Strong Fathers Sharing Stories
By Katie Bauman, Director, Strong Fathers – Durham
Editor’s note: Strong Fathers is one of our newest Community Book Bank partners, and we are thrilled to introduce you to the good work they are doing in Durham!
If you had only one hour to spend with your child each week, how would you choose to spend it? Would you prioritize teaching him a new skill or body of knowledge? Would you want to spend the time curled up together, holding him on your lap or in your arms? Or would you prefer to explore new terrains, forging memories of fantastic adventures shared between parent and child? What if you could do all those things?
For dads in the Strong Fathers program, many of whom see their children for only one hour a week, this has now become a reality, thanks to a new partnership with Book Harvest. Strong Fathers is a strengths-based group intervention for dads overcoming exposure to and use of domestic violence. Through 20 weekly sessions, participating fathers explore their own childhoods, learn about the impact of domestic violence on children, and practice new parenting skills. They build lasting relationships with other fathers who’ve faced similar challenges, encouraging each other as they take the difficult steps of evaluating their past behavior and committing to a new way of parenting and partnering. Most importantly, they begin to imagine raising their children in a home free of the violence that has plagued their families for generations.
Now, when Strong Fathers participants attend weekly sessions, they encounter a table overflowing with colorful, enticing books, free for the taking and just waiting to be shared with their children. For the dads who have just once weekly visits with their kids, knowing that they’ll arrive with books to read together and send home with their children can go a long way in helping them approach these interactions with confidence and excitement. And for all the participants, having access to books promotes sharing quality time with their children, learning, growing, and exploring side-by-side. Strong Fathers is so grateful for the generosity of Book Harvest and looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership.