[I]t’s back to school time. My kids here in North Texas started last week. I know for many of you, your kids will start after Labor Day. Nevertheless, I thought it would be a great time to review ideas on how to get involved in your kids’ school.
7 Ways to Get Involved in Your Kids’ School
1. Story Time Dad: Read to the Class. Most elementary classroom teachers have or would love to have a day where parents would come in and read to the class. This is a simple way you can visit your kid’s class with a purpose and help promote reading!
2. Homeroom Shopping Dad: Donate Teacher Supplies. Districts are under crunches to save money everywhere. They are limiting the number of copies, teacher supply budgets, and classroom decorations. Many teachers send supply list home begging parents to help out. Do! Be proactive and offer to buy what’s needed once a month and bring it to the teacher during class. What better way to get know and help out your child’s educator.
3. Marque Dad: Change the Sign. This volunteer job was paramount in my custody case. This weekly job enabled me to get to know, on a personal level, the principal and the entire office staff. This is usually a job nobody wants and keeps you informed of ALL the activities in your kid’s school.
4. Become Homeroom Dad.” Home room parents should not only be Moms, consider being the Homeroom Dad.
5. PTA Dad: Get a PTA or PTO Job at Your School. Join your kids’ PTA/PTO should be a given. Go to the meetings, but more importantly get involved. The PTA/PTO usually has volunteer events at your kids’ school. What better way to be involved, then going through the parent organization.
6. Career Day Dad: Talk about Your Work. I have seen some form of “Career Day” at all three levels (elementary, junior high, and high school). I have had the opportunity to speak to classrooms about being an entrepreneur, software developer or even a website designer. Ask your school about “Career Day” and get involved.
7. Ask “How Can I Help?” Call your kids’ teachers. Call the school and just plain ask, “How can I get involved? How can I help?”
Ways to Get Involved if You Have Older Kids
You may be reading through my list above and saying, “Fred, my kids are much older for me to be involved in their classroom.” Okay, I get that, so consider these six other ideas…
1. Sponsor or Get Involved in an After School Club. At my daughter’s high school there are over 150 after school clubs and activities. There’s the Chess Club, National Jr. Honor Society, the Spanish Club, Young Entrepreneur’s Academy Club, Science Club, etc. Find a club and offer to help the teacher with activities.
2. Work in a Band or Sports, or in a Dad’s Booster Club. Are your kids in athletics, sports, band? There are usually booster clubs on campus that meet in the evening to help support and aid your children’s activities.
3. Help the School with Fundraising or Restaurant Sponsor Programs. Every school activity needs money. Fundraising can be as simple as selling products, organizing a car wash, or getting a restaurant to sponsor a percentage night or an event. Offer to help organize these for your school.
4. Attend Your Kids’ Pep Rallies. Consider attending your kids’ daytime activities. These can range from Field Day, to Pep Rallies. Take a few minutes out of your schedule and show up. Surprise your kiddos!
5. Go have Lunch with Your Kids or Bring Lunch. This should be a given, but is worth highlighting. Go buy and have lunch with your kids. Whether “knee high or tree high” kids love it when there parents show up with food. Schedule a kid lunch date now!
6. Ask the School Where You Can Volunteer. If none of these ideas work or appeal to you, just plain call the school and ask where and how you can get involved.
[tweet “Don’t let your custody arrangement prevent you from being a very involved school dad.”]
Regardless of your blended family situation, get involved dads. Should you be seeking primary custody, your involvement is significate to the social worker and judge. Even in the best nuclear family, parent involvement in the school is a direct coloration to the success of your kids.
For me, I have signed up as a high school mentor. Twice a month I assist in a school sponsored program and have adopted a group of high school kids. I bring them food, discuss budgets, college, bullying, drugs, and life. Get involved somewhere, anywhere. Your kids need you and the schools want you!
Feature image of my kids on their first day of school 2016.