By Carrot Creates
We all know that family engagement is a vital component to student success in our schools. But in many schools, involving fathers and other male role models may be a challenge.
The National PTA has surveyed over 2,500 men to generate guidelines to assist schools in breaking down the barriers to encourage more male involvement in our schools. Here are a few suggestions to give a try:
1. Design all recruitment materials and your invitation pitch to explain how men’s involvement would benefit their children and their children’s school. Father’s want to know how they can be helpful to their child’s education. Instead of saying, “help your child with homework.” Give specific strategies and directions for areas that a child needs extra help.
2. Use specific messaging and advertising aimed at men and ask fathers to become involved. Fathers want to be helpful in their child’s school but prefer an invitation to come and complete projects around the school. Ask for volunteers to help with landscaping, playground up grades, school beautification projects and school improvement goals. Dads need to know exactly “how” to help.
3. Create more volunteer opportunities and special events for dads.
Survey respondents stated a preference for hands-on projects and suggested events such as “dads only” events, school carnivals, sports activities, father-daughter and father-son activities, and back-to-school fests.
4. Give it to ’em straight.
Almost half of the dads surveyed indicated that they want volunteer roles and expectations clearly defined. Telling them the what, when, where, why, and how would make them more likely to volunteer.
5. Communicate with Fathers the way they want to be reached. Instead of long memos, fathers prefer emails with bulleted lists and quick notes that are to the point for requested needs.
6. Recognize and celebrate Male involvement
Publicize your successes. When you start getting more men involved, let the community know. Success begets success. Reinforcing men’s contributions, while being mindful of what all members do for your school, creates a positive atmosphere. Recognize your fathers, thank them often, and celebrate your student and school accomplishments and success!