A&FRC puts the focus on being a better father

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Timothy Moore
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Men of the Desert Lightning Team are getting the chance to learn to be better fathers through the Focus on Fathering classes offered by the Airman & Family Readiness Center here.

The classes were initially designed to focus on military dads, or dads-to-be, who wanted to improve their fathering skills.

"There weren't a whole lot of resources out there for men," said Gregory Pleasant, A&FRC community readiness consultant. "There were a lot of things out there geared toward women. So I said, 'Let's get a class together for military men.'"

The program has been in place for several years, and is now open to non-military fathers as well.

Sponsored by grant funding through First Things First, the Easter Seals Blake Foundation and United Way of Tucson partnered with the A&FRC to bring the 1.5-hour workshops to D-M. The classes focus on a variety of things from connecting with children to helping children deal with feelings to ways to play.

The classes are designed as a series, but individuals can join the classes at any time.

"Each session, in its own right, can teach you something you can use as a father," Pleasant said. "In fact, our instructor, Leo Jeffero, encourages people to come in at any time. He's good at getting you up to speed."

Jeffero, who retired from the military, works with the Easter Seals Blake Foundation. Pleasant, who is also retired military, says that he and Jeffero understand the demands the military, and life in general, can place on individuals. Therefore, they do not require a person to attend all the classes.

Focus on Fathering is a part of the Family Life Education program at the A&FRC. The Family Life Education program offers many workshops such as the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage series designed for couples and Brain Waves, which is a training program for fathers on early childhood development.

The classes are designed as training sessions, but also allow individuals to freely talk about issues in a mature fashion.

"That's what I like about it the most: you are not tiptoeing around stuff," Pleasant said. "Let's just get it out and talk about it. That's what really happens in that Focus on Fathering group."

The next set of Focus on Fathering classes are scheduled to begin July 17.

For more information about the Focus on Fathering program or more Family Life Education programs, contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 228-5690.