June 14, 2002 Achiever
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 June 14, 2002
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Special Father's Day Issue

What's inside...
What is the Summer Solstice?

Earlier this week, June 10-12, the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) held its Fifth Annual National Summit on Fatherhood in San Antonio, Texas. NFI was founded in 1994 and is committed to improving the well being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and devoted fathers.

NFI encourages and supports family and father-friendly policies, develops national public education campaigns to highlight the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, provides motivation for national and local coalition-building, and offers information to individual men to help them be better fathers.

Reverend W. C. Martin, Pastor of Bennett Chapel Baptist Church in Shelbyville, Texas, was among the honorees at this year's Summit. "As a father, I feel I need to demonstrate the importance of education to my children. Every child needs an education, and we need to be ready to render an education suitable for every child," Martin said.

photo of Eric SnowPhiladelphia 76ers Point Guard Eric Snow was also honored. He said, "My father made education mandatory or our athletic privileges were taken away. He urged all of us to become successful in the classroom before we could experience success in athletics. As a father now myself, I am determined to pass along the wise messages regarding education that were taught to me by my own father. I want to encourage my sons to value education and to become great scholar athletes."

"Raising children is the process of freeing them to make their own decisions," said Congressman Jim DeMint, Master of Ceremonies at the Fatherhood Award Gala Dinner. "Since education is essential to making good decisions and living independently, the father who is most involved with the education of his children is also the father of freedom for the next generation."

For more information on the National Fatherhood Initiative, visit


The idea of Father's Day was first proposed in 1909, by Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington State. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, Henry Jackson Smart, a veteran of the Civil War who was widowed when his wife died during the birth of their sixth child. Mr. Smart raised the newborn and five other children by himself on a rural farm in Eastern Washington. As an adult, Mrs. Dodd realized the strength and selflessness her father displayed in raising his children as a single parent.

The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. In cities and towns across America, others began to celebrate Father's Day. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a National Father's Day. It was made official in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day.


Join Judge Eric Andell, advisor to Rod Paige, and special guest, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for next week's Satellite Town Meeting

Afterschool & Summer Programs: Helping Kids Get Smart & Stay Safe

JUNE 18, 8-9:30 PM EST

For more information, visit:

Derek Parra, Gold and Silver Medal Winner at the 2002 Winter Olympics

photo of Derek Parra photo of Derek Parra and family "My daughter Mia is only a few months old and my wife and I have already begun to read to her. We know that she can't understand the words and sentences just yet, but we believe that we are laying the foundation for her future education. Whatever Mia chooses to do with her life, be it speedskating like her dad or Nuclear Physics (which her dad knows very little about), we know that strong reading skills will help her in anything she does."

One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.
English Proverb (17th Century)

Jennifer Rodriguez, Two Bronze Medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics

photo of Jennifer Rodriguez"As a young man my father came to this country from Cuba, and at the time he didn't speak any English. It was a very difficult time for him. But, he persevered, learned to speak the language, met my mom, and eventually had me.

"While I was growing up, my dad only spoke English in the house because he wanted things to be easier for me than they were for him. He knew that getting a good education would be easier for me if I had mastered English--it was. I learned a lot about sacrifice from my father, and it made a lot of the sacrifices I had to make on the way to the Olympics much easier.

Joey Cheek, Bronze Medal Winner at the 2002 Winter Olympics

photo of Joey Cheek"I left home to become a speedskater while I was still in high school, but I knew the importance of getting a good education--that was something my father always stressed. At the time when I left, I didn't know I would go on to medal at the Olympics, but I did know that someday speedskating would be over for me.

"When that time comes, I want to be ready for the next step in my life. So, even though at times it was hard to do, I continued to pursue my education through correspondence classes, and I'm glad I did. When my skating career is over, whenever that may be, I think I might like to be an attorney--I'll be ready for it."


Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the county and to mankind is to bring up a family.
George Bernard Shaw

chart showing positive effect of father's involvement on student success in school; 31 percent of K-12 students whose fathers are highly involved receive mostly A's (as opposed to only 17% of those whose fathers are not involved), and only 11% of such students are suspended or expelled (as opposed to 35% of students whose fathers are not involved)
Fathers Matter! U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1999)

The Department of Education hosted a Supplemental Services Conference, "Serving Schoolchildren and Increasing Options for Parents," June 13-14, in Washington, D.C. Under No Child Left Behind, parents of disadvantaged children who attend persistently low-performing schools can receive tutoring or other academic help. "This conference is giving education leaders and potential providers the critical information they need to help implement this important provision that gives children in failing schools the extra help they need," said Secretary Rod Paige.


A new pamphlet, Parent's Guide to Supplemental Services, is now available.

In newspapers across the nation this past Sunday, as well as in its stores, Target Stores released "Build on Reading" tips for parents. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the message supports No Child Left Behind and the principle that learning to read is the foundation for a child's success in school and in life.

Start by helping your child learn the alphabet and letter sounds. Then help as your child begins to read words. Explain the meaning of words and expressions for your child. Talk about a lot of different things. Read often yourself as an example, and read with your child. Listen with support and encouragement as your child attempts letters, sounds, and words. Discuss the ideas in books together and, most of all, enjoy doing this with your child.

What is the Summer Solstice?
The longest day of the year when the sun reaches the farthest north, and it's the beginning of summer, June 21. When the North Pole points toward the sun, the sun's rays hit the northern half of the world more directly. That means it is warmer, and we have summer. (Extra snack: The word solstice means "sun stands still.")

Who is called the Father of our Country?

A. President Abraham Lincoln
B. President George Washington
C. President John Quincy Adams


We hope you find the No Child Left Behind e-newsletter of interest. We will be sending these out regularly. You can also check out our website, which is updated regularly, and serves as a one-stop shop for parents and families, teachers and principals, local and state officials, and members of the business and civic communities. If you have any questions or suggestions about topics you would like to know more about, please e-mail If you would like to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please e-mail, and write this message: unsubscribe NoChildLeftBehind.


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Last Modified: 11/02/2006