As Father’s Day approaches, we’d like to give a shout-out to all the dads who volunteer, and offer some tips to groups who want to get more fathers involved.
1. For starters, make a dad-specific pitch for volunteers at back-to-school time. Typically, groups send out messages to all parents and adults in an effort to be inclusive. But an occasional message targeted just at fathers is likely to catch their attention. We have a “dads wanted” flyer you can download and customize for your group.
2. Ask current dad volunteers to bring their friends to events. Motivated fathers can be your best recruiters. Once new men see other dads helping out, they may be more willing to pitch in.
3. Don’t restrict dads to the heavy-lifting, traditional “man’’ jobs. Sure, many fathers like to play more active roles and are most comfortable running activities at field day or building the set for the talent show. But open up all options to dads and ask them what they’d like to do.
4. Schedule a Doughnuts With Dads event. It helps to get dads involved without asking them to do anything. Instead, they can kick back, meet other fathers, and enjoy time with their kids.
5. Consider starting a dads club. One of our favorite dad stories is about a group of volunteers at Kermit King Elementary in Paso Robles, Calif. This Dads Club, which is part of the PTA, runs a campout on the school grounds on the last day of school. Fathers do it all—organizing, cooking, cleaning, running activities, playing sports, getting kids to sleep, and cleaning up. One of the organizers said the reason the club did the campout was simple. They just want to be part of their children’s educational experience.
So here’s to all the dads who step up, and to recruiting more dads for the 2015-16 school year! Happy Father’s Day!