Reshaping The PTA - One Dad At A Time

Chuck Saylors - PTA Dads
Chuck Saylors, the president-elect of the national PTA, is urging fathers to become more involved in their children's schools.
CBS

On a PTA night in Taylors, S.C., Chuck Saylors works the room, one father at a time.

"Now come on, Dad. We need some help here," he says.

He urges fathers to get involved in their children's schools - a job usually left to the moms, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

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," he says. "But it's time for the men - the dads - to step up and help out."

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

In Chicago, a group called the Black Star Project, founded by Phillip Jackson 12 years ago, is leading black men back to school - their children's school.

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

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," says Jackson.

One study shows that in two-parent homes, where the dad is highly involved, a child's odds of getting mostly A's increases by 42 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

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

"They just simply don't like to sit there and listen to a 30-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 just three hours throughout the school year to read, volunteer or do something. Just get involved.