One morning each month, there are a crowd of fathers showing up early at Sam Houston Elementary and Maryville Intermediate schools.
The dads are not there picking up homework assignments for sick children or waiting for a meeting with a principal. They are at the school to have some fun with their children. It’s time for All-Pro Dad’s Day.
All Pro Dad’s Day is a program that offers a one-hour monthly breakfast held before school where fathers and their children meet with other dads and kids in the school cafeteria. During this time, they discuss a wide range of family topics, spend time together and create fun memories. The programs at Sam Houston and MIS are spearheaded by David Topor, whose children Nolan and Zoe attend those two schools. Topor’s wife, Karen, first saw information on the program on Facebook and encouraged David to start the program here.
“I was motivated to become a team captain, and I asked both principals, Scott Blevins and Kevin Myers, what they thought of the program, and they were enthusiastic,” said David Topor. “They paid the initiation fee for the website and material. I went before the PTO, and they came on board as a partner. It is really a self-sustaining thing. They come in, eat breakfast, have a Power point presentation, and we are in out in 30 to 45 minutes.”
Topor said January’s meeting at MIS was a good experience. “It went really, really well. We’re actually having our next meeting at MIS this Wednesday (Feb. 16),” he said. “Things are going well. We had new participants, and we’re running around 100 plus-or-minus 10 for each event.”
Topor said it is a fun, positive program. After breakfast the fathers are encouraged to introduce children to other dads at the meeting and tell why they are proud of their child. Then there is a PowerPoint presentation and then the children and the fathers are given two questions that they discuss with each other.
There is always a challenge for the dad. For example, at the January meeting, Topor said the dads were challenged to spend 30 to 45 minutes helping their child in an area where they need the most help during the upcoming month.
“There are really no other demands other than participation,” Topor said. “We’re trying to keep it that way because we don’t want to force an agenda. We just want dads to interact with their children in school and get familiar with the school. That’s what I like about it. We are opening up a discussion.”
Topor said they also have raffles for door prizes during the monthly meeting for students. Area businesses interested in donating door prizes should contact Topor via the All-Pro Dad’s Day website at www.allprodad.com/dd/2335. The website also has upcoming events that will run through the end of the year.
“It is a great organization, and there is a lot of parenting material - everything from fire awareness and dealing with bullying to dating,” Topor said. “They have over 100 Top 10 lists that deal especially with parenting issues. It is a great, great resource.”