DadsTakeYourChildtoSchoolDaySept. 21, 2015 -- As part of his ongoing fatherhood initiative, County Executive Robert P. Astorino joined with local and national education partners on Monday to call on dads to participate in "Dads Take Your Child to School Day," which took place on September 22.

"Dads Take Your Child to School Day is a great way for dads and kids to get the school year started off right," Astorino said after dropping off his daughter Kiley, age 10, at Columbus Elementary School in Thornwood. "It's simple. Kids with involved fathers do better in school."

This summer, Astorino called on fathers and schools to join in a countywide Dads Take Your Child to School Day. Educators from White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Lakeland, North Salem and Peekskill are among those who signed up. All dads or male caregivers are encouraged to participate and share their proud parenting moments on social media using the hashtags #DadBeThere and #DadsTakeYourChildtoSchool.

"The City of Mount Vernon Youth Bureau wishes to thank the County Executive, the Department of Social Services, the schools and the community stakeholders for ensuring a Westchester County effort to encourage participation in the Dads Take Your Child to School Day event," said DaMia Harris, executive director of the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau. "[This] is one of many opportunities used to increase parental involvement and social supports for dads, which then enables caregivers to be positively involved in their children's learning and social development."

Research shows that students with involved fathers receive more A's, enjoy school more and stay in school longer, according to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), a resource of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. On the other hand, children raised without a dad at home are more likely to repeat a grade in school, live in poverty, have emotional and behavioral issues, or worse.

"Dads Take Your Child to School Day is a wonderful opportunity for fathers and father-figures to get involved with their child's education – not just for one day, but for a lifetime," said Joyce A. Thomas, regional administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. "This is a great way for schools and Head Start programs to connect with dads and work together to support the growth and development of their children because the research shows that when fathers are involved in the lives of their kids, especially with their education, children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior."

Astorino's fatherhood initiative is an ongoing effort to support the full spectrum of fathers – from those who are active in the home to those who are absent. Announced during his State of the County in April, programs range from career counseling and job placement assistance to simply creating more opportunities for dads and families to spend time together. All dads and families are encouraged to share their fathering moments on social media using the hashtag #DadBeThere.

"Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is pleased to support County Executive Rob Astorino's Dads Take Your Child to School Day efforts and we are thrilled that so many dads in our programs, including Head Start, SNUG and Fathers Count, will be participating," said Susan Wayne, president and CEO of FSW. "Encouraging fathers to take an active role in their children's education exemplifies what FSW works so hard to do every day – strengthen families."

To learn more about Astorino's fatherhood initiative, please contact Joseph D. Kenner, Deputy Commissioner of DSS, at (914) 995-3287 or

Photo Caption: Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino, center, calls on fathers to participate in "Dads Take Your Child to School Day" taking place on September 22. He is joined by local and national education partners, including left to right, Frank Williams, Executive Director, White Plains Youth Bureau; Susan B. Wayne, President and CEO, Family Services of Westchester; Hamp Miller, Mount Vernon Youth Bureau; Bronia Ashford, U.S. Administration for Children and Families; Joseph D. Kenner, Deputy Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Social Services; Michael Cunzio, Principal, Columbus Elementary School; Dr. Iris Pagan, Executive Director, Westchester County Youth Bureau.