Watch D.O.G.S. is a unique program of the National Center for Fathering for increasing the involvement of fathers and father-figures in their local schools. Watch D.O.G.S. provides the school with positive male role models for students, as well as an extra set of eyes and ears for added safety in and around the building.

The Today Show aired a story about fathering with Matt Lauer featuring the Watch D.O.G.S. program on February 11th, 2013:

Tips from Veteran WatchD.O.G.S.

  • Wear comfortable shoes. A full-day at school is a long time to be on your feet. Combine that with running around during several recesses, and you'll want to make sure your footwear is up to the task.
  • Wear a watch. You'll need to keep track of the time as you move from place to place around the school, and we'd rather you keep your phones out of sight in your pocket. Don't let our students get the idea that you're more interested in your smartphone screen than you are in paying attention to them. If you really do have to use your phone for a business or personal reason during the day, please do so discreetly, either in the faculty lounge or in your car.
  • Communicate with teachers. Take the time to email your child's teachers the week before your Watchdog day to remind them that you'll be in their class soon. This allows the teachers to plan specific activities you might be able to help with, whether that's with the whole class or one-on-one with specific students who might need some individualized tutoring. Our teachers work extremely hard, and simple communication ahead of time will help them get the most out of your presence in class.
  • Learn names. Children feel special when you can call them by name, either when passing them in the hall or congratulating them on a job well done in class or at recess.
  • Play. When at recess, don't just stand there and supervise. View this as an opportunity to be a kid again, and have fun with it. Demonstrating fun, fair play and good sportsmanship has a much greater impact than merely telling kids how to do it.

What to Expect 
The normal day for a Watchdog is an all-day event at the school. If you are unable to commit to the 7+ hours of the typical Watchdog day but would still like to be involved, feel free to email the Top Dog, as arrangements can be made for half-days or partial days at the school. We would rather have more dads involved in some capacity than insist on having full-day volunteers only.
Apart from student arrival, mid-day recesses and lunches, and student dismissal, your schedule can be fairly flexible. Spend time in your child's classroom, or pursue activities or subjects of interest to you, even art, music, or PE. If you're ever unsure where to go next, be sure to ask in the front office if any teachers have special requests for the Watchdog, or help out in the library with Rachel McKenzie. On Fridays at 2:15 p.m. the Watchdog will be in charge of gathering the recycling from the classrooms with the help of students.

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Sign up today to be a WatchDOG

Contact Zach Ingalls
[email protected]
TopDog Zach


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