What’s it like to be the child of a busy parent leader? And just what do kids think about having mom or dad (or both) at school 24/7? We asked children of PTO leaders for their views. Here’s what they had to say about their parents’ roles as leaders at school.

Kyle Chirsky

Grade 3, son of Lisa Chirsky, Recording Secretary, Mohegan School PTO, Shelton, Conn.

What Mom does: Brings snacks and fun things to school, she cleans the chickens in my class and brings them home.
Coolest thing she’s done: She brought in quarters for [a] project and gave one to all the kids to keep.
At meetings: My mom talks a lot, so I am sure she talks all night.
PTO perk: When my mom comes to school; it means that something cool is going on and we don’t have to do work.
PTO pet peeve: When my mom does the school handbook and newsletter...she hogs the computer and makes me use the old one that is as big as a dinosaur and as slow as one, too!
Future involvement plans: To be in control of all the money. I would buy toys and learning games and have parties.

Christina Chirsky

Kindergarten, sister of Kyle and daughter of Lisa Chirsky, Mohegan School PTO, Shelton, Conn.

What Mom does: My mom tells the teachers what to do.
Coolest thing she’s done: My mom dressed up for the Easter Bunny because he couldn’t make it to school; she gave eggs to all the kids. I told all my friends that my mom is the Easter Bunny’s helper.
At meetings: The moms make money at the PTO meetings—real money.
PTO perk: I like when my mom volunteers because I go into the office and get candy and pretzels.
PTO pet peeve: When my mom comes to school because she picks me up and I can’t play after school with my friends.
Future involvement plans: I don’t want to be involved at school because I will be working.

Carter Lochbaum

Grade 5, son of Angie Lochbaum, President, Zane Trace Elementary Pioneer Parent Club, Chillicothe, Ohio

What Mom does: Just about anything—helps out a lot at the school, the fundraisers, fun nights, and she works a lot of market days.
Coolest thing she’s done: Penny drive for Red Cross, then they gave the winning class a pizza party.
PTO perk: Everyone knows my mom.
PTO pet peeve: Sometimes my mom knows what I have done before I get home...good or bad.
Future involvement plans: Help like my mom and dad do—and do just as much as they do...help with back-to-school night and field trips.

Lauren Bernstein

Grade 2, daughter of Phil Bernstein, Copresident and former Treasurer, Douglas MacArthur Elementary PTO, Waltham, Mass.

What Dad does: Buys the equipment for the kids to play outside and buys the teachers pencils, papers, and pens.
Coolest thing he’s done: He went to Plum Island [wildlife refuge] with us as a chaperone.
At meetings: They talk about how to keep the kids safe and how to make sure we use the recess equipment safely.
PTO perk: Too many things to say.
PTO pet peeve: None. I like to see my dad because I love him.
Future involvement plans: Help to make kids have fun while learning and every day when they are doing something bad have them tell yourself.

Lexi Fowee

Grade 4, daughter of Julie Fowee, former PTO president, A.M. Yealey Elementary PTO, Florence, Ky.

What Mom does: Mom does a lot of things. Dad helps, too.
Coolest thing she’s done: Mom did the Halloween party, and that was fun.
At meetings: They talk about school, they talk about budget, and they do all that stuff.
PTO perk: Mom and Dad were in charge of the talent show at school one year. They ran the show and fixed things. It was a neat show.
PTO pet peeve: Too much time at meetings. I am glad that she is not the president anymore.
Future involvement plans: I wouldn’t want to be president because the president has too much to do.

Isabella Kallfelz

Grade 4 at Heron Pond School, daughter of Elizabeth Kallfelz, Vice President, Milford Elementary School PTO, Milford, N.H.

What Mom does: Buys popsicles and makes our school better by running family nights where we have hot dogs.

Larry Riley

Grade 5, son of Traci Riley, Copresident, North Side Elementary PTO, Union City, Ind.

At meetings: They spend too much time. They discuss what happens at school.