A father and son enjoyed bonding time and a few good books at “Dads, Donuts and Diapers,” a June 7 parent workshop hosted by archdiocesan Catholic Social Services at its Northeast Philadelphia Family Service Center. (Photo courtesy of Beth Wood.)

Several Northeast Philadelphia dads prepared for Father’s Day by cracking open a few good books.

On June 7, Catholic Social Services (CSS) hosted “Dads, Donuts and Diapers” June 7 at its Northeast Philadelphia Family Service Center, one of five CSS operates throughout the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Last year CSS served more than 225,000 residents in Southeastern Pennsylvania through a broad range of services, many of which are community-based.

Last week’s event focused on the importance of reading to children as a healthier alternative to television viewing, gaming and mobile device use.

In addition, parent educators at the center stressed the need to develop a routine of daily bonding time with children.

According to a 2018 study published in the journal Pediatrics, reading aloud to kids fosters not only language skills, but also social and emotional development. As a result, the practice can help to reduce problematic behavior such as aggression and hyperactivity, with sustained results.


The fathers attending the CSS event — who also participate in the center’s diaper pantries and bathtub safety classes — received applications for the Free Library of Philadelphia, so that each member of the household could obtain a library card.

Raffles, gift bags and children’s books rounded out the session, along with coffee, lemonade and (of course) donuts.

“We wanted to celebrate the important role that dads play,” said Beth Wood, administrator of the center. “And we also wanted to give them resources for healthy bonding with their kids.”