Our History

The Down To Earth Dad® was founded by Patrick Mitchell in 1999 to help programs, schools, and parents optimize father engagement to enhance children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development—in the early years and beyond.

Patrick’s work helping early-childhood programs, educators, practitioners, schools, and parents reduce negative outcomes associated with father absence, and boost positive outcomes associated with father presence, has taken place at the forefront of the father-involvement movement.

How We’ve Grown!

More than two decades of providing high-impact keynote addresses, staff trainings, and parent-and-family-engagement resources to thousands of educators, practitioners, and parents—at hundreds of venues across America and across the ocean—have evolved awesome outreach opportunities beyond the scope of father engagement.

Today, programs and schools are as likely to book a Patrick Mitchell Family Storytelling Night® early-literacy enhancement and school readiness event for their parents as they are to reserve a Down To Earth Dad father-involvement staff training for their teams, and stress-reduction keynotes and trainings in support of staff mental health and wellness and work-life balance.

Programs and organizations like to mix-and-match to achieve the right balance for their event; for example, a Patrick Mitchell keynote address on father engagement, a breakout session on stress management, and a workshops on early-literacy enhancement via storytelling.

State and local education associations, and individual programs and schools across America are as inclined to ask The Down To Earth Dad to entertain moms and dads at their parent-engagement conferences as they are to invite Patrick to provide professional development trainings.

Nowadays, programs and schools are as likely to spotlight their fathers via the National Dads Matter! Project™ as they are to ask Patrick to customize multi-day outreaches including early literacy events for parents, father-engagement trainings for staff, and family literacy fun nights for English language learner (ELL) families.

American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) national and regional organizations including the National Indian Head Start Directors Association (NIHSDA)—and individual tribal early childhood programs—invite Patrick to speak at their conferences, train teaching staff, and provide Family Storytelling Nights in gyms, lunchrooms, and at powwows.

See some of Patrick’s recent and upcoming events.

About the Founder

Patrick Mitchell has inspired thousands of policymakers, teachers, and parents for 20+ years with humorous, passionate messages on father engagement, early-literacy enhancement, and other topics helping educators and programs solve problems and meet parent-and-family engagement goals. 

He’s a thought leader and trusted authority on father engagement, and on oral storytelling to enhance literacy and celebrate individual, family, and community history, heritage, and culture.

National, state, and local education associations and child-and-family advocacy organizations—including the U.S. Child Care Bureau, Head Start Bureau, college and university symposia, individual Head Start programs and elementary schools—invite him to keynote and train.

He has appeared on national television as a fatherhood expert and on numerous radio programs across America, and he writes a column for Children’s Voice magazine published by the Child Welfare League of America in Washington, DC.

Patrick’s interactive Family Storytelling Night® events nationwide have boosted early literacy and family literacy, helped programs and schools celebrate  parent engagement by inspiring the sharing of individual, family, and community history, heritage, culture, and language via storytelling.

He’s founding director of The National Dads Matter!™ Project for programs and schools and former vice president of Idaho Child Abuse Response and Education (I.C.A.R.E). Patrick lives with his family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Contact The Down To Earth Dad Now!