been “proven” to work in several other programs and schools, so it's not like you’re trying something that’s “untested.”  This really works!!!!!  Here’s how it works:  I Interview Your Dads and Make them FAMOUS within YOUR program and community – famous for ONE THING, that is:  Being Involved Dads!

Finally!  A totally “turn-key” ready-to-roll interactive resource that GETS DADS DIRECTLY INVOLVED in your statewide, regional, or local-level program, school, tribe, or community, even though past “male-involvement” efforts may have left you high and dry…. 

"I am overjoyed with what I am receiving.  My families here, with that first article, they were just blown awayThey were just totally floored

I am happy.  Ecstatic!  It has done wonders.  Since the newsletter came out, I did have an increase in my male involvement.  I have to attribute this to the Dads Matter! Project.  I'm getting more and more hits at our Head Start website too.  You have made my year because it has been such a struggle to get this (male involvement) program off the ground... I am very happy with the Dads Matter Project.  It shows that Dads really matter."

— Ranzer Turner, Family and Community Partnerships Manager, Lake Community Action Agency Head Start, FL

“…Puts Father Involvement on ‘Auto Pilot’ So You Can Go Home On Time…!”

Here’s the deal – You have PLENTY to do without worrying about operating a “full – blown” father involvement effort.  But the Dads Matter!™ Project puts father involvement on “AUTO PILOT” and you won’t EVER have to work late, or stress out because of this project.   The project makes father involvement a breeze!!!

This project is designed for LOCAL PROGRAMS like yours (and for larger programs and schools, too), and it’s SO EASY TO IMPLEMENT that you can pretty much ‘Turn It On,’ let it roll – and do its work – even while you’re at home!

Here’s the scoop – I, and my team of professionals, do ALL the work for you.  You do next to nothing.  Kick start this project, then sit back and watch it roll!  Somebody sends me (by email) a short list of dad’s names/phone numbers/and digital photos of the dads in time for publication, and I interview your men. 

 

"Causes Your Dads to Feel EMPOWERED -- To Be Involved!”

 “ I love the results that we are seeing with this project.  This may be the only place our featured Dads get positive press and acknowledgement of the important job they have.  As one featured father put it, Dang, I’m not just a father...  I'm a father with important things to say, and other fathers should listen.’  What a great boost to his ego this experience gave him!

  — Linda Bleything, Director, Douglass Community Services

Head Start, Hannibal, Missouri

     

The Dads Matter!™ Project is BY FAR THE Best Way to motivate the men in your program to get involved.  You’re letting them “SEE” OTHER DADS role-modeling what “involved Dads” look like.  That’s powerful.  I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and “go to work” for you...

I, and my team of interviewers and writers INTERVIEWS YOUR DADS connected to YOUR program or school EVERY MONTH.  A two-page article is created, and made available to you so that you can make as many copies of it as you need for your FAMILIES and community partners each month.

Let Me Ask You THIS…...

ARE YOU READY For DADS TO GET MUCH MORE INVOLVED????

 I’ve GOT something FOR you!!!

YOU GET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING... 

1.     YOU GET:  A Customized, LOCALIZED Publication Featuring
YOUR Dads

I’m talking about a “HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED” piece here…. customized to YOUR program or school and featuring YOUR DADS.  I, and my team of professional interviewers and writers, interviews your men by telephone—the dads, grandpas, and uncles connected to YOUR program or school, and FEATURES THEM each month in a customized article—complete with a photograph of the man and his children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews, if you send us a picture.  Having 12 pictures of 12 of your dads-and-children (and 12 professionally-done “Feature Articles” about the dads!) that’d create an awesome “visual” of how you’re “raising the bar” for father involvement, wouldn’t it?

These are first-run, primary source, professional quality articles, and the result is making your men famous within your program and community.  Here’s the deal... your featured dads become visible role models to the other men in your program.  Your dads become famous in their “circle”—their neighborhood.  Won’t your dads feel good when they become so visibly “famous?”

We’re talking about supremely well-done, professional newspaper-and-magazine-quality feature articles here, and they all feature YOUR men EVERY MONTH.  This specialty newsletter becomes a “hard copy” when you print it out on the computer printer each month and make as many copies as you like, and give them to all your families and community partners each month.

