Strong Fathers at Carlsbad Head Start By Arel Chamberlain November 15, SNMCAC/Head Start—This year’s Strong Fathers event at Southeast New Mexico Community Action Center/Head Start was anything but typical. In past years, fathers and grandfathers were invited to spend the day with their children or grandchildren within the Head Start building, but concerns regarding COVID required the staff to come up with a creative alternative. To ensure both maximum fun and social distancing, SNMCAC teamed up with Tri Star Services LLC to transform the bus loops traffic island into an artificial pond—and one stocked with trout, no less! After having breakfast at the school, boys and girls, fathers and grandfathers all gathered around the incredible pool for some fishing, with rods and chairs provided by SNMCAC. Children sat on laps and shoulders, casting their lines with the guidance of their fathers and grandfathers, anxiously watching their bobbers for a bite. A school of dark trout swirled within the pond’s clear waters, begging to be caught. While this was a catch-and-release event, all were having too much fun to lament not keeping their catches.Strong Fathers is an annual event held by Carlsbad Head Start to encourage fathers to become more involved in their child’s education. When asked if the pond would remain a permanent fixture at Carlsbad Head Start, Family and Community Partnership Manager Edelynn Manríquez said no, but further stated her intent for the fishing to become the norm in years going forward.
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