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OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI)-According to the U.S. Department of Census, 43 percent of United States children live without their father. One program in Okolona is trying to change all that with their annual Fishing with Father’s event.

More children in today’s society are growing up in single parent homes.

That’s why The Baby Steps program in Okolona has found new ways for father’s to bond with their children by providing a place outdoors to do a little fishing.

“Our children really need examples of good strong men and this one example they’ll have great memories there is life lessons, we’ve brought books they’ll be reading to their children so it’s a very important event,” says Dawn Weed.

Dawn Weed, the executive Director of Baby Steps, is hoping to empower fathers with events like these and get them more involved in their children’s lives.

For the last four years, John Brett has brought his grandson to the “Fishing with Fathers” event wanting to be an example for other fathers.

“This is the only way that we can get something done like this is. I step out first. They see me do it then they say well he’s taking time to go with his grandson so why can’t I do this,” says John Betts.

John enjoys teaching his grandson life lessons while they fish.

“If you notice in the Bible it says that he called the old because they know the way, he called the young because they’re strong. The old know the way so if we can get those children and teach them to fish they can fish and eat for a lifetime, but if we feed them a fish, they’ll just eat for one day,” says Betts.

Fishing has been a family tradition in Omar Moore’s family. Because those traditions left his family with a great relationship, he wanted to offer the same experience to those in the community.

“You don’t want to be a stranger to your kids. Makes a much balanced human being you know. They need to love, they need the concern and they need everything they can get especially in this world today,” says Moore.

As families enjoy time with one another, Omar hopes they learn some tips from the Canadian Geese that roam in his pond.

“Perfect example of what a family should be. The male and female they cooperate one and sit on the eggs and they’re bonded for life and they take turns and raising the family and raise it together,” says Moore.

Baby Steps is a program that’s designed to teach mainly low-income parents of pre-schoolers how to prepare their children for success in school and in life.

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