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Event for fathers, children planned in Sunnyside

Family Connections Yakima Valley is planning a day just for fathers and their children.

Sunday, Jan. 15, fathers are urged to bring their children, ages 3-12, to the Sunnyside Community Center for three hours of fun, food and activities.

The activities, said Rose Marie Wrung, are geared toward interaction between fathers and their children.

The event, Almighty Dads Day, is free for all who attend.

"The idea came about following a discussion with Life Options about the Fatherhood Initiative," said Wrung.

She said the discussion centered on the need for activities for fathers and their children.

"There are many young fathers in the community who don't know how to interact with their children," said Wrung.

She said Family Connections, a faith-based organization, began planning Almighty Dads Day to help provide opportunities for fathers to learn how they can interact with their children.

Humberto Rodriguez, who adopted three children just this past year, joined the organization in hopes of also benefitting from events like Almighty Dads Day. He said he researched ideas for the event and found events like it are often hosted by universities.

He learned about activities children enjoy participating in that involve interacting with their fathers.

"I'm sure I'm not the only one who is pretty clueless," said Rodriguez, stating fathers sometimes need to learn how they can impact their children's lives through personal involvement.

Wrung said, "Children interact with their fathers differently than with their mothers. Fathers usually are involved in a lot of hands-on and physical activity."

Rodriguez agreed, stating he has noticed a difference in how his own children respond to his involvement in their lives.

"It's just different," he said.

Wrung said there are several groups assisting with the Almighty Dads Day event, including the Grandview Parks and Recreation Department, Boy Scouts, a carpenter and a child care expert.

Disc soccer is planned by the Grandview Parks and Recreation Department, the carpenter will bring a small building project for fathers and their children to enjoy and the child care expert will present ideas for activities the fathers can use for interacting with toddlers.

"There will be six to eight activities, including a food activity," said Wrung.

Also at the event will be personnel from the Sunnyside Library, helping fathers with reading activities. Wrung said the library will provide library membership forms, as well.

"We want to give dads the opportunity to have fun without worrying about everyday things," said Wrung.

She said pre-registration for the Jan. 15 event is encouraged. Those wishing to pre-register can call Wrung at 839-4171 or text message Rodriguez at 305-1542.

Those who pre-register by Wednesday, Jan. 11, will receive a free gift related to parenting.

1 Jennie McGhan 12/30/2011 2:56 PM

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