Here’s the deal – I, and my team of Father Involvement team of professional interviewers, journalists, editors, and writers do EVERYTHING for you  (except come up with the names and phone numbers, and photos of the dads.  Oh, and by the way….

“Done-For-You” means DONE for You!      

Neither you, nor any member of your staff does ANY of the interviewing or writing.  My team does EVERYTHING.   Here’s the bottom line:  Beyond emailing the names, phone numbers, and photos of your dads once a month, You Don’t Have To Do A Thing!!!  Here’s what else you get….

2.     YOU ALSO GET:  The Down To Earth Dad Monthly Newsletter

This is a VERY COOL publication which has been circulated to select programs, schools, and families nationally (and internationally) for the past eight year (see sample below)…..

EVERY MONTH, you’ll ALSO  receive, on your personalized web page, a clickable, viewable version of THE DOWN TO EARTH DAD NEWSLETTER, and any and all of your visitors to the website can view this newsletter each and every month of your subscription period.   

The Down To Earth Dad newsletter is the ORIGINAL “Dads” newsletter—for fathers, mothers, educators, practitioners, and child-and-family advocates and other professionals.   I, Patrick Mitchell, am known nationally (and internationally) as “The Down To Earth Dad.”  I publish and circulate the newsletter widely to preschool and child and family serving programs.  The Down To Earth Dad newsletter takes the “big picture” view of father involvement, with articles based on interviews I personally conduct with child development experts, psychiatrists, psychologists, medical doctors, authors, deans of colleges and universities, and researchers on the “BIG PICTURE” of father involvement.

+++++++TESTIMONIAL++++++

   "I just wanted to let you know that I read the September issue of “The Down to Earth Dad”.  This is a very good newsletter, critical for fathers.  It’s a very easy read and I think helpful.  Thanks for sharing!!"

   Tanya R. Howell, Program Specialist, Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

The Down To Earth Dad Newsletter Contains…

         A Feature Article such as The Power of Play, Early Literacy Enhancement, Dads Reading to Children, Storytelling, Role Modeling, and other topics.  It’s FILLED with valuable information.

         A Recipe (easy to follow) so dads can cook more often for their kids, and a “personal column” written by Patrick Mitchell, “The Down To Earth Dad.

         A Father-And-Family Activities section for dads, and your staff -- ideas to get father involvement happening at home and at school.

The Down To Earth Dad monthly newsletter is the “shell” publication into which your customized, localized Dads Matter!™ insert/supplemental publication (that features YOUR dads) is placed monthly, and you then distribute this newsletter-and-insert combo to your families and local community partners.

The four-page Down To Earth Dad publication is geared to the general topic of father involvement while the Dads Matter!™ insert is focused on the local picture—featuring YOUR dads—and how male involvement takes shape in relation to your local program efforts.   The two publications together (THE CUSTOM one I make for you, and The Down To Earth Dad newsletter) are a powerful combination of father-involvement information.

3.     YOU ALSO GET … A Custom Web Page to ‘SHOW OFF’ YOUR Dads!

Specialized, customized web pages are created and maintained just for your program to showcase your dad articles online.  Here’s what happens:  My team creates a Customized Web Page showcasing your dads (and grandfathers) connected to your LOCAL program or school.

This is important:  You don’t have to do anything except GO TO THE WEBSITE and click the “thumbnail” image of the article online at your very own National Dads Matter!™ Project web page... and VOILA! – You’re seeing a Feature Article about “that dad who drops his son off in the morning and then leaves,” or “that grandpa who comes in for lunch, or “That guy who never says anything to anyone.”  Won’t it be nice to “read up” on your dads once these articles are in print?

The customized articles, and the customized web page – created JUST FOR YOUR PROGRAM is created and maintained on the “Down To Earth Dad” website, and it’s accessible with a special “Username” and “Password.”   You can steer anybody to the web page, and you can LINK to the website from any other website you like (such as your main program or school website.)    

