Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More than PTA: Group focuses on dads' skills to help school

Here's an idea I really like.

A group of dads have gotten together at Florence Elementary School in north High Point (just over the Guilford County line from here) to help provide positive male role models for the kids and to give dads a way to pitch in beyond the PTA.

Today I talked to Gregg Schlaudecker, one of the founders of the group. He said the plan is modeled after a similar program at Morehead Elementary, which is also in the Guilford County school system.

Schlaudecker said the organization allows men to help the school using the skills that come with being a father. Members have done things like "lunch buddies," which pairs dads with students who need a positive role model. The group has also helped with the landscaping around the school, doing some of the "heavy lifting" end of beautification, he said. Others have gone into the classroom for career presentations.

It's all about making sure that dads are a visible and positive force in the school, Schlaudecker said. There are about 750 kids there, but the number of male employees could be counted on one hand, he said.

"It feels good getting guys involved at the school," he said.

The group started last year and has about 45 members. Schlaudecker said he's hoping to double that number this weekend - the group is holding a Dads' Club Breakfast Saturday in the school's cafeteria at 8:30 am for interested dads. Principal James McNeil is the keynote speaker. For information, send an e-mail to


craigspinks said...

Boys, particularly elementary-level ones, need to see men in their schools. Elementary education is staffed overwhelmingly by females. Are we sending our impressionable sons the message that education and learning are female work? How do we explain that male participation rates in college are off 20% over the last forty years?

craigspinks said...

Boys, particularly elementary-level ones, need to see men in their schools. Because the elementary-level is staffed almost exclusively by females, are we sending our sons the message that school work is woman's work? In the '60s, males outnumbered females 3:2 on college campuses. Now the ratio is reversed. Why?