Watch D.O.G.S: Dads Are Going Back to School

Pershing Hill hosts WATCH D.O.G.S. father initiative

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to go back to school? I’m not talking about going back to get your bachelor’s, master’s or even doctorate degree – what I mean is, have you thought about going back to middle school maybe even as far back as kindergarten? Flashcards, pop quizzes, recess, perhaps nap time? For many dads and father-figures alike, this daydream is becoming a reality.

Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is a father involvement program that focuses on dads, grandfathers, uncles and father-figures volunteering time at their kid’s school in an effort to provide the presence of a positive male role model. Dads spend the whole day at school helping students with daily tasks and assisting teachers by being an extra set of ears and eyes. A lot of these dads are taking time out of their day-to-day grind to not only be present in their child’s lives, but to hopefully impact the lives of other students by being present at school, which has led to the lessening of bullying.

Aside from having dad’s presence ensuring schools feel much safer, there are studies that show the significant impact a father’s involvement has on students. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, researchers found that father-child contact associates with better socio-emotional and academic functioning. The results showed that the more involvement dads have in a child’s life lead to fewer behavioral problems and higher scores on reading achievement. Additionally, a father’s involvement in school is associated with a higher likelihood of students receiving A’s in class.

In the state of Michigan there are a total of 900 public schools as of the 2013-2014 school year (Condition of Michigan Education); there are currently 144 schools participating in the Watch D.O.G.S. programs. To find out if your kid’s school is part of the program, simply ask your child’s teacher or principal. If you or someone you know has a strong interest in participating in this program, you can visit their website to see how to you can start your own Watch D.O.G.S. program at your child’s school.

Watch D.O.G.S. is a great way to interact with your child (or maybe a niece, nephew, grand child, etc.), but it isn’t the only way to reach out. Simply taking an active interest in your child’s school work or extracurricular activities can strongly impact his or her life.

Photo credit: Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office

This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan

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