Making fathers and male family members feel welcome in public schools can have a powerful impact.
After a concerted effort by the Nevada PTA to engage men in the education of their children, grade point averages rose and disciplinary cases decreased by more than 50 percent, according to the Nevada PTA.
These and other outcomes are the reasons Nevada PTA received the National PTA MP3-Male Participation Award—a national recognition that honors a state PTA for significant strides in the recruitment and engagement of men in education.
The PTA's emphasis on encouraging the involvement of fathers and other male relatives in student education reflects a broader interest in communities across the U.S., which in many cases have been tapping only half the resources available to them with primarily women volunteers in schools, or as partners investing in improving individual student outcomes. By inviting men to join the "family engagement table," and explaining how they can help their children, leaders of parent engagement efforts can increase their impact—as the Nevada initiative proves.
During the 2011-12 school year, Nevada PTA made men a priority in their push for parent engagement.
"As family structures are changing, more men are getting involved in their child's education," said National PTA President Betsy Landers. "We commend Nevada PTA for their efforts, because research shows that student success increases when both parents are involved in their education. We look forward to continued success from Nevada and across the country."
As part of the Nevada PTA strategy, the PTA created a "Male Engagement Committee" that planned and conducted dozens of male involvement events and activities that reached thousands of males during the school year.
During these events throughout the state, Nevada PTA helped reduce barriers by informing males that they are welcome in all schools. Besides positively influencing grades and reducing disciplinary cases, the impact snowballed as dozens of individual male involvement programs were created in schools across the state. Nevada PTA plans on continuing its efforts this coming school year by introducing a PTA "Man Card" membership campaign.
As part of the national PTA honor, the Nevada PTA received a certificate of recognition, a check for $500 and was given the award at the 116th Annual National PTA Convention and Exhibition in San Jose in June.
For more information, visit the PTA newsroom.