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Fatherhood Success Academy celebrates those who completed program

SALISBURY — In April, Heal Our People, Inc. launched its first six-week Fatherhood Success Academy in partnership with Head Start.

“The program is founded on research that shows that when children have regular, positive contact with their fathers, they experience improved emotional development, perform better in school, have fewer behavioral problems, and go on to become successful adults,” said Micah Griffin, founder and executive director of Heal Our People, Inc.

Pastor Troy Russell, Livingstone College campus minister, served as the coordinator and led the discussions each Saturday. Through those discussions, the fathers learned about their roles in their children’s emotional development, how to break unhealthy parenting habits and how to improve their overall communication skills.

The fathers celebrated the conclusion of the program with their spouses and children at Family Day, a cookout and awards ceremony at City Park. Family Day honored the fathers who committed to three or more sessions with certificates of completion and words of encouragement from guest speaker Councilman Kenny Hardin.

Griffin credits his relationship with his father as the source that inspired him to create the Fatherhood Success Academy “to influence fatherhood development, because it directly impacts family development.”

Heal Our People, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving the overall well-being of African American men through academic advancement, fatherhood success and health-care equity.

The fathers appreciated the Fatherhood Success Academy so much that they are inquiring about another session. The next session of the academy is being scheduled for later this year. Griffin hopes to expand the program by training the fathers who have successfully completed the program to become program coordinators in an effort to provide leadership opportunities and build a network of support for fathers.

Visit www.heaourpeople.org to get more information, to contact the organization and for the opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation.

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