Mon, Jan 04, 2010
The Straits Times
More support for 'Back to school with Dad'

An annual campaign to encourage fathers to take their children to school has won more support.

Non-profit organisation Centre for Fathering, which runs the campaign, said 58 schools and 17 employers are on board, up from 16 schools and 11 employers last year. Employers include the Singapore Tourism Board, supermarket chain FairPrice and food company Cerebos Pacific.

The centre's programme executive, Mr Danny Teo, hopes the campaign will spur fathers to be more involved in their child's life, and promote father-and-child bonding.

Mr Ivan Chua, 42, will drive son Caleb, six, and daughter Chrislyn, nine, to school tomorrow. Caleb is in Primary 1 at St Andrew's Junior School in Potong Pasir. Chrislyn is in Primary 4 at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Primary) in Lorong Ah Soo.

Mr Chua, deputy director of finance at the Ministry of Home Affairs, said his wife Elaine, 37, plays a bigger parenting role.

She quit her teaching job three years ago.

He coaches them in school work in the evenings, and bonds with them by playing badminton.

The Health Promotion Board is also riding on the campaign to encourage fathers to walk with their children to school.

This is in line with the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week.

As part of the campaign, five $100 sporting gift vouchers are up for grabs for fathers who send in photos of themselves holding hands and walking with their child.

The entry must be sent by Jan 11 with the particulars of both the parent and child - name, age, address, contact number, identity card number and school - to cats6@sph.com.sg, with 'Back to school with Dad!' as the subject heading.

The picture must show the child wearing his school uniform.

The entry must have a description of fewer than 35 words of the father's feelings on taking his child to school.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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Multimedia: Cyntherea Tan