Present, engaged fathers in the United States are more important to their child’s wellbeing than most people realize, according to the National Center for Fathering, but more than 20 million children in the United States live in a home without a father present, and even more have dads who are uninterested and emotionally absent.

Arkansas Better Dads, a new nonprofit organization, will host the Governor’s Summit on Fatherhood on Friday, June 28 in conjunction with Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. The goal of the event is to inspire, educate and guide men in Arkansas toward being actively engaged fathers to their children.

According to the National Center for Fathering, children without a strong father figure are more likely to show behavioral problems, live in poverty, become pregnant teens and drop out of high school.

Attendees will learn about why the positive role of a dad is so important to children’s growth and development during the day-long summit featuring two free events.

The first sesson begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Embassy Suites and will feature keynote speeches from Hutchinson and Daryl Basset, Director of the Department of Workforce Services, followed by a luncheon and remarks from former NBA Hall of Famer and Arkansas native Sidney Moncrief.

That evening, First Assembly of God, North Little Rock, will host the Better Dads Rally at 5 p.m. with food trucks, activities and opportunities to hear more from and interact with Moncrief, former NBA player Ron Brewer and Pastor Rod Loy of First Assembly in North Little Rock. Both of these events will include break-out sessions and workshops where fathers will learn the steps to make positive changes in their families by taking the Arkansas Better Dad Challenge.

For more information and to register for this free event, visit the Summit website.