WATCH D.O.G.S.®, (Dads Of Great Students) is an innovative father involvement, educational initiative of the National Center For Fathering. It began in 1998 in a single school in Springdale, Arkansas 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.
As a K-12 program, it invites fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other male figures to volunteer one day at Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School. Watch DOG 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. Please sign up below and you will receive a reminder email 2 days prior to your day.
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.
During 2003, WATCH D.O.G.S.® conducted a survey of 50 participating schools nationwide. Key findings:
- 89% agree that WATCH D.O.G.S.® is a valuable component of the school’s efforts to promote a safe and positive learning environment for students.
- 79% agree that since implementing the WATCH D.O.G.S.® program, the school has experienced an increase in father involvement in areas other than WATCH D.O.G.S.® (parent-teacher conferences, volunteerism in the classroom or after school, PTA involvement).
A Few Reminders:
- The Watch DOG program runs from October 2nd through April 27th.
- You do have to sign up at least 2 weeks prior (NO EXCEPTIONS) to any given date (full day or ½)!
- You can sign up once per semester (once through January 19th and once after), so no more than twice.
- Watch DOGS is NOT Career Day, instead it is a day to connect with your child’s school by being in EACH grade level and multiple classes throughout the day. There is no preparation needed!
- Your typical day consists of monitoring drop off lines in the morning, assisting in classrooms and hallways, and helping out at lunch and recess. You will be with your child at some point but not all day. Our hope is to have your presence be in many classes throughout the day!
Will I be spending time with my child(ren)?
We will have you with your child at some point, but not all day. We have needs in many classes at every grade level and could use your help.
What do I bring for the day?
Dress for the weather because you may go outside to help with recess. Bring your lunch and yourself ready to have some fun!
What can I expect to do during the day?
Your schedule will start with monitoring the entrance and drop off. Then you will be assisting in various classes, lunches, and most likely recess!
Am I able to give a talk on my Career?
Hold off on the speeches, this day is designed to have a male figure presence and is NOT career day. This is meant to to be a day where you are looked up to by all the kids:)
I have off of work in a couple days unexpectedly, can I sign up today?
We do ask that you sign up for a date at least 2 weeks in advance so that the school administration can make your schedule for you and prepare for your day. Last minute sign ups will not be accommodated, sorry.
I had so much fun last year, can I sign up for a week this year?
We ask that you only sign up once per semester, so one time between October 2nd and January 19th and one time from January 22nd through April 27th.
Quotes from some recent Watch DOGS:
“Being a Watch DOG is so much fun because the kids just love that you’re there and it lets you be a kid again! A glimpse into their day is very enlightening and the overall experience is very rewarding – mainly because the kids LOVE that you’re there!”
“I absolutely loved being a Watch Dog. Having the interaction with all of the kids was something I will never forget. One moment I will never forget was we just went outside for recess. I was talking with one of the Recess Monitors and a first grader came over and said with a sad face “no one will play with me”. That broke my heart. I looked at him and said “tag, you’re it!” Then I ran. Over the next few minutes I ran like I was a kid again and I think I had the entire group of kids running after me. They eventually did tackle me and I laughed just as much as all of the kids did. The smile on that kids face after all of that was priceless. “
“I really enjoyed my experience as a Watch Dog. I was able to see my child’s education from the inside. It was very rewarding experience working with children from different age groups and seeing the joy of learning in their eyes.”
“So many times throughout the year, dads get filled in on what is going on with their kids at school. This is a great program for dads to see first hand how their children learn, interact with teachers and interact with friends. I felt important and kids really enjoy having someone’s father in their classroom, it is a great opportunity.”