By: Jarret Romanello, The St. Lucie Post
July 30, 2021
(FORT PIERCE, FL) Fathers in St. Lucie County got more than a game this summer by the Children’s Service Council of St. Lucie County. From June 24th to July 29th, dads and father figures met at the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County’s Westside Club to play basketball and discuss resources available to them – all to make them better parents.
With a new generation of fathers actively involved in their children’s lives, the Children’s Service Council of St. Lucie County wants to give dads the tools they need to be successful role models. “We want to let people know what is available to them because we don’t ever want families or parents to feel like there’s not a resource to help them,” The Children’s Service Council said in a statement released to The St. Lucie Post.
The program in partnership with the Roundtable of St. Lucie and Kids at Hope is a non-traditional outreach initiative designed to ensure dads get the help they need to keep their kids safe, off the streets, and successful in school.
Each Thursday night from 5 pm to 8 pm, about a dozen dads hit the courts for camaraderie and the classroom for coaching, Kevin Singletary, Project Coordinator for Kids at Hope told the dads to be available for their kids. “Mentoring can make the difference in a child’s life,” Singletary said.
During the program, Singletary presented a series of lectures on the fatherhood perspective to give the dads a chance to leave a legacy. Singletary believes fathers are the blueprint for their families and told them, “Your son emulates what you become as a man and your daughter admires who you are as a man – you have to have a vision for yourself and your family.”
He shared a valuable quote with the dads: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight with no vision,” -Helen Keller.
John Cesar says basketball was his life growing up. That all changed when he finished college, married, and had two children. Cesar, a past Children’s Service Council of St. Lucie Outstanding Youth Award Winner now serves as the organization’s Community Engagement Coordinator and wants to show dads that there is more to life than basketball.
Cesar set up a place where dads could come play ball then share their struggles while being nurtured as fathers. He partnered with local nonprofits to come in and show what they have to offer. One of those programs, Big Brother & Big Sisters explained resources available in schools to improve literacy for students. “This is educational and fun,” Cesar said.
For more information about The Children’s Service Council of St. Lucie, visit www.cscslc.org