Stevenson and Chandlers elementary schools are looking for some great dads to get involved with a new program.
The Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program is something both schools are putting an emphasis on next week.
Chandlers will be holding a pizza night to kick off the new year for their program and Stevenson will be introducing the program on Tuesday night at its annual “Dinner With Dads” event.
“We’re trying to get more dads involved in school,”said Carol Kees, the Family Resource Director at Stevenson.
The Watch D.O.G.S. is an innovative program focusing on education and safety in schools by using the positive influence of fathers and father-figures for a two-fold purpose:
- to provide an unobtrusive fathering presence, and
- to provide a positive and active role-model for students at the school.
Chandler began the program last April and is hoping to expand it with their kick off night on Monday.
“We had about 10 dads that did it for us last year that are really good,” said Kathy Wagoner, the assistant Family Resource Director for Chandlers. “We just felt like we had some students that need a male figure in their lives. Our gentlemen have come and they have helped with the buses unloading, worked in the lunchroom and if they see kids that are by themselves, they’ll visit and talk to them.”
Wagoner said Lewisburg and Adairville also have the program in their schools and the other county elementary schools are looking into adding it as well.
Another reason the Watch D.O.G.S. are beneficial is because like most elementary schools, most of the teachers and staff at both Stevenson and Chandlers are women.
“We have a building full of great teacher, but almost all our adults are women and so many of our kids don’t have any male figures in their lives at home - and there’s nothing wrong our women, but we need men in the lives of our children too.”
Watch D.O.G.S. are asked to donate one full day of volunteering to their student’s school. During the day, fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers or uncles will support the school through
- monitoring school property
- working one-on-one or in small groups
- listening ears or
- for whatever needs to be done to plant seeds of success in the lives of the students.
“Last year one of our Watch D.O.G.S. saw one child being bullied by another and he stepped in and put a stop to it,” Wagoner said.
Watch D.O.G.S. began in 1998 in a single school in Springdale, Ark., and has since grown into a nationally recognized program that has brought hundreds of thousands of fathers and father figures into our nation’s classrooms and hallways. Watch D.O.G.S. has created millions of “in school” volunteer hours and continues to have a tremendously positive impact on the educational process. Today more than 2,276 schools in 41 states plus DC participate in Watch D.O.G.S.
The Chandlers kickoff event will be Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.
The Stevenson “Dinner With Dads” event will be Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.