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The National Center for Fathering conducts Father of the Year Essay Contests in partnership with local schools and sponsoring organizations. In 2005, eight contests were held and altogether, over 100,000 school children submitted essays on the topic, "What My Father Means to Me." Below is a sampling of essays from past contests:


1st grader - "My dad is the best dad ever. I would kiss a pig for him."


1st grader - "My dad is a Frito-Lay man. That is an important job because Frito-Lay means chips, which is food. That is so important because you could not live without food."



3rd grader - "The dad in my life isn't really my dad. He's my Grandpa. But he's been like a dad to me since before I was born. . .I hope that as I get older Grandpa will teach me all the stuff he knows about wood, and first-aid, and everything else he knows about. My Grandpa isn't my Father, but I wouldn't trade him for all the dads in the world."



4th grader - "Sometimes as a joke I'll put my stinky socks in his briefcase, so at work the next day he will think of me! He's always at the concerts and plays that I'm in, even though he lives about an hour away."



5th grader - "You know what else my dad does? He braids my hair. I'm the only girl I know whose dad braids her hair. I think that's a perfect dad. He already is the world's greatest dad to me. I just wanted everyone to know that."


6th grader - "One time I had an assembly and I was a soloist and my dad was in the first row, and after my song I smiled at my dad, and my dad smiled back and started crying. That was the best thing I ever saw."



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