On Sunday, June 19, the Montecito Family YMCA joins the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the impact fathers and adult male role models make in children’s lives.

The Y, a leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, is dedicated to providing both resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children.

While attending a Mother’s Day event at her local YMCA, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd’s thoughts immediately turned to her father, a Civil War veteran who raised her and her five brothers after their mother died in childbirth.

Dodd thought that fathers also deserved to be honored with religious services, special meals, small gifts and roses. 

She shared her idea with local religious leaders at the Spokane YMCA, and they agreed, passing a resolution to observe a Father’s Day.

The Spokane YMCA held the first Father’s Day celebration June 19, 1910, and in 1971 President Nixon and Congress issued proclamations and endorsements of Father’s day as a national tradition.

Today, fathers are beginning to play a more active role in child rearing, with more than two million men being the primary caregiver to their children and more than 20 percent being stay-at-home dads. 

According to a report from the National Center for Fathering, children whose fathers are involved in their lives are more confident and less anxious in unfamiliar settings, are better able to deal with frustration, develop a better sense of independence, are more likely to become compassionate adults, have higher self-esteem and grade-point averages and are more likely to be sociable.

A leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, the Y remains dedicated to providing resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children.  

The Montecito Family YMCA offers a variety of programs that foster understanding and companionship between children and their fathers such as parent and child swim lessons, youth sports with volunteer opportunities for dads and YMCA parent and child Adventure Guides.

To learn more about programs and activities available at the Montecito Family YMCA, contact Aaron Martinez at [email protected] or visit ciymca.org/Montecito.

Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Montecito Family YMCA.

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