Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Great Way for Dads to Connect With Kids At Their Schools!

I was super excited when, upon relocating to California, I found out about an opportunity for me to get on my daughter's school campus and provide support and encouragement to students and administration. The school has embraced a fantastic program called WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) which is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. Today, more than 2,127 active programs in 40 states and New Zealand participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program!

Last week I went to the orientation for the program. There were about 60 dads there. The greatest things that stood out to me were the principal's recognition of the importance of positive male-role models for students, his genuine gratitude for our willingness to help, his goal of having 100 dads participate this school year, and most of all, the flexibility of the program.

If you have a day to volunteer, great.
If you have an hour a week, great.
If you can come every week at the same time or different times, great.
If you can only come once a month, great.
If you can only help for 15 minutes, great.
This program just recognizes the power of presence! Any guy with any kind of schedule can do this program! (Of course, there are safety precautions such as background checks, etc.)

Today was my first day on campus, and it was so great to be able to connect with my daughter and her fellow-students. Obviously, since I work with middle school students, this was a great way for us to see one another in a context other than church. It was so great recognizing some of my students and having them recognize me and run up to say "Hi". Check out this piece on WATCH D.O.G.S. done by ABC and consider presenting the program to schools in your area.

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