Take your dad to school month

PTA makes an effort to recruit men.

By L.h.

Published October 26, 2005 4:48PM (EDT)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Parent Teacher Association -- founded over 100 years ago as the National Congress of Mothers -- is making efforts to bring more men into the organization:

"Hundreds of men throughout Georgia are PTA members, and many are running their local chapters. But PTA officials say they represent a minority and that needs to change. The national and local Parent Teacher Associations have deemed October the month to bring more men into the fold. Only 500,000 men are among the 6 million PTA members nationally, leaders estimate ... Georgia PTA officials are encouraging local chapters to offer activities to attract dads, such as overnight camping in the school gym with a pancake breakfast, flag football games or chili cook-offs. The state PTA is also offering special membership awards to chapters that enroll 10 men per grade."

According to the article, PTA research shows that kids do better in school when dads are around.

"When I first got involved, I didn't think it was an organization for men," said Rick Mendiondo, a national PTA board member from Harlingen, Texas. "Ever since I was a kid, I saw Lucille Ball and Barbara Billingsley going to PTA meetings, not Ricky Ricardo." (I saw Lucille Ball going to quiz shows and candy factories, but point taken.)

Mendiondo recommends that PTA officials "take advantage of men's interests and abilities," such as building the carnival booths instead of working at them. "Don't give us the fooffy stuff," he added.

When the hardworking women of the PTA hear that, he'll have some 'splaining to do.

By L.h.


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