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A Message For Dads

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Posters at D.C. area bus shelters encourage residents to be better fathers.
Ginger Moored
Posters at D.C. area bus shelters encourage residents to be better fathers.

By Ginger Moored

“Take time to be a dad today” is the tagline on approximately 100 posters at bus shelters around the D.C. area. They map out places where fathers can hang out with their children, and some fathers are taking notice.

At a bus stop on H Street Northeast, Tyrone Neal points to the map’s orange areas.

"Lincoln Memorial, the National History Museum, the Capitol...," says Neal.

Neal is a resident of Northeast D.C. and has three children. He says ads like this can remind people what fatherhood is all about. It took him a while to figure that out himself, after he had his first child right after high school.

"It honestly didn’t even hit me that I was a father until I was maybe three years into being a father. Because it doesn’t hit you like that just because you’re buying pampers or milk. It hits you when you start being there, when you start making sacrifices," he says.

Neal says now he takes his son to the National Gallery of Art and attends his daughter’s cheer-leading practices after school.

Vince DiCaro, from the National Fatherhood Initiative, which is one of the ad campaign’s partners, says he does get feedback on ads like this.

"We even had one dad who literally said that seeing our ads over and over again with his kids around made him not move away. He was ready to actually move out of state away from his kids after a divorce," says DiCaro.

DiCaro says one-third of American children today grow up in homes without their biological father.

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