For many parents, the morning rush typically involves a mad dash for the train, a quick cup of coffee or sitting in heavy traffic. At Bi-Cultural Day School one Tuesday of the month, the morning routine is just as harried, but it’s a lot more enjoyable as a group of dedicated fathers get the chance for some special time with their children during Dad’s Drop-off Morning.
Dad’s Drop-off Morning is the brainchild of Bi-Cultural parent Craig Price, who developed the idea of devoting a special morning for dads to became more engaged with school activities. The monthly event, which began in 2014 with just a few men, has evolved into a popular phenomenon with sometimes up to 50 fathers walking their children to their classrooms, and then having a quick breakfast with the other participants.
Price described the benefits of the program: “I realized if I had any chance of succeeding in getting more dads involved, I first needed to get them into the building to see all the great things happening on any given day. With work and commuting schedules, the idea of meeting during early morning drop-off seemed like a perfect fit. What kid doesn’t like to skip the school bus for a car ride to school. What dad doesn’t like a bagel with the additional benefit of meeting other interesting people? For me, it was more about finding a chance for the dads to make some special memories with their own kids, but it also accomplished the dual goal of getting the dads in the building, giving them the chance to see their children’s classroom and the interesting projects displayed throughout the school … For dads who are new to the school, this is a great way to meet other dads and become a part of the BCDS community As a result of being in the building, BCDS dads have volunteered with programs, improvements and events like the annual school picnic, auction and gala event.
According to Jackie Herman, Bi-Cultural’s Principal and Head of School, the energy created through these mornings is palpable. “It’s amazing to see these busy dads take the time to get to know each other and spend special time with their children in their children’s own environment. The school parking lot is packed, the conversation is stimulating, and the kids are thrilled to show their dads their classrooms,” Herman said.
The Dad’s Morning Drop Off is extending its reach beyond monthly mornings, through a variety of other men’s events throughout the school year. The group kicked off the school year with a football party. A basketball event during the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament and a Lag B’Omer event are also being planned.
By Dora Salm