Jan. 10, 2012. After the 1996 school shooting in Jonesboro, Ark., the National Center for Fathering created the safe schools initiative called WATCH D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students). It has since spread to more than 800 schools in more than 30 states.
Now, weeks after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., father-figures of the Mabel community will have a chance to join the innovative father involvement program at a “Dads and Kids Pizza Night” at the cafeteria in the Mabel Elementary School on Thursday, Jan. 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Guest speakers include Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman and Watauga County Commissioner John Welch. Hagaman will speak of the importance of fathers in today’s society, and Welch will speak about the role of fathers in education.
The pizza night is billed as kickoff for the New Year and an opportunity for fathers and father figures to sign up to spend one day this year volunteering, serving as a positive male role model and helping increase a sense of security in the building.
During WATCH D.O.G.S. day, dads will welcome students during arrival, read to classes, tutor small groups of students, have fun at recess, or simply sit down and connect with students during lunch. They can share stories about their careers and experiences.
“The possibilities are endless,” a press release states. Other benefits of the program are bulleted below.
For more info about WATCH D.O.G.S. call 1-888-540-3647 or click to www.fathers.com/watchdogs. For more info about the pizza night at Mable, call Counselor Christy Welch at 828-297-2512.
– Schools gain an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of Watch D.O.G.S. increases a sense of security at the building for students and staff, and it helps create an environment conducive to learning.
– Students gain a positive male role model. Some students do not have a father-figure present in their home and the number of male teachers has been steadily declining in recent years. More positive male role models are needed in the school setting.
– Fathers and father-figures can spend meaningful time with their students in the school setting and gain a greater awareness of the positive impact they can have on their student’s life, just by being a ‘dad’.
– When Watch D.O.G.S. invest a day at school, they can learn how better to partner with the school to meet educational goals of students.