Dozens of research studies show that when parents get involved, children do better in school. If your school has a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and you haven't joined yet, here are 10 reasons you should reconsider becoming a member.
Reason #1: Your child benefits. When parents get connected to the school, children get better grades, do better on tests, and have fewer discipline problems. When you build a relationship with your child’s teachers, principal, and office staff, it will be far easier to communicate about any problem (or victory) that occurs throughout the year.
Reason #2: You will be in the know. The PTO knows what’s happening with the school, who's involved, and usually plans many of the events.
Reason #3: You'll tap into a network. PTO functions are opportunities to meet other parents and teachers, to build rapport and discuss issues that are on your mind. You can share ideas, concerns, and experiences to make the school year better for everyone.
Reason #4: You can be part of the solution. By getting involved at your child’s school you can help make positive changes. Local PTOs play an important role in fundraising to provide building improvements, curriculum-based programs, and social events.
Reason #5: You can meet other parents. The common bond all parents of school-aged children share is that we care about creating the best possible educational experience for our kids. We are neighbors and peers and as a result, many friendships are forged via this connection.
Reason #6: Your child will feel a sense of pride. Being part of the local PTO will, in most cases, make your kids proud of you. They may not admit it (they may even grumble), but they will feel proud that their parents are involved in improving their school's well-being.
Reason #7: You can have fun while doing good. Volunteer work shouldn’t be drudgery. Our PTO has helped in small ways (such as organizing field trips for students) as well in big-scale projects (such as planning and running a district-wide auction to help fund a new athletic complex for our town). And because we worked together towards one goal, we had a great time doing it.
Reason #8: Your voice can be heard. PTO can be a way for you to more effectively effect change at your child’s school.
Reason #9: You can share your skills. Your child will beam for weeks after his parent comes to school and shares his career, hobby, or even just their time helping out at the school book fair. Stay-at-home parents as well as working parents all have individual talents they can share.
Reason #10: You can show that you care. By becoming a PTO member, you’re also becoming a role model and demonstrating to your child the importance you place on education as well as on being involved in their world.