Dedicated Dads

Chautauqua Opportunities is giving area dads the chance to do hands-on activities with their children.

Every first Thursday of the month, Chautauqua Opportunities holds its monthly “Dedicated Dads” night at the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Chautauqua Opportunities has been hosting the event for close to two years.

According to Mike Tobio, a life skills facilitator and male involvement coach at Chautauqua Opportunities, each month there are different activities for dads to work on with their children and usually five to 10 dads attend each month.

While the event is geared toward dads, several mothers did attend Thursday’s event, where kids could create different colors of sand to make a variety of sand art pieces.

“Tonight we’re doing sand art, and we’ve done mouse trap cars, self-watering gardens, pumpkin carving and making balls,” Tobio said. “Predominately, the children that attend are members of the Boys & Girls Club.”

Tobio said that Chautauqua Opportunities also hosts life skills groups, employability training and aids individuals in rent payments when needed.

“We’re here to help people get to a place of being self-sufficient,” said Beth Lanphere, also with Chautauqua Opportunities.

Justin Shaver and daughter, Mekahla, worked on creating a sand art piece at the beginning of the event.

According to Shaver, he and his daughter frequently attend the “Dedicated Dads” events. As Shaver mixed together different colors of sand for his daughter’s project, Mekahla showed off her progress to those sitting around her table.

“Dedicated Dads” is hosted the first Thursday of each month in Jamestown at the Boys & Girls Club and third Thursday of each month in Dunkirk, at the Connections North location, 10825 Bennett Road.

Chautauqua Opportunities is focused on fighting poverty through community action.

To learn more, visit www.chautauquaopportunities.com.