We’ve got your NMHS BULLDOGS, we’ve got your Hawkins Middle School HUSKIES and now… (drum roll please), we’re proud to introduce the SAND HILL ELEMENTARY WATCH D.O.G.S!
Watch D.O.G.S stands for Dads Of Great Students, a program brought to Sand Hill in 2011. For the past three years, I have been lucky enough to have been able to volunteer in the Watch D.O.G.S program.
Started in 1998 in Springdale, Arkansas by the National Center For Fathering, the Watch D.O.G.S program has more than 3,793 participating schools in 46 states, to date.
Program goals include providing positive male role models who demonstrate by their presence that education is important. Watch D.O.G.S. also provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.
The program invites fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father figures of students to volunteer at least one full day and perform a variety of tasks at Sand Hill. All volunteers must pass an official background check to help ensure the safety of the students and staff. Individuals can sign up for the program any time throughout the school year. Sand Hill’s Watch D.O.G.S. team is led by Shannon Dykman.
Watch D.O.G.S. always eat lunch with students, and since I have two at Sand Hill, I ate half my lunch with my daughter and then finished the other half with my kindergarten son. After lunch, I played at recess and then helped my son’s teacher, Ms. Mary Dimmen, with reading in the classroom. Her students are reading very well at this young age!
At the end of the day we met Mrs. Dykman back at the office where I had my photo taken with my two kids and hung up on the Watch D.O.G.S “Wall of Fame.”
I find the opportunity to volunteer and interact with all the students and staff at the school very rewarding. The kids’ smiles are priceless.
The future of the Watch D.O.G.S. depends on volunteers, so let’s keep it going and spread the word. The goal is have a Watch D.O.G.S volunteer every day of the school year. We can definitely make that happen!
To learn more about the Watch D.O.G.S. program, please visit fathers.com or contact Shannon Dykman at Sand Hill Elementary (360.277.2330). I hope to see your picture on the Watch D.O.G.S Wall of Fame soon!