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Dads walk for awareness Saturday

Thursday, April 8, 2010

24/7 Dads is a class to help dads become better dads.

There's a "Dads Walk" from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on Central Avenue to create awareness of a May 4 dads class in Le Mars at Rejoice! Community Church.

"We're expecting 20 to 50 dads to come down from different counties and walk in Le Mars to show support for this class to get more fathers involved in the class in Le Mars," said David Norgart with Lifetime Dads.

The walk is being put on by the Lifetime Dads Program which offers 24/7 Dads classes as part of a fatherhood initiative to meet needs of dads in the Upper Des Moines service area.

Le Mars is not in that coverage area but since its within 50 miles, Lifetime Dads can offer a 24/7 Dads class, Norgart said.

Saturday's "Dad's Walk" is not only for dads.

"It's for the whole family," Norgart said. "If we don't have support from the mothers and children, then we don't really have a program."

The 24/7 Dads class is a 12-week program encouraging males to become more involved, responsible, and committed to their role as a father-figure, according to a press release.

The program focuses on improving a father's self-awareness, caring for self, fathering skills, parenting skills and relationship skills and is open to men of all cultures, races and religions.

"It's not a deadbeat dads' class," Norgart said.

He is a facilitator and leader of 24/7 Dads' classes from the Lifetime Dads Spencer office.

The class is not only for dads.

"It's for anybody who takes a fatherly role in a child's life," Norgart said.

Johnnie Newton, who participated in Le Mars' first 24/7 Dads class last year, said there was minimal attendance -- the reason for Saturday's "Dads Walk."

As a father of two adopted children and a soon to be 24/7 Dads facilitator, Newton said its an important class to have in Le Mars and Plymouth County.

"They don't even have the 24/7 Dads in Sioux City yet. We're trying to move the fatherhood initiative to a broader area," Newton said. "There's plenty of dads here in Le Mars."

He said the dads class is a good way for new fathers and current dads to learn more about raising children, Newton said.

"When I was growing up, there was never any parenting class involved," he said. "There was never anything about how you do when you have children."

During Saturday's "Dads Walk," dads from 24/7 Dads groups in Spencer, Storm Lake, Sheldon and Le Mars will talk about benefits they received from participating.

There will also be free drinks and snacks along with information on how to get involved.

For more information about 24/7 Dads or Saturday's "Dads Walk" contact Norgart at 712-330-7555 or by email, dnorgart@udmo.com.



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