 I’m going to show you EXACTLY HOW to get MANY of your “In-active” dads fully engaged in your program, and how to hold your BEST ‘Dads and Grandfathers’ up as Mentors for the rest to copy…

I want to make your dads FAMOUS within YOUR PROGRAM or SCHOOL—among the other families, and in your community.  I want to make YOUR local dads FAMOUS for ONE thing:  Being Dads.  Being Invovled Dads specifically.  Isn’t it about time dads became famous for that important job – being a dad?   The fact is, other dads in your program (and moms) need to see who the GREAT men are who volunteer their time and help out.  And, you know of men who don’t help out much (or at all) at yoru program or school who are still great dads, and THEY need to have a voice too.  This project is their voice! And won’t it be nice to blast that “voice” out for your fathers, mothers, and community partners to “hear?”

Here’s a sampling of "Dad Quotes" from dads I’ve interviewed:

“The challenge is to help them to learn all the good things.  I guide them all I can and give them the right directions.”       

— Ben One Feather, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Head Start

“All kids need a Dad around.  Children learn no matter what.  They’re quick at learning.  Be there, and they’ll learn from you.”

— Sam Martin, Pueblo of Isleta Head Start, New Mexico

“Show them you love them and pay attention to them.  “We had a part in bringing them into this world, so it's up to us to take care of them.”   — Anthony Anderson, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Head Start

...And here’s what programs are saying…

"Since we began the Dads Matter! Project, not only has our father participation, but also all male involvement participation increased 15%.  Since implementing the Dads Matter Project we have begun having fathers volunteer their time.... The roster for participants is almost to full capacity!  So once again, thank you Patrick for including Isleta Head Start & Child Care families in the Dads Matter Project!  We hope to continue the Dads Matter Project for years to come."

Jacqueline Yalch, Social Service & Behavioral Health Case Manager, Pueblo of Isleta Head Start, NM

"As a result of the (Dads Matter) program, we have seen an increase in father involvement in our programs as well as throughout the agency.  For example, fathers are feeling more "at home" getting involved in their child's direct care at our agency, but also volunteering to complete projects and participate in additional events such as fundraising and our building renovation.  This project encourages interpersonal support and gets people together.”

  Tami Walters, Executive Director, Mighty Oaks Children’s Therapy Center, OR

“Through your Dads Matter! Project, and contributions to the Children’s Voice Magazine, you have remained a true champion for all America’s children and families.  The Child Welfare League of America appreciates your effort and support in addressing the needs of children, youth and families.”

Cassaundra Rainey, Director, Mid-Atlantic Region, The Child Welfare League of America, Washington, DC

     “I talked with Joshua Colon this morning and he was very excited about the (Dads Matter!™ Project) interview and article.  He asked me what I thought.  I told him I was almost in tears of joy when I read it.  He said he had shared it w/ his family.”

  Donald Johnson, Father Involvement Specialist

DCS Head Start, Roxbury, Massachusetts

      “It's (Dads Matter! Project) very cost-effective.  It’s good service, and you're using a very efficient way of bringing people in and empowering them to be part of the whole process. This project highlights the needs of fathers and helps create a support system for them.”

— Cynthia Thompson, Executive Director
Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon

Here’s what a Dad said...

 To have someone like you call me and ask me these questions, that’s a good feeling.   I’m not trying to be a great dad, but for someone to call you up and ask you about being a dad because they think you’re doing a good job, that’s a priceless feeling.

  Matthew Collins, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan


TRIED AND TESTED

The Dads Matter!™ Project is a tested and refined turn-key resource highlighting the important role fathers play in their children’s lives.  The Project is EASY to implement and operate; it’s ready-to-go and directly involves your dads and families right from the startThis is a tried and tested fatherhood strategy that really works!

I’ve Spent the Past Seven Years ‘Perfecting the Craft’ of interviewing Dads of PRESCHOOL CHILDREN.  So you’ll get top-notch customized, localized articles about YOUR dads that you can be PROUD of.  The truth is, your dads are BURSTING with information about their challenges and triumphs as fathers… but nobody is asking them to come forth with the information!!!   Nine times out of ten – no, 999 times out of a thousand – nobody asks the right questions, including, “What’s it like being the father of a preschool child?”

You only need four (4) things to get started, and HERE they are…  

1.      FamiliesMoms and dads (married or single) who have children in your program. The Dads Matter!™ Project can serve a minimum of 100 families.  There is no maximum number of families that can be served.  Many programs serve several hundred families.

