Daniel Trevino of Alice says that being involved in his daughter's education has helped her in school and in life.

Trevino and his daughter and niece, both juniors at Alice High School, were among the hundreds of area students and parents that attended the second annual Interdistrict STAR Dads! (And Student Grads) rally in Robstown last week.

The May 14 rally at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds included students and parents from the Alice, Brooks County, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Mathis and Odem-Edroy school districts.

"I come often to these. I enjoy it," Trevino said. "They know I'm there for them. I wish more dads would attend these things. I think it helps with their grades."

Trevino's daughter, Rosalia Trevino, said she felt fortunate to have a father who cared enough to be involved in her education. She said it wasn't difficult to get him to take a day to be with her in Robstown.

"It was easy. He kind of just wanted to," Rosalia said. "It's exciting and I'm happy to be here with my dad."

Rosalia and her cousin, Cassie Cardona, both said they liked the Mariachi band from Falfurrias Junior High School, which played periodically throughout the three-hour event in the fairground's Central Pavilion Arena.

"It's pretty fun. I don't have a dad at home, but he's kind of a father figure. And he helps me with a lot of stuff too," Cassie said. "I met a lot of people here and made some friends, and spent time with my uncle and cousin.

"It's exciting to meet new people and be with other dads. The games are really fun. The food was great."

"It's cool because people come from all over Texas," Trevino added. "It's exciting. It shows that parents care for them."

The rally was sponsored by Fathers Active in Communication & Education and was made possible by federal grants, said FACE president Alphonso Rinc—n.

Rinc—n said the rally of 300 to 400 people brought together fathers and programs from six area school districts, and honored the winners of an essay contest about how fathers have prepared their children for higher education.

"As more dads see each other, I think it reinforces their participation," Rinc—n said. "I think it's a way for kids to see fathers and come over and be involved in this way.

"Kids leave with a great feeling about accomplishments from this year and appreciation of how their fathers have helped them, and have been involved in their education. The dads are taking time off, helping with tough times, to be ready for next school year and into the future by being prepared for higher education."

Trevino said he's a regular at the FACE events, which have been held in Alice and at other venues for about five years.

"I feel it motivates them to want to come to school more and learn more because I come to these places," Trevino said. "I've been to quite a few of them. I'd say eight or nine times. I have fun with my daughters here and they appreciate how I come to these FACE events."

Later in the afternoon, the students filled out "cuentos" with stories about their fathers from their fathers' early elementary school days. With a few cuentos, the students would be able to tell stories about their fathers that took place before the students were born, Rinc—n said.

Jeffrey Mendoza, a 16-year-old junior at Alice High School, was in attendance with his mother and aunt. Mendoza said he thought the day was a worthwhile experience.

"It was fun being here with my mom and aunt," Jeffrey said. "It's cool. I've been coming for a long time."

Jeffrey's mom, Martha Romero, agreed.

"I like it because they speak about talking with his school," Romero said.