Dads Take Your Child to School Day

Governor Rick Scott proclaimed yesterday, September 26, 2018, Dads Take Your Child to School Day. The day stresses the importance of family involvement. Fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, foster fathers, and other significant male role models are invited to take part in this special day. And I am proud to share that we had many of those male role models visible and active across our elementary schools yesterday.

Felipe Hernandez and his son Elijah Hernandez at LaKe Trafford Elementary. (Submitted photo/Jennifer L. Kupiec)

At Lake Trafford Elementary, dads and other male role models joined their children for breakfast and were treated to special guest speaker and father of a fifth grade student, Mr. Frank Rincon. Mr. Rincon has already inspired many from his work with the Benison Center and shared some special words with our guests.

Village Oaks Elementary also hosted breakfast. Visiting dads and male role models joined their children in making a very special photo frame. The day also included a brief training on parent/child engagement which helps to support parental interaction, “a win-win for our families,” shared Principal Renee Hanson.

Eden Park and Pinecrest Elementary schools decided they would hold a Pastries with Parents event and will welcome ALL caregivers on October 5.

And Highlands Elementary, in addition to their Donuts with Dad event yesterday, is hosting an event tomorrow morning, September 28, as part of their Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) program. Watch DOGS are invited every quarter to attend a special event with their student. The school asks that all DOGS volunteer one day on campus each year. DOGS get an official shirt, a desk, and a daily schedule. The goal is to have these positive male role models visible while on campus. They are scheduled in classrooms, on the recess field, in related arts rooms, and they get to have lunch with their child. According to Principal Laura Mendicino, “Male role models are critical to all children and these DOGS are here to help!”

James Sainz Sr took his son James Sainz Jr. to school at Highlands Elementary. (Submitted photo/Jennifer L. Kupiec)

For tomorrow’s Watch DOGS event at Highlands, dads and their children will learn about “big rocks” and how to prioritize their schedules for a healthy and happy life. Dad and child will then create their family “big rocks” together. To learn more about Watch DOGS, visit

A big thank you to all of our dads and important male role models for taking part in the activities above as parental involvement plays a key role in a child’s academic success.

Jennifer L. Kupiec is the Specialist, Communications & Community Engagement Collier County Public Schools

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