2.  Dads to Interview Each MonthYou must have fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other "significant males" willing to be interviewed—by telephone—and featured in the customized, localized “Dads Matter!” publication each month.   These men are EASY to find, as everyone loves the idea of having their "Fifteen Minutes of Fame," so to speak.  The truth is, fathers, grandfathers, and uncles love being interviewed!  For many fathers, having the spotlight on them and their personal experiences relative to raising a preschool child is a wonderful experience.  The interviews are conducted by telephone, and they may call a Toll Free number to be interviewed by The Down To Earth Dad editorial team.  Our team of professional journalists and editors interviews these men for you every month!

3.        Community PartnersYour friends, such as local schools, agencies, physicians, hospitals, child-and-family advocacy programs, counselors, and others will enjoy receiving copies of the articles about your dads.  It lets them know what you’re doing, and they can help recruit dads and families to your program.

4.        Project CoordinatorA volunteer dad, mom, or paid staff person is needed to communicate with The Down To Earth Dad editorial team monthly, to coordinate interviews and help with distribution.  The Project Coordinator does NOT have to interview anyone or do any writing.

Can you think of someone on your team who can send us a monthly email and photo?  That’s really all that we need in order to get started.  The Project Coordinator might assist in distributing/circulating the Dads Matter! supplemental publication and The Down To Earth Dad monthly newsletter, depending on whether you involved “hard copies” in your chosen implementation version of the overall Dads Matter Project for your program or school.

Top 10 Reasons to get the Dads Matter!™ Project for Your Program

In addition to the benefits of quick start up, ease of implementation and maintenance, and utility as a sounding board to tell your community what you're doing, here are additional reasons to get the project for your program or school:

1.     The Project Is Meaningful

By implementing the Dads Matter!™ Project, you are affirming that your program or school involves fathers.  This will be much appreciated by the fathers connected to the children in your program, and they will show their gratitude by participating.  Providing opportunities for your children to have their fathers more involved in their early lives is a great gift indeed; it is a gift from the heart. 

The Dads Matter! Project is a tool you can use to reach out to families with a tangible, tested resource to help children get “significant male involvement” in their early education and lives. 

By implementing this simple project, you are establishing your program as uniquely dedicated to enhancing children's preschool experience.

Children love their mothers and their fathers, and thoughtful parents realize that in today's world, creating special occasions for dads to be more involved-at school and at home-is supremely important to their child's cognitive, social, and emotional well being.  

Fathers long to provide all the good things they can to their children.  They sense they are valued, important contributors, and the Dads Matter! Project celebrates that reality.  Sometimes, work and other obligations keep dads from making the kinds of contributions they want to make.  You can help men get more involved at school, and at home, via this project—for the sake of the children you care for, and for the sake of your program or school’s growth and prosperity.

2.       Harnesses the Energy of Father Involvement

Father Involvement is a hot topic in America right now, as the benefits of that involvement become more widely known in the wake of two decades of intensive research. You can HARNESS the power of father involvement by embracing and implementing this ready-to-go “Done-For-You” project.   You can start to harness, or continue to harness, the energy of father involvement, and focus it on YOUR program with the expectation of positive results for your program, and for the children you serve.

A famous study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 1999), revealed that children do better in school and enjoy school more when their fathers are highly involved in their child's school.  The National Dads Matter! Project leverages the reality that kids do better when Dads are involved, and gets their Dads involved early.

3.       The "I Know That Guy!" Factor

The best way to spread good news and get people more involved is to show them someone they know who is involved.  The Dads Matter!™ Project does this well.  By featuring your Dads (and Grandpas) via this project, and by creatively making the elements of the project available to families outside of your current population of enrolled families (a.k.a. a few copies to your community partners), men connected to your program and community will invariably recognize each other-by name, by face, or both-and your program will benefit by this positive association of their relationship with, or recognition of, this other man.

4.       "Raises the Bar" for Parent Participation

A growing body of research shows that when early childhood education programs, including Head Start, state their expectations for father involvement right from the start, during intake/enrollment, dads participate more during the school year.  By utilizing the Dads Matter!™ Project -- a plug-and-play father involvement resource that demonstrably involves fathers in their child's school-you are effectively "raising the bar" for father participation and you're implicitly setting a high standard for father involvement at your school.  This, in turn, means you'll have fathers who feel involved.  You will have no shortage of dads to help anytime you need them to get something done.  This project gets dads involved, plain and simple.

