Hats Off to Dads Who Help Out at Schools

by Rose Hamilton



With Father’s Day coming this weekend, we thought a shout-out to all the volunteer dads would be appropriate. We sometimes hear from communities that they struggle to get dads involved. So we are thankful that we’ve had the privilege of talking to many dads who love helping their schools.

Some of our favorites are the old pros—the dads who have been pitching for a long time, like Ramon Santiago, an Iraq war veteran who for years has been the go-to guy at his children’s school.

Another favorite is the story of the Dads Club at Kermit King Elementary in Paso Robles, Calif. For several years, this club has run a last-day-of-school event that’s a combination barbecue, movie night, and overnight campout. It is managed, start to finish, by fathers who take pride in the tradition they’ve established.

If you want to help dads get more involved next year, we have plenty of resources that will help, including our “Get Dads Involved” article that provides ideas on how to sell the PTO to fathers. One tip: If you do have one or two dads attend a meeting or event, don’t call attention to the fact that they are the only fathers who showed up. That’s bound to make them (or anyone) feel uncomfortable.

We also have a fun article on how to start a dads club. Some fathers find that working within a subgroup of the PTO or PTA helps them focus on specific projects.

A donuts with dad event is a good way to get fathers into the school in a no-pressure setting. They’ll have fun with their children and may find they want to try to get more involved. You can download our Donuts With Dad invitation from our File Exchange.

Another ideas is to target dads when recruiting volunteers with a flyer just for fathers. Our “Wanted: A Few Good Dads’’ poster is also available on the File Exchange.

Finally, we have dad-themed clip art that you can use when communicating to dads or when thanking fathers for their contributions.

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