President Barack Obama wears several different hats, but he says his most important role is being a father to Malia, 12, and Sasha, 10. Raised by a single mom, the President has always been vocal about how important it is for men to step up as fathers, particularly in the African-American community.

The White House is acknowledging the negative impact a father’s absence has on children, and that even those fathers who are active in their children’s lives sometimes need support. This week, the White House kicked off the “Strong Fathers, Strong Families” initiative to make this time of the year special for dads:

The White House teamed up with several organizations including local bowling alleys, the WNBA, LivingSocial and Groupon to offer discounts for certain events so that fathers can spend more quality time with their families. Check out this weekend’s zoo discount at

Special screenings:
As a part of the First Lady’s Joining Forces movement, major movie studios including Warner Brothers and Disney will host movie screenings for military families throughout the year. Yesterday, military dads and their kids joined the President for a screening of “Cars 2.”

Through the “Champions of Change” program, the White House will honor 12 dads from around the country who are committed to providing for their children and positively impacting their communities.

From the Heart:
The President penned an op-ed in People magazine that described his relationship with his children. He wrote, “I’ve learned that children don’t just need us physically present, but emotionally available – willing to listen and pay attention and participate in their daily lives.”

President Obama knows that one of the best ways to encourage fathers to take responsibility is to set an example. He connects with his daughters by eating dinner with his family most nights of the week, and even serving as an assistant coach for Sasha’s basketball team.

Visit for more information about the White House’s new initiative.


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