5.       Promotes Your Events

A short Calendar of Events on "page 2" of your Dads Matter! publication can be included each month (as an option), and you can use this space to promote what's going on at your school or program.  Invariably, friends of your current parents will find out about your special events because of the calendar of events section, and some of these parents will attend your special events.  The media might show up, too. (HINT: Be sure and send a copy of the Dads Matter!™ publication to your community partners and the news media.  This way, everyone will know what you're doing.)

6.       Promotes Your Program

Successful programs need a constant influx of new families coming through the door and calling on the phone in order to maintain a healthy program.  This project effectively "sells" your program or school as a valuable place for children to be.  Not all families qualify, but doing something exciting like implementing this project, keeps the excitement in the air, locally, for being in your program or school.

“Dads On The Wall”…  You can showcase the articles featuring your dads (the monthly Dads Matter!™ publication) on a wall at one of your sites, perhaps in the entry area of your building.  Over the course of the school year you can amass and display numerous Dad-oriented feature articles appearing in the Dads Matter!™ publication.  These can be normal-sized 8 x 11" pages, or blown-up 11" x 17" pages for easier readability from afar.

7.      Generates a Re-Usable Resource 

You'll end up with 12 personalized, customized articles all featuring the parents of your preschool students, and all referring to your school.  These "living articles" can be displayed, almost indefinitely, at your school for years to come-as flyers or posters on the wall, showing everyone your program or school is truly father-friendly.  To put it another way, the articles generated by the Dads Matter!™ Project become a re-usable resource that you can use in many ways now, and in the future.

8.      It's Easy To Implement

The Dads Matter!™ Project is an easy-to-implement resource helping men become more directly involved in their children’s lives.  The Project also helps program staff and families reach out to fathers and families with the message that father involvement matters. 

Children benefit from implementation of the Dads Matter! Project because the project makes father involvement an ongoing commitment and thereby commits good men to interacting more meaningfully in their children’s lives. This is a turn-key, ready-to-go project, and my team takes care of the main details, managing everything behind-the-scenes—including all the web components.  All you do is provide the names of the fathers to interview each month and communicate with us, and the program practically runs itself. Say the word, "Go," and The Down To Earth Dad, LLC team of professional father involvement writers and editors will interview the first dad, and we're up and running!

You are guided every step of the way! (In fact, there's not much for you to do at all!)

9.      Have something wonderful to show the “Federal Reviewers”

If there is someone, or some entity, that you might like to “impress” from time to time, with the fact of your dedication to father involvement/ "male involvement", the Dads Matter! Project fits the bill nicely! 

"I just wanted to let you know that I read the September issue of “The Down to Earth Dad”.  This is a very good newsletter, critical for fathers.  It’s a very easy read and I think helpful.  Thanks for sharing!!"

    Tanya R. Howell, Program Specialist, Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

10.    This Is an Exciting Project!

Spotlights Your Dads...

The National Dads Matter!™ Project highlights the Dads themselves -- YOUR Dads -- putting them in the spotlight and showcasing their thoughts, challenges, and triumphs.  The Project can also make dads and moms aware of relevant programs, services, and resources that you offer, or which you’d like your families to know about..  The Dads Matter!™ Project supports your current male involvement efforts and improves and sustains father involvement in your program.

Piloted, Tested, and PROVEN Successful

The National Dads Matter!™ Project has been piloted, thoroughly tested, and refined for five years at various pre-schools, public schools, and child-and-family advocacy programs, states, and outreach programs throughout the country.  The Project has been an overwhelming success among Dads and Moms connected to schools and programs ready to celebrate the challenges and triumphs of fatherhood (and grandfather-hood) through the eyes and words of dads.

How The Project Works…

The Dads Matter!™ Project is easy to implement and operate -- it's virtually ready-to-go and directly involves your dads (and grandpas, if you like!) right from the start.  The Dads Matter!™ Project leverages an existing resource known as The Down To Earth Dad monthly newsletter, currently in its sixth year of publication.  (See a sample issue of The Down To Earth Dad below).

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The Down To Earth Dad newsletter is made available to your families, staff, and community partners along with a customized, localized monthly publication customized specifically to YOUR program or school, called Dads Matter!™ (See a sample issue the Dads Matter!™ publication below).

