One area school is helping to encourage fathers to be active participants in their children's education.
Ross Elementary School in Sweet Valley hosted a Dad's Day on Nov. 6, a day for fathers to volunteer part of their day to participate in fun activities with their children's class.
Fifty-three fathers took part in the day, some of them multiple times for multiple children.
Nick Raczkowski, father to Kalee, Alyssya and Lilian, was in an event for each of his daughters. He played Turkey Tag in the gym with Kaylee's second-grade class. The children laughed and pointed as Raczkowski slid under leg bridges and crawled on his hands and knees to unfreeze teammates Tim Vogan, of Hunlock Creek, and Frank Prest, of Sweet Valley, other fathers who volunteered that day.
I think it's awesome to be able to spend time with the kids, Raczkowski said. It's a different dynamic. You get to see your kids hanging out with their friends. It's great.
David Harris and Rob Olson helped children make colored paper acorns in Janna Kabosky's kindergarten class. For Harris, a military man on leave from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, the day was a welcomed opportunity to spend time with his daughter, Jennifer.
Ross Elementary Principal Donald James said, The goal is to get the fathers here and get them comfortable so they come back and volunteer more.
This is the second time the school has held this event and, according to James, it seems to help as more fathers are getting involved and attending events and PTO meetings.
Dads' Day was organized by teachers Jeremy Williams, Rebecca Keefe, Janna Kabosky, Ray Podskoch and Stacey Pellegrino. The fathers participated in gym, math, reading and science activities throughout the day.
The kids just love it, said Pellegrino.
But the students weren't the only ones loving it.
Rocky Bonomo lit up Mrs. Smigielski's class with laughter and energy during a friendly game of Pictionary. His energy and enthusiasm made the game lively and had all the students eager to play. Bonomo's daughter Rebecca said it was so fun to have her dad there.
Bonomo was happy to volunteer for Dads' Day. He has four children and when he heard he could be involved at school, he jumped right in. It's good to incorporate the parents, especially the dads, Bonomo said, because these days there are a lot of dads that just aren't there for their kids enough.
To thank the fathers for their time and participation and for keeping up with the students in gym class, school officials provided coffee and donuts.