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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 2, 1997

WASHINGTON -- Continuing his effort to support and strengthen the role of men in children's lives, Vice President Al Gore today (10/2) released a report that shows the importance of fathers' involvement in their children's education. He was joined by Education Secretary Richard Riley, two fathers and their children.

Children thrive under the care of an active, concerned, responsible father, Vice President Gore said. The report released today shows that when it comes to education, children particularly need their fathers. When fathers take part in their children's education, the children are more likely to perform better in school and keep on course for graduation. Fathers must join mothers in assisting their children's learning and development.

The Department of Education report, Fathers' Involvement in Their Children's Schools, shows that children whose fathers are actively involved in their education are more likely to enjoy school, get As, and participate in extracurricular activities. Moreover, the report says that fathers have a powerful role to play in single-parent families when it comes to keeping children from being expelled or suspended from school.

Vice President Gore was joined at today's event by two fathers: Dr. Ronald Klinger and his son, Christopher (from Austin, TX), and John Burdnelle and his daughters, Thea and Jacqueline (from Baltimore, MD). Both fathers spoke about what it's like to be an active, involved father in their children's education.

In 1994, Vice President Gore held the Third Annual Family Reunion Conference on the Role of Men in Children's Lives. During the conference, Vice President Gore called for a national effort to unite men in the task of being strong and positive forces in their children's lives. The result was the development of the Father to Father initiative, which brings together fathers, local communities and agencies to help support and strengthen the role of men in children's lives. In 1995, President Clinton ordered federal department and agencies to review their policies and programs to find flexible ways to help support men in their role as fathers. In 1996, Vice President Gore challenged the private sector to join that effort in strengthening the role of fathers in the lives of children.