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Dads Make a Difference

When dads get involved, kids perform better in school. PTO fathers talk about how to get more men to participate.

Dads have long known their place in the PTO: behind a barbecue grill flipping burgers at the spring carnival. Or maybe hammering pegs to rebuild a school playground. But scenes from around the country show that dads are staking out new ground in their children’s schools.

In Starkville, Miss., Eddie Myles has 1st graders gasping for air as he leads them through a 10-minute cardio kickboxing workout on Career Day.

In Lutz, Fla., Ricky Spencer, president of Denham Oaks Elementary School’s Dads Club, leads 2nd graders through a reading of Captain Underpants. Tonight he’ll do some advance work on a spring golf tournament that last year raised $4,000.

In Aurora, Ill., Jim Paglia, last year’s president of the Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary PTA, makes his weekly appearance in his 8-year-old son’s classroom to help drill kids on spelling.

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