Alvin Moore of Manila was recently chosen as Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity
Commission's Head Start Program Father of the Year for 2004-05.
The Father of the Year award is part of the MCAEOC's fatherhood initiative to get fathers more involved in their child's or children's lives and educations.
"All the Head Start centers chose a father of the month," Pastor Horace Howard Jr., fatherhood and
community initiatives for MCAEOC, said. "They are chosen by the amount of time they spend with their
children during the month. It's personal time the father spends with their child or children walking
through the park, reading with them, playing games or things like that."
The father who has the most PAC, or parent and child time, at the end of the year is given the Head Start Father of the Year award. This year's Father of the Year award winner has three children: Breanna, Jerilyn and Kelsey. Two of his children are in the Head Start program.
Moore actively participates with his children in activities such as fishing, camping and swimming. He
volunteers at the Leachville Head Start Center his children attend doing such things as reading to the children, building floats and helping the children with their school work. Moore also participates in the End of the Year Celebration for the Head Start program.
Howard said having fathers and males involved in a child's life is important.
"Research has proven that when fathers are involved the child is better adjusted, they do better in
school, they have better social skills and it has an overall, positive effect on the child's life," Howard said.
Howard said the MCAEOC encourages fathers and males, in general, to be involved by having lunch with a child, going on field trips and taking an active interest in what is going on in a child's life.
"Some fathers might not live in the home, but we still encourage that father to have some quality time with their child," Howard said. "We take that a step further and encourage fathers that are incarcerated to have some type of involvement in their child's life even if it is just through writing the child a letter. It is important for children to know their fathers love them. We feel that when the father is not involved it creates a void, a missing link."
The MCAEOC has an annual event during which they take fathers to one of the major sporting events in
Memphis, Tenn. Howard said the Memphis trip is a good opportunity for fathers to come together.
"We are also working on a father-involvement event where fathers and their children come together either early in the morning or late in the evening to hear a speaker," Howard said. "The speaker would address a subject matter that would be of interest to both the father and the child. In fact, we're are now working to implement a male-involvement program called All Pro Dad."
Howard said any fathers or males wanting to volunteer to be a mentor or help with the Head Start program can call him at 776-1054.
Alvin Moore of Manila, this year's Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission's Head Start Program Father of the Year, is pictured with his wife, Felicia (back left), and daughters (front, from left), Kelsey, Breanna and Jerilyn. (photo provided)