Thomas Arnold Elementary and Salado Intermediate School will kick off the eighth year of the Watch D.O.G.S® (Dads of Great Students) with a pizza night 6-7:15 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Salado Intermediate School.
Watch DOGS is a campus engagement program for fathers and father figures that was created in response to the Jonesboro school shooting in 1998. Since then, the program has spread to more than 2000 schools in 46 states.
According to Thomas Arnold Elementary principal “hundreds of male role models have already participating right here in Salado!”
Fathers and father-figures are invited to sign up to spend a full day this year volunteering, serving as a positive male role model, helping to increase a sense of security in the building, and spending some time with their child at school. During their WATCH D.O.G.S.® day, dads will engage in various activities such as welcoming students during arrival, reading to children, tutoring small groups of students, having fun at recess, or simply sitting down and connecting with students during lunch. They can share their wisdom and life experience with students. . . . the possibilities are endless!
The benefits of the Watch DOGS program, according to school administrators, are these:
• Schools gain an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of Watch D.O.G.S. increases the sense of security at the building for students and staff, and it helps create a safe learning environment.
• Students experience positive male role models. Some students don’t have a father-figure present in their home, and the number of male teachers in elementary education has been steadily declining in recent years. More positive male role models are sorely needed in the school setting.
• Fathers and father-figures spend meaningful time with 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 an involved ‘dad’ at school.
• When WatchDOGS invest a day at school, they can learn how to better partner with the school to meet the educational goals of students.
For more information about the local Watch DOGS program, call Nix at 254-947-6925 or Salado Intermediate School Principal Beth Aycock at 254-947-6955.