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The Dads Matter! publication created just for you is highly customized and specifically tailored to YOUR specific population of fathers and families. Professional journalists and editors from The Down To Earth Dad, LLC, based in Couer d'Alene, Idaho, interview your dads by telephone and create original feature articles spotlighting your fathers each month. These articles are then featured in your localized Dads Matter! publication in tandem with The Down To Earth Dad newsletter. 

The two publications together -- The Down To Earth Dad and Dads Matter!™ -- provide a powerful one-two punch of vital information in the "Big Picture" of father involvement (facts, research, articles based on interviews with experts), and father involvement in the "Local Picture" (articles featuring interviews with YOUR dads connected to YOUR program.)

The Project Philosophy

Dads Need Access To Other Dads...

Moms matter supremely.  Children need their mothers like fish need water.  Without moms we'd be sunk! But children need Dads, too, and Dads need access to good information in order to be the best parents they can be.  Vital information, programs, services, and resources are often underutilized because fathers often are not informed of the existence of the programs and services, and/or they do not always feel welcome to participate.

In a study of 3500 Early Head Start teaching staff and fathers, 96% of teachers felt they had invited fathers to become involved in a specific event happening at their center, but only 43% of the fathers believed they had been invited.  Fathers need extra encouragement and highly specific information in order to engage fully in their child's preschool experience.  The Dads Matter!™ Project helps fathers become more directly engaged.

Fathers of preschool children in particular need access to resources, including other fathers from whom they can gather vital information, and with whom they can share common experiences.  A father who is well informed and has a network of support available to him is able to positively impact the future of his family.  Your fathers will benefit from having a unique forum of their own; specifically, the forum the Dads Matter!™ Project provides.  By the way, moms like reading about what the Dads have to say! 

Brings Fathers Together

Fathers are often needlessly isolated from one another and do not typically share activities, their stories, joys, frustrations, and triumphs in parenting their child.  And yet, they have much in common and much to offer each other.  Men who are parents are too often the silent keepers of a wealth of unique knowledge and support that can be shared via this project.

Men who are parents share a common experience; namely, striving to be the best Dads they can be for their children.  Fathers share unique experiences that can, and should be shared whenever possible.  Public interest in fostering fathers' involvement is increasing because of the recognized benefits of fathers' contributions to their families.  However, some fathers feel they are simply unwelcome and inadequate as parents (Batten & Stowell, 1996; Knitzer & Bernard, 1997).  Part of the solution lies within our programs and schools, specifically, and with social programs generally, but this is only part of the answer.  Parents need to step up to the plate and help create their own innovative support programs to better facilitate their own involvement in their children's early education experience.  Dads, specifically, need to step forward and participate.  The Dads Matter!™ Project is a sturdy platform Dads can step up onto in order to see what's going on and more fully participate.  

The Dads Matter!™ Project for families and community partners helps fathers become more directly involved in building their own network of support and encouragement in a manner that allows for closer communication between fathers and families, and furthermore, among fathers, families, and your community partners.

Satisfies the Need for “Resource Awareness” at your School or Program

Parents of young children aren't always aware of the resources available to them in their community.  That's where the monthly Calendar of Events (specific to father-friendly events) fits into the Dads Matter!™ insert that we customize for you each month.  In addition to featuring/highlighting your Dads every month, a key purpose of The Dads Matter!™ Project is to provide information and resources-including the valuable human resource manifest in the real-life experiences of other fathers, and to elevate the important role that fathers play when they're actively engaged in their children's lives.

Celebrates Fatherhood...

The Dads Matter!™ Project celebrates fatherhood and encourages fathers to get involved and stay involved in their children's lives. This is accomplished by showcasing individual Dads' stories about parenting their child in monthly feature articles based on exclusive interviews with fathers conducted by The Down To Earth Dad editorial team, and the subsequent publishing of feature stories based on those interviews in your own local version of the Dads Matter!™ publication. 

The Project is a tool that helps Dads get actively involved in their children's early education experience and in obtaining information about programs, services, and resources in their state and community.

FAQs—“Frequently Asked Questions”

Q – “This looks like a lot of work.  How much effort will I personally need to put into this?”

