Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Danny Polanco From the D.A.D Project! by Mike Prochaska
Danny Polanco is the founder of the D.A.D Project. The D.A.D Project is a federal 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that was founded in February 2016. Its mission is "to empower fathers and/or positive male role models to play an active role in the lives of their children and those within their community by creating opportunities to spend quality time through fun, interactive and educational activities that supports parent participation at every grade." I was very excited Danny took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for me.
Q. What would you like to tell us about working with young children?
"I'm a firm believer that it starts with the parents. Dads need the support to provide for their children. Parents don't come with handbooks, but if we can teach them their child's development and ways to navigate their behavior, they will become more involved. Especially in the Hispanic culture, where it's not the norm to question authority. So I like to teach them they matter and they are their child’s first and last teacher."
Q. What's your favorite memory working with kids?
"My favorite memory working with children in the head start [program] was always feeling like a rock star! The moment I stepped into the classroom, even to just visit the room, the kids just gravitated towards me. They all wanted to show me what was going on in the classroom, what they're learning that day or have a meal to share. I felt bad sometimes because I felt like in was disrupting the classroom but the kids loved it!"
Q. Do you have any Facebook pages or blog you would like to share with us?
"We are always looking for volunteers and want to make sure that everyone knows all of our events and workshops are free to any family. Thank you for this opportunity and I'm here to help."