Although the PTA at the Thirteenth Avenue School in Newark, N.J., encouraged involvement by dads through its Fathers Club, those dads didn’t necessarily feel connected to the larger group. Parent leaders wanted to change that, so they got the Fathers Club excited about a new initiative: creating a comfortable resource room for all parents. The dads used grant money to buy window shades, a water cooler, decorations, and more, and they rented a truck to pick up donated furniture. Even a snowstorm on setup day didn’t dull their enthusiasm.

What the judges loved: The resource room is an excellent tool for parents. Through this project, the Fathers Club became a key focus of parent involvement at the school while maintaining its role as an entry point for dads.

Cool fact: Local dignitaries such as the chief of police attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included a cheesecake social planned by the dads.