Watch D.O.G.S.

  • Watch D.O.G.S.

    Dads Of Great Students welcome at Turtle Creek Elementary!

Turtle Creek Elementary School is home to the Watch D.O.G.S. Program, which stands for “Dads of Great Students.”

Started in 2014, it’s a program aimed at getting more adult male role models in front of children, particularly dads.

There are two main goals of the program:

  1. To provide positive male role models to students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important.
  2. To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

In most schools across the country, volunteer helpers are typically women. The “D.O.G.S.” volunteers are often viewed as the “heroes of the hallways,” according to the program’s website. The volunteers come to school for a full day and are essentially put to work. They help in the classroom, monitor the hallways and cafeteria, provide playground supervision and perform other classroom duties as assigned by teachers and principals. Anything to help teachers teach and students learn, they’ll be doing.

Volunteers Needed

The program is always seeking out and vetting volunteers. Each volunteer is screened and given a background check before they officially become a part of Watch D.O.G.S. It is open to any male figure who plays a significant role in a student’s life. This includes grandfathers, uncles, adult brothers, step-dads and other role models who are considered part of a student’s family.

Volunteers are given a T-shirt and informed of expectations and school rules at an orientation session prior to starting their work.

Volunteers are asked to provide a minimum of one day in the classroom over the school year. Often though, volunteers return for additional days and they’re welcome to. As programs grow, some employers even allow volunteers to take days off work so they can be in the schools, he added.

Want to be a Watch D.O.G.S. role model?

Contact Watch D.O.G.S. Coordinator and Turtle Creek Associate Principal Brian Incitti, bincitti@ddschools.org,  or 262-728-2642 x4399.

Who are WatchDOGS and how does WATCH D.O.G.S. work?

WatchDOGS are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father-figures who volunteer for at least one day each year at an official WATCH D.O.G.S. school.

WATCH D.O.G.S., a K-12 program, invites fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other father figures to volunteer at least one day all day at their child’s/student’s school during the school year. Fathers and father figures sign up to volunteer through a ‘Launch Event’ such as a “Dads and Kids Pizza Night” or “Donuts with Dad” or by calling their child’s school any time throughout the school year. The program is overseen by a “Top Dog” volunteer who partners with the school administrator to coordinate scheduling and identify opportunities for WatchDOGS to provide assistance at the school. WatchDOG dads and volunteers perform a variety of tasks during their volunteer day including monitoring the school entrance, assisting with unloading and loading of buses and cars, monitoring the lunch room, or helping in the classroom with a teacher’s guidance by working with small groups of students on homework, flashcards, or spelling.

What do WatchDOGS do (while they are at school)?

During the day, WatchDOGS may read and work on flash cards with students, play at recess, eat lunch with students, patrol the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and any other assigned activities where they actively engage with not only their own students, but other students as well.

Many school principals have reported that the mere presence of a WatchDOG dad dramatically reduces reports of bullying. On the day of their participation, WatchDOG dads are given a brief review of their involvement and they wear an official WATCH D.O.G.S. t-shirt with a disposable ‘Dog Tag’ identifying them as a WatchDOG.

What are the benefits of the program?

There are many benefits to having the Watch D.O.G.S. Program at Turtle Creek. 

  • Students gain positive male role models.
  • Schools gain an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of a father or father figure will provide an additional deterrent to bullying, enhance a sense of security in the building, and will help to create an environment conducive to learning.
  • Fathers get a glimpse of their students’ everyday world and learn about the increasingly complex challenges and decisions today’s youth are facing. As a result, they can learn to relate better to their student and hopefully connect with them.
  • Fathers gain a greater awareness of the positive impact they can have on their student’s life in three critical areas including: academic performance, self-esteem, social behavior.
  • Due to budget shortfalls and cutbacks, often teachers are presented with larger classrooms each year. Fathers and father figures (aka WatchDOGS) provide real and important help for the teachers and the students.

Will men really spend a full day at school?

Yes! WATCH D.O.G.S. has a great track record of bringing fathers and father figures to school for the whole day.  If you run your program as we outline for you, men will show up. While volunteering a day is a sacrifice for these fathers and father figures, once they serve their day they will be glad that they did.  In fact, in many cases these fathers and father figures will sign up for more days, both because they had an incredible experience and because it gives them a greater appreciation for what the teachers are doing to educate their child.

I have more questions about the program

Call the Turtle Creek Associate Principal’s Office, 728-2642 ext. 4399

See additional Watch D.O.G.S. FAQs

Check out the All About Watch D.O.G.S. page