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For Release:  May 24, 2010
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
(405) 271-5601

Office of Minority Health to Host a Fatherhood Celebration and Workshops
Event to Encourage Fathers’ Involvement with Their Children   

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), Office of Minority Health (OMH) and community partners are hosting a fatherhood initiative on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, 3535 N. Western, next to Memorial Park located at N.W. 36th St. between Western and Classen Blvd., in Oklahoma City.

A parade will kick off events at 10 a.m. along 30th and Western to the Boys and Girls Club followed by an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. There will be live entertainment representing the different racial and ethnic minority cultures in Oklahoma with free food, games, a three-on-three basketball tournament, face painting, and prizes for those who complete the short, free educational workshops on men’s health and parenting skills. This pilot event is free and open to the public.

Health officials and community organizations are combining efforts to encourage fathers to be actively involved in parenting and passing along their family and cultural values to the next generation. Health care providers and vendors will have informational booths and short workshops available where fathers can rotate and ask questions about topics like nutrition and fitness, healthy relationships, positive parenting and financial planning.

Some facts about the impact of fathers on the well being and health of children include:

  • Children with absent fathers have increased risk of developing antisocial behaviors.
  • Children with hands-on fathers are much less likely to use drugs.
  • Father’s participation in prenatal activities was associated with higher birth weights.
  • Families where fathers were absent were five times more likely to be poor.
  • Families with absent fathers have a 20-30 percent higher probability of experiencing accidents and injuries. 
  • Premature infants whose fathers spent more times playing with them had better outcomes at age 3.
  • Adolescent mothers experience less depression when the infant’s father is involved.

“We encourage fathers to attend and bring their children to learn more about men’s health, planning to have healthy babies, positive parenting and children’s health topics,” said OMH Director Linda Thomas.

Community partners assisting with this event are: American General Life Insurance Company; Association of American Indian Physicians; Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, Inc.; Boy Scouts of America; Central Oklahoma Healthy Start; Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., Oklahoma City and Sooner City Alumnae Chapters; Eagle Ridge Institute APRC; Langston University Cooperative Extension Services; Latino Development Agency; Metropolitan Library Systems; National Association for Black VETS (NABVETS); Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; Ocean Dental; Oklahoma City-County Health Department FIMR Project; Oklahoma State University; Positive Parents Program; Ralph Ellison Library; Thompson & Associates Allstate Insurance Agency; and Tinker Federal Credit Union.

Additional OSDH Services participating are: Child Guidance Service, Immunization Service, Community Development Service, HIV/STD Service, Screening and Special Services, and Maternal and Child Health. For more information about the importance of fathers, visit www.fatherhood.org. For information about planning for a healthy baby, visit www.health.ok.gov.


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