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The Father Factor

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For kids, the "waiting" is the hardest part

CNN.com published an opinion piece by NFI president, Roland C. Warren, on the new documentary Waiting for "Superman."

His argument -- dads are the supermen kids need right now to succeed in school. The system will take time to sort itself out, but moms and dads can start today to build successful students.

So far, over 1,100 people have recommended the article on CNN.com, and there are nearly 200 comments.

Join the discussion at CNN.com!

The Time for Waiting is Over

By now, you have probably heard about the new documentary, Waiting for "Superman". If you haven't, take a look at the trailer here.

We at NFI had the privilege of seeing the film at its D.C. premiere last week, and we recommend it highly to dads and families. (it is out in LA and NYC now, with a wider release scheduled for October 8).

The film takes a close look at the types of students that our public school system is producing, and the results are not pretty. The United States ranks near the very bottom in reading and math in the industrialized world. Up until the 1970's, we were producing the best students in the world. What happened?

The film tries to answer that question and provides some strategies to turn things around. We are not experts on how to fix a large, complex educational system, but we do know one thing: dads can make an immediate impact on how well their children do in school. Today. They don't have to "wait" for the system to improve.

Without a single new program or additional dollar spent, children's academic performance can improve when dads read to them, help them with homework, talk to them about school, and encourage them.

We know from research that when dads do these things, children do better. When dads don't, children struggle. Education is not just mom's territory. Dads have to be engaged, too.

We want to challenge dads to contribute to school reform by starting with their own kids - today. We have created a discussion guide for Waiting for "Superman" and some other advice to help dads get involved. The film's official website also has some ideas.

So, dads, let's stop waiting for Superman to come save our kids. Let's be supermen!

The Father Factor Blog: News, tips, and tools for dads and those helping dads.

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