Welcome to WatchDOGS!
WatchDOGS are fathers and father figures who build a visible presence in the building, and become an integral part of the school community. I first heard about the program from a teacher friend in Edmonds, after they had successfully implemented it at their school. Briarcrest has always had awesome support from the men in our community at meetings, conferences, and school and PTA events, so the program seems like a perfect fit. When you run out of doughnuts at the Dads and Doughnuts event, you know you’re in a great situation.
The program itself is simple: dads, stepdads, grandpas, uncles, family friends, etc. are asked to take one day (or half day) during the school year, and spend it at Briarcrest. They check in at the office in the morning, and receive their WatchDOGS badge so students and staff can easily recognize them, receive a brief orientation and schedule, and then we put them to work. Duties include welcoming students as they arrive, sitting with/mentoring students in class, eating with children at lunch, and connecting with students at recess.
Past participants talk about the rewards they get from spending a day being a positive role model for children. Students talk about the pride they feel having their dad at school, or the connection they made to someone else’s dad.
More info –
WatchDOGS program: www.fathers.com/content/index.php
ABC News story: abcnews.go.com/WN/story
ABC News video: abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex
NBC News Video: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/49011139