Lorena, TX (FOX 44) — Lorena ISD held an informational session Wednesday evening, Oct. 18, to bring in male figures to its primary-school classrooms.
The session is part of their Watch D.O.G.S. program, short for “Dads of Great Students.” Watch D.O.G.S. is a national program where dads, uncles and grandfathers come together to assist teachers in the classroom and serve as positive role models for students.
Greg Hill is one of several male figures who attended Wednesday’s meeting. His daughter is in kindergarten, and Hill wants to be a watchdog to be more involved in her life growing up.
“Parents aren’t teachers, and teachers aren’t parents, and it takes a community a village to raise a kid,” said Hill.
A Watch D.O.G.S. day-in-the-life can include school pick up and drop off, helping in a classroom, going to recess and motivating students in P.E.
Lorena Primary School Assistant Principal Stacy Isom says Watch D.O.G.S. has been at Lorena Primary for over 10 years. Recognizing how a majority of early childhood education staff are women, Isom sees how the Watch D.O.G.S. program makes a difference.
“Some of our students need a male role model in their lives and really respond to that male figure, and it can be very impactful in the long-term for these students,” said Isom.
After a background check is completed, Watch D.O.G.S. can volunteer on an open schedule.
Lane Wakefield is a current Watchdog for his daughter in first grade. Wakefield says it’s an eye-opening experience, seeing what his daughter goes through in school and being able to make special moments with her and her classmates.
“You get to know all the specifics about their day. But in the long run, it’s just an extra bonding experience,” said Wakefield. “Her friends still talk about how everybody came last year and ‘our friends really like it when you can push them on the swings’ and different things that they remember about that day that just seem like such a small thing, but they stick out to them over the long run,” said Wakefield.
For anyone interested in being a watchdog, Isom says you can contact Lorena Primary School and get connected.