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Like father, Like son: Program at Thomson Elementary boosts fraternal bonding

Some McDuffie County fathers got a chance to interact with their sons during a father-son workshop at the 21st Century After-School Program at Thomson Elementary.

father_and_son.jpg

Devin Roberts (left) listens to the program while he eats dinner.
Kristopher Wells
On Tuesday, Jan. 13, Dads came to TES and ate a meal with their sons in the cafeteria. After the meal, a group discussion was led by Thomson High Counselor Richard Williams.

"We're going to talk about what issues and things they want to talk about. What do they want to deal with, and we'll go from there," Mr. Williams said. "I came here with an open slate to see what their needs are."

The group gathered in a circle of chairs and spent time introducing themselves to one another. Each person had to share his name and a fact about himself. Each person in the group then had to recite what everyone before them shared.

The purpose of the gathering was simple to those who organized it -- to give fathers and sons a chance to spend time together when they ordinarily don't get that chance.

"I just want to try to bring the fathers and sons together ... so they'll be able to bond with one another and learn things from each other," said Mistey Greene, the parent coordinator for the Thomson Elementary after-school program.

"It was a good time for fathers and sons just to get together and interact on the school level so that they can see what's going on here," said Barbara Johnson, the 21st Century site coordinator at TES.

Ms. Johnson hopes that the time spent together at the workshop will accomplish more than just having fathers and sons spend time together.

father_and_son2.jpg

Thomson High Counselor Richard Williams talks to the group of dads and kids.
Kristopher Wells
"We hope that our boys will grow up to be inspired to do a better job in their school work, to become well rounded citizens in the community by interacting with their fathers more," Ms. Johnson said.

Mr. Williams hopes that the group discussion will open up lines of communication that are traditionally absent in the father-son relationship. In doing so, he hopes everyone in the group can learn from each other.

"The biggest goal that we want is just sharing ideas and sharing experiences," he said. "That way they don't have to make the same mistakes."



Web posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004


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