Dads across the nation flocked to the Kansas City area this weekend to attend the National PTA’s 2013 Male Engagement Conference to celebrate the role men can have in their children’s education. Betsy Landers, the president of the National PTA states, “When a father or male role model is involved in a child’s life, girls become better in math, boys do better on IQ tests, and they have a greater self-esteem” (Benson 1).
The conference combined both keynote speakers and smaller focus groups and workshop sessions to offer advice and guidance to dads and other adult male role models regarding how to, “ensure the academic and social success of all children” (www.PTA.org 1). Topics included making father engagement relevant to child outcomes, engaging men to inspire children, reduce bullying and increase PTA membership, ideas for children and dads to communicate over breakfast and ideas about engaging ethnic men in education and the PTA (www.PTA.org 1).
The main goal of the conference was to get more dads out at schools with their children. This includes members of Watch D.O.G.S., which stands for Dads of Great Students and has chapters across the nation, including throughout the Kansas City Metro area. Each member commits to taking a day off of work to go to school with his child/children (Benson 1).
“Eric Snow is the organization's National Director. ‘Kids do better when they have an adult male role model actively engaged in their education. It's our job at home to be the first educators of our children and to send them to school ready to learn, Snow said (Benson 1).
Organizers hope men will realize how important they are in their child's education.
Benson, Lisa. “Kansas City Conference Encourages Dads’ Involvement.” www.kshb.com Feb. 10, 2013.
“Male Engagement Conference.” www.pta.org Feb. 10, 2013.