A – It IS a lot of work – but MY TEAM does most of the work!  My team of expert interviewers, writers, editors, programmers, web designers, and support staff do ALL the hard stuff in the background, so…

…. you really ONLY do THREE SIMPLE THINGS:

1)  Send me (by email), the name and phone number of a dad or grandpa to be interviewed.  Many programs spend a little time initially putting together a “short list” of men for my team to interview – say, six dads – and then they do nothing more for six months.

2)  Give out any “hard copies” of the customized, localized “Dads Matter!" publication, featuring your dads.  You can do this by “mailing” them out to families and community partners, or simply by making stacks of them available every month at one or more locations.   Easy!

3)  Point people to your customized web page (the one we BUILD for you) to show off your dads.  You get the web page no matter what; however, you don’t have to steer anyone to the page if you don’t want to.  But you CAN, and it’s really cool.

Q – What if it just doesn’t work for us.  Can we get our money back?

A – Yes, you can.  See my guarantee, below. But I'm not worried – because I know you will LOVE this project!

IMPORTANT: ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER of Programs Can Participate

Customization and personal service are hallmarks of this project, so I’ve drawn the line at 20 Participating Schools-and-Programs for the 2007-2008 school year.  (And Nine (9) are ALREADY SIGNED UP!)  So… if you like what you see here, “waiting” is probably not a good idea.

 As attractive as the National Dads Matter!™ Project is, I know that only about 10% of programs receiving this information about the Project will respond.  Although that’s okay with me from a general project-promotion standpoint, it still bothers me.  That’s because I know how much preschools, and other child-and-family-serving programs—at the national, state, and local program/school levels—benefit from this project.   I receive positive emails from program directors and parent involvement specialists frequently, and I talk to them on the phone.  I see them personally when I visit their programs, and I feel the pride of the dads when I interview them.  Many program directors tell me what Ranzer Turner at Lake Community Action Head Start in Florida told me: 

“I am overjoyed with what I am receiving.  My families here, with that first article, they were just blown away.  They were just totally floored.  I am happy.  Ecstatic!  It has done wonders.  Since the newsletter came out, I did have an increase in my male involvement.” 

Because of this, I just hate the thought of a preschool program, school, or other child-and-family-serving program NOT getting the National Dads Matter!™ Project for their local program because of some error or omission in my explanation.  That’s why I asked several programs for input to try and figure out why you might say “no” to my offer.  After crunching the data, I came up with only three possible reasons:

Here are some common “initial” worries that some people have:

       “WORRY” # 1…    “I don’t know if our dads will ‘Get Into’ this project.”

Not all your dads will get into this project.  However, MANY of them will.  The Dads Matter!™ Project has worked wonders for some programs, getting men DEEPLY involved.

Some of your men will be “interviewed.”  Others will “read about” (and see pictures of) the dads who get interviewed.  The point is that both groups of dads—the ones interviewed (the “mentors”) and the ones who read the articles (the “mentored”)—will benefit. 

Also, remember, there’s a 100% Money-Back Guarantee for all un-used months.  If it turns out that you have “regrets” that will only be eliminated by getting your “money back,” then so be it.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

Here’s what one father said:

"When I first started getting the newsletter I had some serious reservations about it.  But after I started reading the articles I just found the stories about men in my situation to be really beneficial.  Other guys in my situation, they go through the same things as me.  It's encouraging to read the articles and it's just great."

 -- Matthew Robbins, Father, Post Falls, ID

“WORRY” # 2…   “This looks GREAT, but I’m not sure we can afford it.”

Since you determine how many months to get, you decide how much to pay.  Consider “starting” with three months, then “finding” more funds later on, to keep things rolling. (It’s a better deal, by far, to get 12 months up front, but you can hop, skip, and jump your way through the project – by funding it one-step-at-a-time.)

NOTE:   There are a few different ways to operate the National Dads Matter! Project, and cost depends on the number of families and/or community partners your organization, program, or school is chartered to serve.   It is likely that you WILL be able to afford this project at some level of implementation.

The other thing is – this is a valuable project, and a good investment in your families.  Here’s what a state program director said about the “value” of the Dads Matter! Project:

“It's (Dads Matter! ™ Project) very cost-effective.  It’s good service, and you're using a very efficient way of bringing people in and empowering them to be part of the whole process. This project highlights the needs of fathers and helps create a support system for them.”

