Monday, September 3, 2012
‘I Am PTA’: Father of four believes kids get more out of school when parents are involved
By Tammy Lane
Fayette County Public Schools
Editor’s note: The 16th District PTA’s back-to-school campaign, “I am PTA,” celebrates the diversity of members and their experiences in PTA and PTSA. The series includes this article about David Kidd, whose sons attend Wellington Elementary.
David Kidd is in his second year as PTA president at Wellington Elementary. 'I do it so I can be closer to my kids. By being there for meetings and talking with the staff, we typically aren’t surprised by anything that happens,' he said.
When it comes to Wellington Elementary, every day is Father’s Day for David Kidd.
“You gotta know what your kid’s doing. You just need to be involved. It’s like knowing who your kids’ friends are,” he said. “When you get inside the school, you get to know the teachers. You build that relationship and rapport with them. You don’t want to be the person who’s surprised when little Billy is having trouble with science.”
With his boys breaking in the brand-new school this past year, Kidd found himself delving even deeper through PTA. In fact, he was Wellington’s first PTA president and carries on as chapter leader in 2012-2013.
“I do it so I can be closer to my kids. By being there for meetings and talking with the staff, we typically aren’t surprised by anything that happens,” he said.
Kidd, who is vice president/relationship manager at PNC bank, might have started out a novice in PTA, but he brought along some applicable skills from his experience with Junior Achievement, Leadership Lexington and Leadership Central Kentucky. He also had an ace up his sleeve: wife Shelly, a veteran of Picadome Elementary’s PTA and the treasurer at Wellington, alongside him on the executive board.
“I had no idea what to expect. We got to make our own mistakes, and we found some success. By anybody’s measurement, we had a great year,” he said, citing Movie Night, Muffins with Mom and a new playground among their biggest hits.
“I personally got a lot of satisfaction from watching the playground go up,” Kidd added, recalling the hoards of volunteers and community supporters. “It makes you feel good when you’ve accomplished something from scratch.”
His family will get plenty of use out of that playground with 9-, 7- and 4-year-old sons and another baby boy born in June soon after Father’s Day. The boys are also thrilled with their dad’s visibility at their school.
“Your kids get more out of it if you’re involved,” Kidd said simply.
Already, a good portion of the Wellington PTA’s volunteers are men. The group makes a concerted effort to reach out to fathers through such events as Donuts for Dads and Family Fun Night, where men might run into neighborhood friends and feel more comfortable gathered with their whole family.
Kidd suggested that PTA can provide another in-road for fathers to spend time with their children and for students to have access to male role models.
“You read how families without a positive male influence can have negative repercussions down the road. If the kids see good, positive influences inside their school, it helps,” he said.
“I am PTA” series on KyForward:
Azetta Beatty at Julius Marks Elementary
Sarah-Ashley Solie at Stonewall Elementary