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Instructional Guide

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Instructional Guide for Usage and Effectiveness

The Father Times parenting newsletter resource is intended to assist fathers, father figures and others in understanding and connecting with young children in fun, caring and meaningful ways. We believe this will happen largely as a result of how the newsletter resource is used and implemented in effective ways by those who are interested in it as an educational resource. Therefore, we have prepared this brief instructional guide on usage and effectiveness of the Father Times newsletter resource. We hope it will be useful to you in your educational efforts.

Dad holding daughter's handKeys to Effectiveness in Using the Father Times Newsletter

The following tips may be helpful in ensuring effective usage of the Father Times newsletter.

  • Plan ahead on how you wish to use the newsletter and how you will get it to your target audience.
  • Communicate the meaning and value of the Father Times parenting newsletter to parents, caregivers and staff members.
  • Identify the people you wish to receive the newsletter and the strategy you will use to share the information with them.
  • Create mechanisms of support for using the newsletter resource and doing the activities that are involved.
  • Designate a specific contact person to coordinate the newsletter.
  • Copy and deliver the complete newsletter resource as currently designed.
  • "Personalize" or "localize" the newsletter, if desired, by simply adding a two-page front-and-back insert.


Printing and Distribution of the Father Times Newsletter

The two primary steps involved in this process are printing the newsletters and distributing it to families. The following steps can make the process more effective.

  • Review the file of each newsletter issue on CD and decide on the printing process you will use.
  • Copy or print the number of newsletters you will need for distribution in your program.
  • Set a distribution schedule to be followed for delivery of the newsletter.

    Examples of distribution schedules are given below.

    • Monthly - The newsletter will be delivered once a month on set dates, such as the first or 15th day of the month. This may coordinate with the school year calendar.
    • Semimonthly - The newsletter will be delivered twice a month on set dates, such as on the first and the 15th day of the month, the beginning of the first and third weeks, etc. The schedule beginning on a calendar year could be: January (two issues), February (two issues), March (two issues), April (two issues), May (one issue and evaluation).
    • Click Here for Sample Distribution Schedule (PDF)
  • Inform individuals or families in advance, if possible, that the newsletter will be coming.
  • Decide on how the newsletter will be distributed and let families know how that will happen.
  • Deliver the complete newsletter so it reaches the father or father figure on a regular and timely basis.
  • Brainstorm additional uses for the Father Times newsletter in your program.

The effectiveness of the Father Times newsletter resource in encouraging father involvement is directly related to its distribution.


Extended Use of the Father Times Newsletter

It is our first hope that the Father Times parenting newsletter will be a useful information source on child development and parenting for fathers and father figures. We also hope that it can be used in a variety of other ways that "extend" its value and provide a positive benefit to parents and other caregivers, couples or program staff who are interested in supporting healthy father and male involvement efforts. Some suggestions are given below.

For Parents and Other Caregivers

  • Create a file of the newsletters and use them to bring up ideas or activities that can be done with young children.
  • Use the newsletters to provide the basis for discussion topics as part of a parent support group or educational class.
  • Share parenting tips and facts from the newsletter series with other parents and friends.

For Couples

  • Use the Father Times newsletter topics as a discussion tool to create dialogue about parenting your children together and share your ideas with each other.
  • Select activities from the Father Times newsletter to do once or twice a week together as parents with young children.
  • Share the stories from the Father Times newsletter and talk about how the principles involved apply to you as a couple in parenting.

For Staff Members

  • Use the Father Times newsletter monthly as part of staff training to focus on different aspects of father involvement with young children.
  • Discuss ways to implement the Father Times newsletter and its themes into program activities and priorities.
  • Make the topic from a newsletter issue the basis for a parent education night and use ideas and activities from the newsletter for parent-child activities.
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