Friday, May 20, 2011

Dads Volunteering: Some New Math

The thought of my father ever volunteering at my grade school is laughable; it may as well have taken place on Mars. Being immersed in all-things-grade-school was mom territory.  For whatever reason, dads were off limits.

Last March, our school completed a successful fundraiser and I—a dad of a first-grader and a fourth-grader—was co-chair of the event with another mom.  We literally spent months working on the event and had a team of 12 working with us—all moms.

The few times I reflected on being a dad in a mom-dominated world usually happened when, despite being co-chair, I noticed that few questions were ever directed to me—they were usually always asked of my mom cohort.  At committee meetings, I often found myself in the role of the second chair—not the co-chair.  Emails debating this or that aspect of the gala found their way to my co-chair first, and then from her to me.  It was noticeable, and I started thinking about it. 

Where were the other dads on the rosters of school volunteers? I wondered. I looked at the PTO executive board for my school here and noticed that all but three of the 11 are moms.  Was my school unusual?  I checked Cornelia’s PTO leadership here—all moms.  Concord’s here—all moms.  Creek Valley, Highlands, South View here, here, and here—31 leaders possible and 27 (87%) of them are moms.

In fact, in our school district, not counting the high school, there are 77 PTO/PTA leadership positions.  90% of those positions are filled by moms.  There are only 8 dads in leadership positions in our elementary and middle schools—and three of those 8 are principals.

The words you are reading right now are written by the only dad writing a blog in this school district.

You have to believe our schools would be better places with more dads helping out. 

Our children need to see their dads in the world that makes up so much of their lives.  We don’t need fewer moms. We need more dads.   More dads volunteering in our schools won’t make the schools better—it will make them different.  And through those differences, stronger.  Check out this article here.

More dads alongside more moms will mean even richer, deeper environments for our children to grow and succeed.  It will mean less of a burden on the moms; each child will be held high by four hands—instead of just two.

More dads means more minds, more hearts, more souls.  It means different perspectives and alternative meanings.  In this new math, 1 + 1 = 3—and that three is a third way, a different way, a new way.  Not better or worse—but different and new.

More dads means double the support for our schools’ staff, teachers, and best of all, kids.

It’s just so clear:  when more dads are out there volunteering with all the moms, our schools will be better places for kids to live, work, and play every day.

Here’s an official call for more dads to volunteer in our schools!

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