Leader Editorial: PTA leader is a welcome presence

The opinion of the Leader.

Student achievement has long been linked to parental involvement in school activities, but for too many years the Parent Teacher Associations across the nation drew the active involvement of mostly women only.

In recent years, however, men have stepped up to take leadership roles in the organization — including Burbank's own Steve Frintner, who is the new leader of the district-wide Burbank PTA. In this role, Frintner is overseeing all 16 PTAs within the local district, quite a Herculean task for a volunteer of either gender.

In today's world, children face some very complex challenges that they must learn to negotiate. Frintner and other men who are actively involved in campus affairs provide positive male role models to youngsters that complement those affirming female role models that have been provided over the years.

As we report this week, Frintner said he became involved in the PTA because, when his children were younger, he read that children are happier when their father participates in school activities. We hope that same message gets across to other fathers who have school-age children.

Joining a PTA does not necessarily require devoting hours of spare time that's sometimes all too hard to come by, but it is a show of moral support for the educators who toil in the classroom for the betterment of our children. It also affords countless opportunities to get to know other parents who share the values of a strong educational system such as Burbank's.

While Frintner is in the minority of dedicated PTA participants — estimates put the male membership of PTAs across the nation at about 10% to 15% — his very presence as the face of the Burbank PTA could well draw even more fathers into the fold. And we think that's a good thing.

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