Should dads help out more at school?

Right before the presidential election, my husband went to speak at Rose’s second grade class. He did a Power Point presentation about how the election process works and explained how his company, The Associated Press, covers the election. His photo ended up on the front page of the school’s Web site.

I was pretty shocked to see it. There are literally hundreds of moms helping at the school on a regular basis who never get their photos featured on the front page of the school’s Web site. I honestly wondered if the news wasn’t that this journalist came to talk to the kids, but that a dad came to talk to the kids.

When I attended the room mom meeting at the beginning of the school year I don’t remember seeing a single man in that packed cafeteria. We do have one dad that always helps in Walsh’s class. He is a chef and super creative, and the kids adore having him! But he’s the only one I see at the school on a regular basis.

The Chicago Tribune reports that there is a greater push to bring dads into the schools, particularly the Parent Teacher Association. Here’s the full story.

“The country’s Parent Teacher Association, which was conceived as the National Congress of Mothers more than a century ago, will be led by a dad for the first time starting this summer, when Charles Saylors steps in as president.”

“Ten percent of the group’s 5.5 million members are fathers, up from 3 percent five years ago.”

“The National Center for Fathering found more fathers attend classroom events, take their kids to school and volunteer than they did a decade ago, according to a recent study by the organization, based in Kansas City, Mo. President Barack Obama took his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to school and attended a parent-teacher conference just days after his November election.”

” ‘Changing the vocabulary is key to boosting male involvement,’ said Peter Spokes, the center’s president.”

” ‘Historically if we talked about parents, it meant moms. …What we found is in the last decade we’re starting to change the vocabulary from ‘parents’ to ‘moms and dads’ and talk to dads as dads,’ Spokes said.”

Do a lot of dads help out at your school? Are you a dad that’s involved in your child’s classroom or PTA? Is it a bigger deal for dads to help out at school? Why do you think dads help out less often than moms?

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