After a successful first year of the fatherhood initiative, Powerhouse Community Development Corporation is beginning to develop the program even further.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, the organization will sponsor "Connecting with Your Kids," a Fathers Committed to Families workshop. According to organizers, this workshop will have several key topics, including participants identifying their fathering strengths and weaknesses, discovering how to connect with their kids and learning practical tips on how to be better dads.
"In that first year, we had about ... 45 or 46 participants," PCDC Director Charles Stephenson said of last year's 12-week program. "We've expanded it. Already, we've had ... 33 complete it so far" since July.
Additionally, nearly 150 fathers participated in the Dads Go to School program that took place this fall.
"We're now wanting to do more workshops ..." Stephenson said, adding these programs are open to the entire community.
Not only do organizers want to educate those looking to strengthen their fatherhood experience, they're hoping successful fathers will participate by becoming mentors for other men.
"Right now as we take them through the class ... 12 weeks is not enough to implement the transition," he said. "He's got questions at that point. We're hoping that as we're taking successful, loving, attentive, responsible fathers in the community ... that they will mentor some of the young men coming from probation and parole."
Some interested mentors have already begun planning group fatherhood excursions, such as fishing, playing baseball and other activities. Likewise, once-a-month father support meetings are being planned, and mentors will be able to communicate one-on-one at any time with those they're assisting. Mentors will go through a training program prior to being partnered with another father.
"Engage, educate, equip and empower. We want to do those four things," Stephenson said.
Saturday's workshop will include breakfast and lunch. Two guest speakers are also scheduled. One speaker is Jim Hargrave, a retired teacher who coached Marshall wrestling and football from 1965-1981, was named a Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame Coach in 1988, and coached wrestling and football in Warrensburg from 1989-2006.
Another speaker will be Joe C. Meriweather, who played for the NBA for 10 seasons. Meriweather was a member of the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Jazz, New York Knicks and Kansas City Kings. He's now the CEO of 3C's Fatherhood Education Partnership, Inc.
"Connecting with Your Kids" runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 8 N. Odell Ave. in Marshall. For a registration form or for more information, call PCDC at 660-886-8860.
Contact Sarah Reed at