Eye on Education: PTA dads

When many think of the PTA, moms come to mind. But one school in South Carolina is aiming for the fathers instead. Here's our Eye on Education report.

On PTA Night in Taylors, South Carolina, Chuck Saylors works the room, one father at a time. He urges fathers to get involved in their children's schools -- a job usually left to the moms.

Saylors is president-elect of the National PTA, the first man to ever lead an organization once known as the National Congress of Mothers.

"My mother did a great job. My wife does a great job. But it's time for the men -- the dads -- to step up and help out,” Saylors says.

When kids see a parent in school, it's usually someone's mother. Nationally, PTA membership is 90% female. But across America, grassroots drives are reaching out to dads.

In Chicago, a group called the Black Star Project is leading black men back to school for their kids. Phillip Jackson founded the group 12 years ago.

“Men must find a way to be involved in the educational development of their children," Mr. Jackson says.

The Black Star Project has mobilized fathers in more than 400 cities.

“Children learn more. They learn faster, they have better attendance, higher graduation rates. This is simply from men being involved."

One study showed in two-parent homes, when the dad was highly involved, the child's odds of getting mostly A's increased by 42%.

But Chuck Saylors says many dads don't think they have the time.

“They just simply don't like to sit there and listen to a thirty minute report about the gift wrap sale. Okay, fine. Let's make it time-friendly. Let's have meetings that are quick and timely and to the point.”

As a start, Saylors wants dads to give three hours. That's all, throughout the school year. To read, volunteer, or just do something to get involved.

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