Parenting support and events for fathers
FIRC is working to provide fathers with the tools to be the best dad they can be for their children by offering educational and social opportunities. The following are programs offered specifically for fathers:

Daddy Boot Camp

When men who face the same challenges come together a reliable and trustworthy environment is created, which develops a sense of solidarity that allows us to speak frankly about our experiences and what’s in our mind.
Daddy Boot Camp is a unique father-to-father, community-based workshop that inspires and equips men to:
  • become confidently engaged with their infants
  • support their partners
  • personally navigate their transformation into dads.

In addition to fatherhood discussion, our Daddy Boot Camp integrates a section that focuses on some of the most fundamental topics from the National Fatherhood Initiative’s Doctor Dad program, which include:

  • feeding advice
  • treatment for cold symptoms
  • baby dehydration
  • burns
  • how to prevent choking.

Doctor Dad teaches men how to handle medical situations that may arise as their children grow. The purpose of the Daddy Boot Camp + Dr. Dad workshop is to comfort expectant fathers and get them prepared for the arrival of their newborn. If you are about to become a dad, we encourage you to register and take a step towards becoming the best dad you can possibly be!

Classes are offered every other month. Visit the calendar of events for class dates or contact Michel at 970-455-0232 or email

Tips for new dads

  •  Get your priorities straight. Take a close look at whether your time management truly reflects what’s most important to you, and recognize that there are few things you’ll ever do in life that will match the significance of building a close relationship with your children.
  • Get on your child’s level. Get close to her and talk in gentle tones. Crawl on the floor a lot. Lie down on your back and hold him close. Hold her often. Her field of vision is about the distance from your face to the crook of your arm, you can make eye contact, smile and talk to her.
  • Spend time alone with your baby. It’s good for mom to get away and have some time to herself. She needs to learn how to trust you with the baby. The baby also needs to learn that you’re dependable and meet can meet his needs.
  • Be willing to ask for help. You don’t know everything, and you’ll make mistakes. So ask the baby’s mom how to do things. Tell her you know she’s good at this stuff, but you want to learn it too. Fatherhood and parenting classes are a great way to learn new techniques and to meet other parents.

Fathers (Families) Reading Every Day (F.R.E.D.)

Reading plays an important role in a child’s development of vocabulary and comprehension skills along with strengthening the parent-child bond.  How you read to your preschooler is just as important as how frequently we read to them. The Fathers Reading Every Day program is a challenge to read at least 15 minutes to your child five days a week using open-ended questions and expansion techniques to help your child tell you what they are seeing in the book and comprehending from the story. By using questions, you can help your child develop their vocabulary.

Sign up for the Fathers Reading Every Day challenge and receive a gift certificate to Summit Thrift and Treasure to use on books. Once you complete your first week of the program reading for at least 15 minutes for five days you will receive a Target gift certificate to use on more books. Contact FIRC at 970-455-0232 or email for more information.

Statistics on children without fathers

Almost 25 million (1 out of 3) children in the United States are growing up in families without a father present, nearly a 250% increase from the 80’s. Research shows the following:


  • If a father is engaged with the child for the first two years of their life 80% of fathers will stay involved
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • Over 71% of high school drop outs are from fatherless homes
  • 61% of 3 to 5 year olds living with two parents are read aloud to everyday by a family member compared to 48% of children living in a single or no-parent family.


  • 85% of all imprisoned youth grew up in a fatherless home
    Maternal & Infant Health
  • Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes
  • Unmarried mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care and more likely to have a low birth weight baby.

Teen Pregnancy

  • Teenage girls without fathers are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and are seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.

Child Abuse

  • Living in a single parent home doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional or educational neglect.
  • 77% greater rise of being physically abused
  • 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect
  • 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect
  • 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse

Drugs and Alcohol

  • Children who report having a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink and/or use drugs.

Issues facing Summit County Fathers

    • The high cost of living in Summit County often results in fathers working over 40 hours, or long commute times, causing fathers to spend more time away from home.
    • Lack of parenting education on father-specific topics
    • Many fathers struggle to avoid the partying culture of Summit County.

Fatherhood Program Coordinator

Padres de Summit

Padres de Summit

MonthlyGroup for Fathers

  • The Padres de Summit program offers fathers a chance to bring their kids out for a fun activity and meet other local dads.
  • The group meets monthly for activities like visiting the fire station, sledding or building and flying kites.
  • The group is free and open to all fathers living or working in Summit County.

Ways to Be a Good Dad

  • Be your kid’s biggest fan. Your children are waiting for you to give them praise and affirmation. Call out what they did right in their choices and actions, what you like best about them and the fact that you love them deeply.
  • Love your children. There is nothing so powerful as a father’s touch. A hug, a kiss on the head – can make a child feel safe and secure.
  • Listen to what your children are saying and to what they are not saying. Spend time listening to your children talk about their day. Ask them questions and listen to what they are not saying. Listening will only take a few minutes, but the impact will last a lifetime.
  • Make memories with your child. Do something simple, but something your children will always remember. Read the same story each night for a month, play a certain game each week, fix the same dinner or breakfast every Saturday.
  • Laugh with your children. Allow your children to find the joy in life that comes with innocence. Then laugh with your children in these moments and find the deepest joy in being a parent.