What is WATCH D.O.G.S.®?
WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is an innovative father involvement, educational initiative of the National Center for Fathering. Learn more about WATCH D.O.G.S. here.®
What are the goals of a WATCH D.O.G.S. program?
1) To provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important.
2) To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.
Who are WatchDOGS and how does WATCH D.O.G.S. work?
WatchDOGS are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father-figures who volunteer for at least one day each year at an official WATCH D.O.G.S. school.
WATCH D.O.G.S., a K-12 program, invites fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other father figures to volunteer at least one day all day at their child’s/student’s school during the school year. Fathers and father figures sign up to volunteer through a ‘Launch Event’ such as a “Dads and Kids Pizza Night” or “Donuts with Dad” or by calling their child’s school any time throughout the school year. The program is overseen by a “Top Dog” volunteer who partners with the school administrator to coordinate scheduling and identify opportunities for WatchDOGS® to provide assistance at the school. WatchDOG dads and volunteers perform a variety of tasks during their volunteer day including monitoring the school entrance, assisting with unloading and loading of buses and cars, monitoring the lunch room, or helping in the classroom with a teacher’s guidance by working with small groups of students on homework, flashcards, or spelling.
What do WatchDOGS do (while they are at school)?
During the day, WatchDOGS may read and work on flash cards with students, play at recess, eat lunch with students, patrol the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and any other assigned activities where they actively engage with not only their own students, but other students as well.
Many school principals have reported that the mere presence of a WatchDOG dad dramatically reduces reports of bullying. On the day of their participation, WatchDOG dads are given a brief review of their involvement and they wear an official WATCH D.O.G.S. t-shirt with a disposable ‘Dog Tag’ identifying them as a WatchDOG.
Will men really spend a full day at school?
Yes! WATCH D.O.G.S. has a great track record of bringing fathers and father figures to school for the whole day. If you run your program as we outline for you, men will show up. While volunteering a day is a sacrifice for these fathers and father figures, once they serve their day they will be glad that they did. In fact, in many cases these fathers and father figures will sign up for more days, both because they had an incredible experience and because it gives them a greater appreciation for what the teachers are doing to educate their child.