WATCH D.O.G.S. kicks off Monday at Wesley Ray

Published 8:30 am Sunday, November 11, 2012

By Jan Gibson

The Daily News

Wesley Ray Elementary School next week will kick off an innovative program called WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students), which aims to get men more involved with the educational experience of their own children and that of others.

The program, which was created in 1998 at George Elementary in Springdale, Ark., was inspired by one father’s desire to increase male involvement in the school his children attended. He, along with the school’s teachers and administration, founded the group. Schools across the country have since implemented the program, and it has even spread to countries around the world.

The local program will kick off on Monday, Nov. 12 from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Wesley Ray Elementary School, 30523 E. Wesley Ray Road in Angie.

At a time when positive male role models are lacking in the lives of millions of children throughout the country, the WATCH D.O.G.S. program offers “an effective way to increase male involvement in our nation’s schools,” according to the U.S. Department of Education. In studies conducted by the department, it has been proven that a positive adult male role model has a uniquely positive impact on a child’s development and educational success, dramatically increasing the likelihood of a child’s graduation, and also maintaining a high GPA. Some of the other benefits include decreasing the chances of a child getting involved with drugs or alcohol or living in poverty. It will also equip a child with the ability to make better choices in life.

Each school year, thousands of men volunteer to work at least one day in their child’s school as crossing guards, hallway monitors, library assistants, lunchroom helpers, classroom and homework tutors and playground/ gymnasium coaches through the WATCH D.O.G.S. program, ultimately impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids each school year in a positive way.

Positive male role models are needed in the school system, especially since the number of male teachers has been declining steadily in recent years. The benefits of a program such as WATCH D.O.G.S are many, giving fathers and father-figures a way to spend meaningful time with their students in the school setting, being a “dad,” and by providing schools with an increased sense of security within the campus, helping to create an environment conducive to learning.

For more information about the WATCH D.O.G.S. program, call 888-540-3647, email or visit the website at www. For more information about Wesley Ray’s program, contact Assistant Principal Gwendolyn Pigott at 986-3131.