A national group of Watch D.O.G.S. is getting fathers and other men into schools.
Watch D.O.G.S. stands for Watch Dads of Great Students. It is an initiative through the National Center for Fathering designed to expose kids to male role models and encourage fathers’ involvement in education.
The Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky have nearly doubled the number of schools in the district that are participating in the pro9gram within the past year. “We have a lot of fractured homes, where there’s a lot of students … that do not have fathers as male role models,” said John Marshall, the district’s chief equity officer.
The program helps those kids who do not have any male role models, as well as helping those who struggle in the classroom.
At Hawthorne Elementary, Greg Whittington is one of the volunteer fathers. His day begins with greeting kids who get off the bus and visiting classes that have students “who could really use an extra person who cares about them,” as principal Jessica Rosenthal put it.
“It’s important that all children have a positive role model,” Whittington said in an interview. “A male that’s doing something good for them, something they can relate to, to give them the idea that they are worthwhile and education is worthwhile.”