Dads, uncles, and grandparents are spending more time in schools, but it’s not because their child is misbehaving. Involvement has increased due to a nationwide male mentoring program.
Hal Fry got to each lunch with his granddaughter and he plans on doing it a lot more. Hal is a Watch Dog. Butterworth Elementary School in Moline is just one of the quad city schools that have started the Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students) program.
“My granddaughter really wanted me to do it and it seemed like a worthwhile cause,” says Fry.
The school started the program in October and has had a great response from parents. 42 men signed up to volunteer.
“I got a few hugs today and that was really nice, they all tell me thank you,” says Fry.
Dads, uncles, grandfathers, any father figure in a student’s life can be a watch dog. Watch dogs do everything from reading with kids, playing with them at recess and monitoring the halls. They’re there to be a positive male role model for their students, especially for those that don’t have one.
“Not every kid is fortunate enough to have 2 parents,” says Fry.
First grader Meara Fieran likes having the watch dogs around, “I get to read more and it helps me with my reading and my math.”
She even got her dad to sign up to be a Watch Dog. Research shows the program has even helped reduce bullying and kids acting up.
For Fry, it’s more than getting to spend time with his granddaughter, “Seeing the kids smiles on their faces and watching what they do know and how smart they are and it’s rewarding to me to be able to do something for them.”