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Boys Town Iowa’s Fathers Matter Event is a Collaborative Effort with Strong Community Support

Fathers Matter

Saturday, June 9, Boys Town Iowa partnered with FAMILY, Inc., Council Bluffs Fire Department, Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office, Promise Partners-Pottawattamie County's Alliance for Youth and Super Saver Council Bluffs to host the Fathers Matter Community Celebration at Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park.

The event activities, food and beverages were free to over 400 attendees who came out to celebrate the importance of a father's role on a child's life.

Patrick Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, Boys Town Iowa, talked about how positive father engagement has been directly correlated to the child's wellbeing. Children with active father figures tend to have better cognitive development, educational achievement, higher self-esteem and pro-social behaviors.

The Fathers Matter Community Celebration was a wonderful way to promote these healthy relationships between fathers and children and it gave them the opportunity to come out and spend quality time with each other. The event included a bike rodeo where kids received bike helmets and five bikes were given away. Kite flying was also a huge hit and over 100 kites were given away so fathers and children had an activity to do together after the event.

"When fathers don't live with their kids the level of their involvement varies greatly," said Garcia. "This is mainly due to the co-parenting relationship with the mother and is the main predictor of the father's involvement. The Fathers Matter event is also a platform to bring awareness to the importance of strong co-parenting relationships and enhancement of father's access to their children during co-parenting relationships."

This year's success was due to the collaboration of many partners and sponsors within Pottawattamie County of Iowa and the metropolitan area of Council Bluffs and Omaha. Without the support of local government, local business, service providers, and volunteers the event would have been less meaningful and purposeful.