—Cynthia Thompson, Executive Director, Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon

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Here’s another “value” comment…

"I would like to thank you for providing our program with the opportunity to be part of this father-friendly program.  Since we began the Dads Matter! Project, not only has our father participation, but also all male involvement participation increased 15%.  Since implementing the Dads Matter Project we have begun having fathers volunteer their time…. The roster for participants is almost to full capacity!  So once again, thank you Patrick for including Isleta Head Start & Child Care families in the Dads Matter Project!  We hope to continue the Dads Matter Project for years to come."

Jacqueline Yalch, Social Service & Behavioral Health Case Manager, Pueblo of Isleta Head Start, NM

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Plus, you can always get a REFUND for unused months.  Just let me know by the 15th of the month prior to the months you want to cancel, and I’ll send you a refund for your unused months.  So – you’ve got a guarantee for success!

   “WORRY” # 3…  “This project will ‘leave out’ our moms—we’re supposed to include both parents.”

By involving fathers in children’s lives, you take some of the ‘load’ off the moms.  Also, moms like reading “about the dads.”   Moms like seeing what makes men “tick.”  I remember one mom who cried when I talked to her, saying she had no idea how much dads matter, and that she now wants to get her child’s father (whom she doesn’t like) more involved for her child’s sake.

Besides – if your moms “just can’t stomach the project” (doubtful!!), and you need to cancel, there's always my guarantee for  refund.

“…This Investment In Your Dads Fits Your Budget Because YOU Pick How Much to Pay…”   

You'll get the entire "National Dads Matter!™ Project" customized for your program or school.

  • Your very own password-protected Customized, LOCALIZED Publication to showcase (and show off!) your men.

  • A Custom Web Page to ‘SHOW OFF’ YOUR Dads!

PLUS THIS BONUS for the FIRST 7 Programs or Schools to enroll by December 15, 2009…

100 FREE “hard copies” of The Down To Earth Dad newsletter each month (this is a $2400.00 annual value all by itself! That’s quite a bonus, indeed!)

It will be a pleasure working with you!

Respectfully,

Patrick M. Mitchell

You’ll receive your BONUS 100 monthly “Hard copy” editions of The Down To Earth Dad monthly newsletter via “Snail Mail” – meaning U.S. Postal Mail—in your actual on-site postal mailbox.   NOTE:  This is the paper version of the newsletter and you can GIVE IT OUT or MAIL IT OUT to 100 of your families and/or community partners every month.

"I think our dads’ participation has risen at least 25%, since our program adopted the Dads Matter Project!!!  Last year our dads logged over 425 volunteer hours for the year-end.  I am very proud of them.  Every dad I have asked has agreed to be in the Dads Matter Newsletter… We love it!!!!!  We will be having a Federal Review soon.  We don't know the date yet, but I'm sure this will help in our father's involvement area.  Thanks again!!!"

— Mary Green, Family Services Coordinator, Sault Tribe Head Start; Sault Ste. Marie, MI

How To Get Yours Now

  Go and See the COST Options…

 

My Promise to You...

I have a very simple promise to make to you.  If the National Dads Matter!™ Project is not everything I've said it is, and if it doesn't for any reason get your dads energized and make people feel better about father involvement, I invite you to ask for a full and complete refund.

You've got 90 days to think about it, experiment with it, learn from it, and reach out to your men and families with the message that “Dads Matter!”  That should give you plenty of time to know one way or the other that the National Dads Matter!™ Project is one critical tool that boosts your father involvement success.

My Simple, No-Hassle, 2-Part Money-Back Guarantee:

1. If you're unhappy with the Project for any reason, just tell me within 30 days for a full and courteous refund.

2. If you implement the National Dads Matter!™ Project and you don't generate more enthusiasm for father involvement among your staff and parents who actually read the articles (featuring your dads’ stories), tell me that you want to cancel (just tell me 15 days prior to the month you want your cancellation effective by, within the first 90 days).

Fair?

I hope you think so, because I've been told it's more than fair.   If you don't like it, or it doesn't work at least as well as I've described, you get your money back.

Simple as that.

Guaranteed.

Get it Rolling Today!