DAD INVOLVEMENT – SUPPORTS STUDENT SUCCESS
Family life can get busy with parents balancing responsibilities at home, work and school as well as in the community. But, developing strategies to encourage Dads to be involved in their children's education matters more than ever.
When Dads are active participants in their child's learning and school, research shows that it leads to better grades and higher attendance. It also contributes to creating a healthy school climate and, in the long run, it increases the likelihood of a student going on to college.
Encouraging male involvement on your campus not only supports student achievement, it provides the opportunity to strengthen family-school partnerships and build an inclusive culture of authentic family engagement at your school.
PTA AND DADS – 5 WAYS TO BOOST INVOLVEMENT
Recruiting Dads as PTA members, volunteers and leaders may mean re-thinking how your PTA is run on an everyday basis. If your PTA relies mostly on Moms, increasing male engagement may involve breaking down barriers and trying new strategies for parent outreach.
Ways to make your PTA more inclusive are indicated by a National PTA survey of nearly 2,700 men. It showed, in general, how 21st century parents define their role as volunteers and what expectations they have in getting involved with PTA.
It also demonstrated that there are a number of effective ways to increase male involvement and build more male engagement on your school campus by:
1. Using specific messaging and promotion aimed at males
How your PTA communicates key messages can impact the level of male involvement at your school. Even slimming down language and format in your communications can be effective.
To boost participation, identify and showcase the benefits of male engagement:
- Explain how a Dad's involvement in PTA benefits his/her child by showing added interest in learning and school activities as well as greater support for a child's teachers and school
- Appeal more directly to men with briefer messaging by using bullet points and short lists in email blasts or as quick bits of information in newsletters
2. Asking men to get involved in PTA
Nearly half of the men who responded to the National PTA survey said men don't get involved with PTA because they aren't asked. Those involved said their spouses' PTA participation led to their own involvement:
- Encourage women in your PTA to invite the men in their children's lives to step up and get active
- Take your PTA to where men often meet by showcasing the PTA message at local service clubs that have a large male contingent, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions clubs
3. Creating special events and volunteer opportunities for Dads
When surveyed, Dads stated a preference as volunteers for hands on projects and Dad only events with clear expectations:
- Organize different events such as school carnivals, sports activities, father-daughter and father-son activities, career days, family game nights, back-to-school fests and science fairs for Dads to work on
- Define volunteer roles and expectations clearly, explaining who, what, when, where, why and how
4. Respecting volunteer time and commitments of Dads
Seventy-one percent of the males surveyed indicated that 'time' is a barrier to their involvement in PTA. And, the majority indicated that they want fewer meetings and they want PTA meetings to take place at more convenient times:
- Schedule meetings with the work day in mind for all parent volunteers
- Organize meetings that have a clear agenda and are results-oriented, rather than exploratory sessions on an issue or topic
5. Celebrating and recognizing male engagement
When you start getting more men involved in your PTA, let the school community know. Celebrate men's contributions to your PTA and give a special shout out to create a positive, welcoming environment for more Dads:
- Publicize your PTA's success in building male engagement on campus
- Recognize outstanding members, volunteers and leaders by thanking Dads publicly at meetings, in newsletters, social media and on your PTA website
Launching a PTA outreach initiative to bring more Dads on campus will pay dividends for your school. With a larger volunteer pool and stronger home-school partnerships, the support system for student success is enhanced and reinforced in your community.
PTA MORE – MEN ORGANIZED TO RAISE ENGAGEMENT
Each year more than one million men across America visit schools through programs of the National PTA MORE® Alliance (Men Organized to Raise Engagement).
Organizations in the PTA MORE Alliance are dedicated to raising the level of engagement between children and the important men in the lives.
Coalition members of PTA MORE serve as a conduit for greater father and significant male involvement, resulting in positive outcomes and successful relationships for children, parents, schools and communities.
PTA MORE helps PTA leaders and units:
- Work with schools and communities to provide programs that engage fathers and positive male figures in the educational and social development of children
- Develop male leaders who work with fathers and male role models to enhance positive male parenting and involvement with youth
- Act as a resource for families, communities and schools on fatherhood initiatives and issues
- Increase the visibility and outreach of the quality programming of the coalition members
Learn more: www.pta.org