Paul Arndorfer enjoys donuts and a book with his children, first grader William, and second grader Kayla.
Paul Arndorfer enjoys donuts and a book with his children, first grader William, and second grader Kayla.
Kingsland Elementary School students enjoyed donuts, books and companionship with their fathers Friday morning during a special Donuts with Dads event in the Kingsland Cafe.

The cafeteria was packed with about 141 fathers and grandfathers joining the young students in the cafeteria for a breakfast that included coffee for the adults and books for the children. Following the meal, the dads were encouraged to read with their children.

This is the second year for the event, noted Jennifer Campbell, a Title 1 instructor who coordinated the activities. Attendance this year took a significant jump from the number of visitors last year.

"It's been very well received and the kids really look forward to it," said Campbell.

The look on the children's faces proved that point as they flashed big smiles while taking their fathers by the hand through the food line and to the tables. The young ones enjoyed visiting with their fathers and sharing in the reading before it was time to go, with several giving farewell hugs at the end of the hour-long event.

The purpose of the activity is not only to get fathers involved with their children, but also to bring the community into the school, said Campbell.

It is one of a series of events Campbell is planning that involve the community. They include the Giant Book Swap Jan. 26, at which students can bring their old books and receive tickets to get "new to you" books on the day of the swap, Muffins with Moms in March, Family Bingo Night in April and Popcorn with Parents in May, which is based on the same concept as the donut and muffin events except it is a giant reading and popcorn party outside.

Principal Chris Priebe was busy Friday morning as he helped serve the food to the students and their fathers. Later, he was setting up tables as the crowd overflowed the standard seating arrangement in the cafeteria. He didn't mind, though.

"We are so appreciative to our dads who took the time today to come and eat breakfast, and read a story to their child," he said. "We couldn't do the work we do here without the supportive families we have here at Kingsland."