[Y]ou have heard it said time and time again, fathers that are involved in their children’s school make a positive impact on their kids’ grades, behavior, and overall attitude towards education and learning.  A study based on the data from 17,000 students from Kindergarten through High School, 1996 National Household Education Survey (http://nces.ed.gov/nhes), found fathers that were involved in: 1) general school meetings, 2) parent-teacher conferences, 3) special school events, and 4) school volunteerism had major impacts on their children’s lives.  Here were some of the findings (emphasis mine):

Nuclear Families or Father Custodial Households

  • Students in two-parent families were 43 percent more likely to get mostly A’s if their fathers were highly involved in their schools.
  • Children of highly-involved resident fathers were 55 percent more likely to enjoy school than children of uninvolved fathers.
  • Students in middle school and high school were 88 percent more likely to participate in extracurricular activities if their resident fathers were highly involved in the school.
  • Students whose resident fathers were highly involved in their schools were slightly less likely to repeat a grade than other students.

Non-Custodial Father Households

  • Students in middle and high school whose fathers did not live in the home were 43 percent more likely to get mostly A’s if their fathers participated in even one in-school activity.
  • Children whose fathers did not live in the home but were involved in school activities were more likely to enjoy school than children whose non-resident fathers had only out-of-school contact with them.
  • Students whose non-resident fathers were involved in their schools were more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Students were 39 percent less likely to repeat a grade and 50 percent less likely to be suspended or expelled if their non-resident fathers participated in even one in-school activity.

What does all this data tell us?  Super School Dads have a metamorphic effect on their kids whether they primarily live with their children or not.  Read that last line again and review the statistics!  Single Dad, you CAN have a major impact in the lives of your kids by getting involved, participating in school activities, and volunteering.  Just one activity makes all the difference in the world to your kids.  So what does a Super School Dad look like?  I am glad you asked! 

Here are some Activities Super School Dads can be Found Doing:

  • Join your child’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or equivalent.
  • Join your child’s school reading program.
  • Volunteer in your child’s school library.
  • Go to your child’s school sponsored functions (Plays, Field Day, Class Parties, grade level activities).
  • Chaperone on a class field trip.
  • Help out in book fairs and fundraisers.
  • Go have lunch with your child at school.
  • Participate in your child’s school sporting events.
  • Become or assist your child’s homeroom representative.
  • Help your children with classroom projects and of course, their usual homework.
  • Read to your children and have them read to you.

I do some of the above; as well as, spend one hour a week changing the school’s marquee.  Over the years, I have gotten to know all the teachers in the building, the principal and the entire office staff.  I am a regular fixture in my daughter’s school.  Remember just one activity can make a difference in your kid’s lives.  What are you doing to become a “Super School Dad”?

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How have you seen the “dad factor” affect your kids positively? Fathers, what other activities could you participate in that are not listed in this article?