Dad Days to celebrate paternal bonding

KU football coach, columnist to speak about fatherhood

Originally published May 31, 2011 at 12:29 a.m., updated May 31, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.

Dads, granddads, fathers-to-be and anyone else of the male persuasion with a connection to younger offspring are invited to pick up tips, share advice and otherwise boost the profile of fatherhood during an event next month.

The second Dad Days, a weeklong collection of programs, presentations and professional development sessions, is set for June 13-18 in Lawrence.

Organizers say the events will give children new and renewed opportunities for bonding with their dads, and give fathers the “daddy tools” they need to build successful relationships with their children.

“Fatherhood is important,” said Charlie Bryan, community health planner for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and secretary for Dads of Douglas County, the event organizer. “Events like this promote responsible, involved and committed fathers.”

All events are free and open to the public. Among the highlights:

• Turner Gill, head football coach at Kansas University, will discuss “Building Relationships that Last Forever,” at 6:30 p.m. June 13 in the auditorium at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, 1400 Mass. Doors open at 6 p.m. Gill has two daughters, Jordan and Margaux.

• Leonard Pitts Jr., an author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Miami Herald whose work appears regularly in the Journal-World, will discuss “In the Measure of a Man,” at 8 p.m. June 14 in the auditorium at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, 1400 Mass. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Pitts is the author of “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood.”

• Dad Days Film Festival, a ceremony for a contest, screening and awards for independent filmmakers, 7 p.m. June 15 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

• Professional development sessions, conducted for human-resource professionals, from 8:30 a.m. to noon June 17 at Holiday Inn Lawrence, 200 McDonald Drive. Charles Smith of K-State Research and Extension will deliver the keynote address, “Empowering fathers to be Heroes in their Children’s Eyes.” Breakout sessions include “Working with Latino Dads and the Barriers They Face,” “Fathers and Daughters,” and “The Five Love Languages: Father Style.”

To register for professional development sessions or for more information about events, email Jenn Preston at or call 856-5336.