Caring makes the dad: Dads of Dunbar program helps kids overcome life’s challenges

Caring makes the dad: Dads of Dunbar program helps kids overcome life’s challenges

Fathers and dads aren’t always the same person.

Recognizing this and understanding that students living without a dad are at greater risk of major life challenges than those who grow up with a father at home, Witherite Law Group and Fort Worth ISD Family Action Center have partnered to sponsor the Dads of Dunbar Mentoring program at Dunbar High School.

Dunbar High School is located in the Stop Six neighborhood of Fort Worth, a majority African American community with many low- or moderate-income residents and a higher-than-average unemployment rate. Some students living and attending school there face a number of economic challenges, including living in fatherless homes.

“There is no manual about how to be an involved dad,” said Sabrina Charleston, Family Communications Specialist at Dunbar. “The vision was to create a platform for fathers to be connected with our students. If there is not a biological father, there would be a positive male figure who could build that connection with the students.”

Dads of Dunbar began in 2016 and meets at the school on the second Friday of each month around 7:30 a.m. The program is the brainchild of former Dunbar Principal SaJade Miller.

“There was a desire for parents to be there for their children, but it was mostly women,” Charleston said.

The purpose of the Dads of Dunbar program is to offset challenges by offering positive reinforcement and providing the support often provided by a father. Over the past five years, this engagement has positively impacted the lives of numerous children. Some have even returned to the campus to give back their time to other students.

“Dads of Dunbar is a bridge to keep fathers involved to support in the educational process of our children other than sports,” said volunteer Stephen Muhammad.


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