Early Childhood Professional Development

Staff Training, Keynotes, and Early Literacy Family Nights

About Patrick Mitchell

The Down To Earth Dad® Founder Patrick Mitchell is a thought leader and trusted authority on father involvement, and on oral storytelling to enhance literacy and build capacity to celebrate individual, family, and community history, heritage, and culture.

His entertaining, passionate keynote addresses and trainings for educators, child-and-family advocates, practitioners, and parents are met with enthusiasm by audiences large and small.

National, state, and local education associations and organizations—including the U.S. Head Start Bureau, the Child Welfare League of America, U.S. Child Care Bureau, college and university symposia, and individual early-childhood programs and elementary schools across America—invite Patrick to speak at their conferences, train their teams, and facilitate their parent and family nights.

Three favorite topics:  father/male involvementstorytelling for early-literacy enhancement, school readiness, and parent, family, and community engagement, and staff wellness and mental health via stress reduction in support of work-life balance.

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 is founding director of The National Dads Matter!™ Project for programs and schools.  He lives with his family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

See some of Patrick’s recent and upcoming events.

Keynote Address

Ask Patrick Mitchell to keynote your next early childhood or parent engagement conference, or to train (and entertain!) during breakout sessions. Upbeat. Positive. FUN!

Family Storytelling Night

Host a high-impact parent engagement and early literacy (or  family literacy ESL-ELL) event that your parents will call “the most fun we ever had at a family night!”

Evening With Dads

Get your dads, grandpas, and other special guys sharing parenting challenges and triumphs (and good food!) in your lunchroom or classroom.  Patrick Mitchell facilitates.

Professional Development

Patrick’s entertaining staff trainings for programs and schools boost father engagement, reduce staff stress, team-build, and facilitate goal setting.  Lots of laughter!

Book a Keynote Address

Patrick Mitchell’s keynotes — at early childhood and parent-engagement conferences — entertain and inform with cool audio-visuals (dancing is optional!), and solid information.

Lively interactions including a father involvement segment Patrick calls How To Get Men to Do Absolutely ANYTHING — at School and Home! (a.k.a. “How to Talk to Men so they’ll Listen”) get everybody engaged in a respectful, entertaining way.

Patrick’s keynotes are customized to match conference themes.

Left to his own devices, Patrick’s upbeat, positive keynotes often include father engagement, staff/parent stress reduction, and celebrating and developing individual and group visions and goals — and lots of opportunities for laughter!

Patrick Mitchell Trains Early Childhood Educators on the Island of Saipan for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System

Head Start Staff Training

Patrick’s entertaining staff trainings for individual programs and schools across America help teams optimize father engagement for the sake of children’s enhanced cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Cool audio-visuals, lively conversation, role-playing activities, learning *exactly* how to talk to men so they’ll listen, father-engagement goal setting, team bonding, and staff stress reduction are components of these customized trainings.

LAUGHTER is also a big part of these events! 

Your team will…

  • Learn tried, tested, and perfected ways to get, and keep, men optimally engaged all year.
  • Learn and practice stress-reduction strategies.
  • Build stronger bonds with other team members.
  • Share visions and set goals for enhanced dad engagement.
  • Say this was the most FUN they ever had at a training!

Family Storytelling Night

Family Storytelling Night® is a highly interactive family literacy and family engagement EVENT hosted in your lunchroom, gym, or classroom.

Parents learn a storytelling method (without books) to enhance  literacy nightly at home all year long, and they’ll celebrate individual, family, and community history, heritage, culture, and language along the way.

This high impact parent-and-family engagement event:

  • Enhances early literacy—at school and home.
  • Is perfect for ELL/ESL family literacy nights, too.
  • Motivates your parents to attend your future events!
  • Bolsters school readiness.
  • Boosts parent-and-child-together (PACT) time.
  • Provides colorful make-and-take projects for each family.
  • Celebrates parent-and-family engagement and literacy enhancement for Head Start, EHS, and elementary school families.
  • Presents great photo-ops!
  • Has your parents calling it the BEST family event ever!

Evening With Dads

Evening With Dads™ is an interactive event for your dads, grandpas, and other special guys.  It happens in your gym, classroom, or other meeting space.

You’ll serve food (of course)! 

Your men will share parenting challenges and triumphs and share/learn cool parent-engagement strategies.

The Down To Earth Dad® Founder Patrick Mitchell personally facilitates with solid information, good humor, cool audio-visuals, stress reduction,and storytelling activities.

Dads learn new ways to bolster their children’s early literacy and cognitive, social, and emotional development.

You’ll build your core group of dads by hosting this event.  These guys will help plan future events!

This event will…

  • Get your dads more visibly engaged.
  • Kick-start (or re-kick-start) your Dads’ Group.
  • Inspire your men to volunteer more.
  • Motivate your men to attend your future events.

Ask Patrick if he’s available for your chosen date, and consider booking a second event—a Down To Earth Dad® staff training—for the next morning.

The National Dads Matter! Project™

The National Dads Matter! Project (NDMP) spotlights your best men and makes them famous mentors, boosting father engagement across your service area, and raising the bar for dad involvement.

The NDMP editorial team interviews and features nine of your men annually (one man a month).

You’ll also receive nine LARGE, framed wall posters featuring your men every month—including pictures of your dads.

This tried, tested, and proven-effective done-for-you parent engagement and dad-recruitment resource is EASY to implement, needing less than 30 minutes per week to manage on your end.

  • GIANT posters, articles, and pictures of your men monthly.
  • Raises the bar for father engagement program-wide.
  • Spotlights father engagement at your program for all to see.
  • Each man gets his “fifteen minutes of fame” for being a DAD!
  • EASY to implement; this is a totally turn-key operation requiring minimal time commitment on your end.

Parent Engagement Articles

Get 48 done-for-you father-engagement articles (many with artwork) emailed to you — at the rate of four articles per month for 12 months — to cut-and-paste into your *own* parent newsletters and fliers.

This is a “best-of” series of primary source father-engagement articles culled from 14+ years of the acclaimed Down To Earth Dad publication for programs, schools, and parents: Father-And-Family Activities article, Dad-To-Dad column, a food recipe, and a father-engagement feature article.

  • Makes doing your parent newsletters super EASY.
  • Celebrates male engagement: Helps dads “talk the talk” and “walk the walk” of engaged fatherhood.
  • The articles are mom-friendly, and your team will enjoy them too.

Recent Blog Posts

I encourage you check out the Dad Dialogue Blog! And add a comment; after all, YOU are on the front lines of parent-and-family engagement, and your wisdom is valued!
The Most Amazing Years ...Preschool!
Father Involvement

The Most Amazing Years …Preschool!

 by Patrick Mitchell Preschool children are much more competent, insightful, thoughtful, and curious than parents give them credit for, says Developmental Psychologist Michael Lamb, Ph.D., professor of psychology at

Read More »
Father Involvement

Coffee Shop Tots

 by Patrick Mitchell  This post I’d like to share my perspective on taking small children to coffee shops and other public places to show them the world while you simultaneously

Read More »

Contact The Down To Earth Dad Today!

Book a Father Engagement Keynote Address, Staff Training, or PFCE Early Literacy Family Night, and Order Dad Involvement Tools for Your Early Childhood Program to Increase Parent Engagement all Year Long!

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