"Birthday Dads" Making an Impact at Local School


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) A local elementary school program is giving dads the opportunity to be more involved in their children's everyday lives.

A few years back, a local father went to administrators at Perrine Elementary School looking for a way to be more involved.

"It just makes me feel like I'm a greater part of their lives, which is what I want to be as a parent," said Chuck Swoboda, Perrine Elementary School Dad.

Swoboda is a familiar face at the school.

He's the founder of a group that's come to be known as the Birthday Dads.

It started four years ago with the suggestion that each dad take one day a year to help in their kid's classroom.

The child's birthday eventually became the natural choice.

"It's a great way for the dads to become a greater part of their kid's educational process," said Swaboda.

Swaboda has taken it to the next level by volunteering weekly.

For him, it's about making memories.

"My kids will always remember that Dad came and helped out an hour a week in our classrooms. And, it will just be normal for them," said Swaboda.

Administrators at the school have seen positive impacts in the classroom since the program started.

"We see big changes with the kids, especially the boys, because all of a sudden they see that positive role model of a dad reading, instead of always going out and playing softball or baseball with their kids," said Bill Brulotte, Principal, Perrine Elementary School.

Plus, with budget cuts classroom sizes have increased.

Mrs. Sailors' 3rd grade class now has twenty–eight students.

An extra adult in the room is a welcome addition.

"You get to know all the kids, so when they just need a word of encouragement or a little sympathetic ear that helps too," said Swaboda.

Swoboda hopes taking an active role in his kids' lives now will encourage them to do the same when they become parents.

Perrine is looking for more dads to take part in the program.

If you're interested call the front office.

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