“Set a fantastic example for your child. Establish a code of conduct. If you don’t, your children may adopt that which may endanger their lives and the lives of others.”—David Dooley
If you ask David Dooley, hearing about child abuse is one of the most frustrating things imaginable. “Why does it even exist?” he asked, rhetorically.
“Kids have been reared for thousands of years and when human beings figure out how to do something, they will usually duplicate that over and over again. We should have figured out the right way to raise children without having to abuse them by now.”
Out of his frustration was born the desire to improve the quality of life for both children and parents, starting right here in Bakersfield. He decided to act, forming Advancing Parenting, a nonprofit that is passionate about parenting education as a means to ending the devastation that often is the result of a lack thereof. However, what is really setting this organization apart are its tactics, which are a far cry from meetings and coaching sessions.
Not to be limited by communicating through more conventional means, Advancing Parenting takes a very unique approach to informing the public of their cause. In fact, you may have already caught one of Dooley’s messages circulating around town without even realizing it. “I want to completely eliminate child abuse,” Dooley stated. “I knew I had to get quality parenting information out into the community, but in some other fashion than is typical.” After countless hours of scouring books and pamphlets and articles, he came up with a list of 50 Parenting Tips. Then came the unconventional part: getting the word out.
Dooley was buying furniture with is wife at R&D Leather Furniture when it struck him. “I saw the hours posted on the front window and thought that I could get vinyl letters and put them on the front of different shops around town.” He approached the owners, and they agreed to place the first of many messages on their window. Since then, he has decorated businesses, car windows and bumpers, and billboards with these tips.
“Set a fantastic example for your child.” “Establish a code of conduct. If you don’t, your children may adopt that which may endanger their lives and the lives of others.” “Parents introduce their children to the arts, encourage them to participate, and support their efforts.” These are just a few of the 50 beautiful messages that Dooley has put out.
Though this endeavor is a one man show, Dooley has had some support from a few organizations locally. Jan St. Pierre is the communications officer for First 5 Kern, a local nonprofit that awards grants to organizations that are passionate about bettering the lives of children. “We knew of David’s public parenting campaign and we wanted to help him,” St. Pierre said, when asked about Dooley being a recipient of their grants in the past. “His efforts are aimed toward reducing crime, child abuse, substance abuse, and improving parenting and parent-child relationships. It’s an excellent program, and something that First 5 is passionate about, as well.”
St. Pierre knew of Dooley when he was still a teacher, and maintained that he always had a strong commitment to bettering the lives of children. “He was a teacher who was always involved with the parents, and he always went a step further,” she confirmed. “I hope he is able to take his message nationwide.”
And that is exactly what Dooley has his sights set on. Sure, there are things Advanced Parenting would like to do locally still, like put their bumper stickers on fleet vehicles in town, but the nonprofit would also like to get the word out all over the nation, since the messages that are being delivered surpass boundaries. In order to do this while employing more impactful media, they need donations. Dooley maintained that 100 percent of the funds raised goes right into making the signage for the parenting tips. Nothing is spent on salaries, rent, or things of that nature.
To donate to this worthy cause and help make the future a little brighter for children all over the United States, visit their website at www.advancingparenting.org/contact-order-donate.html.