The Allegheny Intermediate Unit's second annual Father-Daughter Dinner Dance is scheduled for Saturday and is sold out, with more than 200 father-daughter pairs scheduled to attend.
But don't despair: There will be another one next year, and in the meantime, the AIU's Responsible Fatherhood Program, the Allegheny Family Network and the Fathers Collaborative Council have other programs and events to keep Pittsburgh-area dads and their children busy.
Larry Klinger, a program manager with the AIU, said that the dance didn't sell in its first year, but this year's success shows the need for events like it. He said the organization will consider finding a larger location next year.
Other events held throughout the year include father-child camping trips, canoeing trips, cookouts and group outings to Pirates games, he said.
AIU spokeswoman Sarah McCluan said these programs emphasize that fathers are parents and nurturers, too.
"The traditional role in how they were raised is that fathers were the providers," Ms. McCluan said of some of the men the AIU works with.
"Fathers have to help raise and nurture their children as well, maybe in different ways than they were raised," she said.
The organizations also offer programs that improve family stability, like ensuring parents can obtain GEDs or other skills needed to land a solid job, she said.
Research shows children who grow up with their fathers in their lives are more likely to attend college and less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to a news release from the AIU, but every year, more than 26 million children live apart from their dads.
The programs from the three organizations "help fathers be self-sufficient and productive parents," the release said.
For more information about the organizations' programs, contact Mr. Klinger at 412-394-5955 or firstname.lastname@example.org_west - neigh_north - neigh_east - neigh_south
Annie Siebert: email@example.com or 412-263-1613. Twitter: @AnnieSiebert