Bluefield University in the News

BU Early Childhood Education Program Partners with Local Initiative to Empower Black Fathers

by | Mar 1, 2023

Bluefield University, through its Early Childhood Education program, has joined the Black Father Family initiative led by the United Way of Roanoke Valley. Faculty members began teaching a course in February titled “Fatherhood 101: Empowering Fathers to be Educators” with a goal to educate fathers about children’s brain and social-emotional development, early learning, and challenging behavior.

A part of the United Way of Roanoke Valley’s Stable Families Initiative, this free educational cohort is designed to equip fathers in their roles as parents and as their child’s first teacher. Sessions are held the first and third Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Participants can attend in person at United Way of Roanoke Valley or take part in the program virtually.

Leslie Floyd, chair of Early Childhood Education at Bluefield University and a member of Black Father Family’s Steering Committee, is leading these training sessions on specific early childhood education and child development topics as part of the initiative.

“I am very excited to continue my work as a servant leader to our communities and help educate fathers who want the best for their young children,” Floyd said.

The Black Father Family initiative was founded by Ryan Bell. Its mission is to create a space for Black fathers to find meaningful connections, support, and resources to promote the health, well-being, and success of children, families, and communities. The initiative seeks to impact communities within five major areas including education, advocacy at all levels of government, cultivation of social capital to build community, investment in public health measures impacting the whole family, and consultation with existing partners and communities.

To learn more about the initiative, please visit To register for the course, please contact Leslie Floyd at [email protected].

For media inquiries and additional information, please contact [email protected].

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