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Our View: Let’s see more dads in PTA

Posted: September 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The Parent-Teacher Association has long been stereotyped as an organization whose membership consists entirely of mothers and educators, but groups of local dads are bucking that trend.

While the 1950s image of Dad at home with the newspaper and a drink while Mom goes to PTA meetings, or helps out with bake sales, is long gone, the movement of fathers getting more involved in their kids’ education is encouraging to see.

Two local elementary schools, Pico Canyon and Mountainview, each has a guys-only PTA group to increase adult participation for the students, and also to get any and all available assistance while school districts are in such a tight spot financially.

The groups are composed of mostly students’ fathers, and also grandfathers, uncles and male role models, who help with fundraising events and field trips, including the Pico Canyon trip to Jet Propulsion Labs, and even purchase and install basketball nets on the Pico Canyon hoops.

The move for more than just one parent to be part of the Parent-Teacher Association is a long-overdue change, but an undeniably positive one for the students, teachers and organization alike.

It adds to a sense of pride for the students, because they can see that their dads care and are involved in their daily lives outside of the home. It helps keep grades up and young minds focused when they know that someone is pushing for them to succeed.

And, as just about any psychologist will say, parental involvement is the best counter to unhealthy behavior in children, especially in their formative years.

We encourage more dads (and moms) to join their local PTA groups or other school-centric organizations to learn ways to become more involved in their children’s education.

From learning ways to keep up with your children’s studies to helping out in recycling drives to raise money for supplies or field trips — there are a million ways to get involved.
And, for those who think they don’t have the time to spare from work to help out in the classroom, California’s Family-School

Partnership Act makes it mandatory for companies with 25 employees or more to give workers up to five days, or 40 hours, of unpaid time off each year so they can be involved in their child’s school.

Kudos to all those moms, dads, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers and so on who are involved in our local elementary schools. And here’s to seeing even more faces at PTA meetings in the future.

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