NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP, abc24.com) - Nashville health officials will use a nearly $5 million federal grant to teach men how to be better fathers.
The program is expected to last three years and yield social and economic benefits for families and the city.
The $4.8 million grant will fund programs in North and East Nashville in neighborhoods where the proportion of single-parent homes is 60 percent, according to The Tennessean.
Joshua Talley is a father of four who formed his own support group after a first marriage that was wracked by tensions. That marriage at 20 ended after Talley worked two jobs to support his then-wife and infant daughter. When he intended to marry again, Talley went through a Metro Health Department boot camp for new fathers and lined up mentors to help him. He also completed his GED.
"I've learned to show my kids so much more love," said Talley, whose children are now 14, 11, 6 and 1. "This new program will give men the tools they need to be a better father and will improve our communities. I would have learned so much if I knew of something like this when I was growing up."
Among issues the program will address are job training, anger management, relationship building and finishing school.
David Thomas, relationship author and director of counseling for men and boys at Daystar Counseling, said being a father wouldn't be so overwhelming if men had more good information about it.
"A lot of men didn't have a great road map and were parented by men who were not involved in the day-to-day parenting," Thomas said.
Experts point to better educational outcomes, emotional security and fewer behavioral problems among children with healthy family lives that include their fathers.
Thomas is not involved with the New Life Project being administered by the Metro Health Department.
Nashville and 119 other recipients will share in $119 million in grants under the Children & Families section of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The program will begin in January.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com