Overseen by Dan Berman, Who’s the Man?! is a program for fathers funded by Allegany Franciscian Ministries and is held in partnership with the Children’s Board Family Resource Center in East County. We are proud of the education Berman continues to provide to the community and grateful Plant City started offering the class in the fall. Below, read all about Who’s the Man?! at the Children’s Board Family Resource Center – East County that appeared in the Plant City Observer newspaper.
Children’s Board program promotes father-child bonding
By Catherine Sinclair | Staff Writer on December 26, 2014
“Nurturing” is often a word associated with a mother. But it’s just as important for fathers to spend quality time with their babies. And dads can do just that at a new program offered at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County’s East County Center.
The program called, “Who’s the Man?” is run by Dan Bergman, of Champions for Children Tampa Bay. Though Bergman leads the class at three Bay-area locations, Plant City started offering the class in the fall.
“Our goal is to promote the bonding between father and child,” Bergman said. “The research is so clear that that first year is so important.”
For one hour each Thursday, dads can take their babies (one year to 18 months old) to the Children’s Board for developmental playtime. Dads can expect plenty of games and activities involving trucks, balls and even a parachute. And it’s not just their children that dads will be getting to know.
“It’s really a chance for them to interact with other parents — other dads who are going through the same thing, so they feel more comfortable,” Bergman said.
Of the three locations where “Who’s the Man?” is offered, Plant City is the only location with a Spanish interpreter on site. This Children’s Board staff member is always at the class. Spanish-speaking fathers do not need to notify the board in advance of their attendance.
With a master’s degree in early childhood from Vanderbilt University, Bergman is an authority on the subject. Though many fathers prefer to wait until their babies are old enough to run and jump to spend significant time playing with them, it is better to start bonding early, Bergman said.
“We’ve gotten tremendously positive feedback,” Bergman said. “Right now, the key is getting them through the door. … We’re still fighting things in society that say dads aren’t an important part of this time in their kids’ lives.”
Champions for Children is an organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and educating families through hands-on training. Its abuse treatment programs are a direct response to the number of child abuse cases in Hillsborough County, which is among the highest in the state.
Bergman said the goal is for “Who’s the Man?” to eventually become an extension of the prenatal program, a “bootcamp” for new dads offered by Champions for Children.
For dads and moms with children over the age of 18 months, Champions for Children offers a similar but age-appropriate playgroup called “Baby Bungalow.” Children up to age 5 are welcome.
“Who’s the Man?” is free and does not require advance registration. There also will be free gifts for children and their fathers who attend multiple times.
IF YOU GO
When: Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, East County Center, 639 E. Alexander Street, Plant City
Contact: (813) 673-4646
Contact Catherine Sinclair at email@example.com.