The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 26, 2013

Teen dads learn about importance of being a parent

The Daily Item

— MILTON — Eric Andrews, 18, the father of a 2-year-old, knows how tough it can be to be a teen dad.

He also knows how valuable support is for young fathers. And at a recent event, Eric had the opportunity to interact with other dads who can relate to his unique situation.

Seventeen teen fathers in the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) Project ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training) recently gathered to learn more about the responsibility and importance of being a dad and to get to know each other.

“You will be a dad forever and will always be an instrumental figure in your children’s lives,” said guest speaker Dr. Kevin Singer, CSIU executive director.

Mike Maize, an intervention specialist with Danville Area School District, who has worked with teen parents for more than 20 years, also spoke to the dads.

“The fact that you’re here today shows you want to play an active role in your child’s life,” said Maize.

Maize spoke to the fathers about topics such as how to deal with child behavior issues, how to support your child and ensure they are happy and healthy, how to strengthen relationships and how to deal with being a parent to a school-age child.  

“This event gave the dads an opportunity to have fun and get to know each other,” said Kim Eroh, CSIU family education project manager. “They also got to talk with other dads who can relate to them,” she said.

Project ELECT is a counseling and instructional program for pregnant and parenting teens (mothers and fathers) in high school or alternative settings and up to age 22. The program provides intensive case management, health education, child development, parenting skills, training, career awareness and job-readiness training.