Volunteer Ideas for Men
Building projects appealed to men because of the truly hands-on nature of the event/opportunity. Men can actually see the results of their involvement, and they provide skills that might otherwise cost school or PTA hundreds of dollars. Suggestions in this category include:
The hands-on aspect of cleaning-up, landscaping, painting, refurbishing, and building projects around a school appeals to men and they feel a sense of accomplishment when the project is done.
Helping Directly with Children
Helping directly with children was cited by male respondents as a way to get fathers involved. More often than not, these opportunities would take place at school during the school day, although several could be modified to take place on the weekend or after school.
Encouraging bike safety, rules of the road, bike tune-ups, and riding proficiency competitions, bike rodeos make a big splash with both kids and dads.
Book fairsThe love of reading was mentioned by several respondents as a way they envisioned attracting potential male volunteers.
Even with hectic schedules, some male respondents said the hook that got them into PTA was their participation in a lunch buddies program. The buddies meet with their children weekly or monthly, mentoring them over lunch.
Captivating learning minds with powerful stories written by great authors appealed to many respondents.
Offering expertise on their professions, and career tracks in general, appeals to many men.
The Reflections art program, the largest juried art program in the country in which more than 500,000 children participate a year, was seen as a big draw by respondents, who expressed an interest in judging the works.
Several schools indicated that they had a separate meeting for males. Participants indicated that because of the meeting time, camaraderie, and focusing on a "special project," the clubs worked for men.
Respondents described the event as allowing fathers to bond with daughters in an atmosphere reminiscent of a "fairy tale."
Family events mostly take place after school, where the whole family could come and enjoy the activities.
Barbeques are often popular to start or end a school year, when the weather might be more cooperative for outdoor activities. They can be themed to welcome in the year and introduce parents to one another. Respondents suggested field day/picnic-type activities such as sack races, cakewalks, dunk tanks, and musical chairs.
Males indicated that they would volunteer for school carnivals; helping with tickets, rides, concessions. Problem solving, public interaction, and seeing accomplishment results were cited as reasons for participation.
Popular with junior high and high school parents, "after parties" are safe, adult-supervised activities after graduations, proms, homecomings, and other school evening events.
Helping with staging, programs, lighting, ushering, and preparations were opportunities that male respondents believed would make new male members interested in volunteering for PTA.
Whether they involve games such a duck duck goose, watching a movie, creating a work of art, reading together, learning to cook, or experiencing another culture, family nights offer a way to get the whole family involved.