Archive for Sunday, November 5, 2006

Watch D.O.G.S. to keep eye on school

Fathers asked to volunteer to provide security, role models for elementary students

November 5, 2006


Greg Easter, Lawrence, signs up to spend a day at Langston Hughes School as part of the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program. More than 100 fathers plan to participate in the program.

Greg Easter, Lawrence, signs up to spend a day at Langston Hughes School as part of the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program. More than 100 fathers plan to participate in the program.

Elementary schools traditionally aren't a place where you'll find many adult men.

However, a new program getting started at Langston Hughes School is designed to bring more fathers - and father figures - into the classroom each day.

Called Watch D.O.G.S., it's a national program designed to help provide increased security and additional help for students each day.

"D.O.G.S. stands for Dads of Great Students," said Peter Graham, a Langston Hughes father who is "lead dog" for the project. "The goal is to get fathers involved in their children's lives."

Graham and more than 100 dads turned out for an informational meeting and pizza party Thursday at the school.

"Our goal is to get one dad, at least, every day," Graham said. "The idea is that they're present from the moment the kids are getting out of their cars or getting off the bus."

From there, it's on to help out in the classroom or patrol the halls. They also eat lunch with the students. They help at recess and patrol the halls.

Watch D.O.G.S.

"Dads of Great Students" is a national program to get more fathers involved in the lives of their children at schools. Enlarge video

"The idea is that fathers don't get into their kids' lives as much as they should," Graham said.

The program was created in response to the Jonesboro, Ark., school shooting in 1998. Since then, Watch D.O.G.S. has expanded into more than 30 states, said Lisa Williams Thompson, Langston Hughes principal.

Dads are encouraged to sign up for a day beginning the week of Nov. 13, Thompson said.

"I'm real excited about it. I think it's going to be a great opportunity to get more dads involved," she said.

Dale Koerner, a fifth-grade teacher at the school, said he thought it was a good way to get fathers into the school as male role models.

Koerner said most male teachers work at the junior high or high school level, so students don't see many men in their elementary schools.

Related link

For example, just less than 13 percent of the elementary classroom teachers in Lawrence are men - 39 males, compared with 291 females, said Bob Arevalo, the school district's director of personnel.

Diane Knapp, president of the school's parent-teacher organization, had a friend from Arkansas who told her about the program.

"I think it's going to be awesome," Knapp said. "Children are so excited to see their dads involved in school."

Lisa Williams Thompson, principal at Langston Hughes Elementary School, talks about the new Watch D.O.G.S. program


One is Olya Helt, a sixth-grader.

"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Olya said. "My dad is great at math, and I struggle with math so he can help me a lot with that."

Kyle Rainey, a sixth-grader, said the program also will help the dads.

"They can understand their child because they'll be around them more," Kyle said.


janeb 11 years ago

whoa there! what happened to Grandparent rights? JD are you being abusive to your Elders? It must come from lack of a strong father figure in the home. Damn shame it is.

BrianR 11 years ago

Since when does losing ones mind have anything to do with age?

What were we talking about?

theifoncross 11 years ago

GOOD POINT thanks for reminding the group. It should be posted in every school. If U Lie down with dogs; you get fleas. or some other itchy crawly thing.

Kathy Theis-Getto 11 years ago


The brochure is a good one, no? Your twist on my username is cute, but you are the one guilty of exaggeration, hence your quote: "This really does nothing to make a school safer. Nothing.

Are you suggesting that women can't handle the situation themselves and need a man around to protect them? Please"

Of course the program makes the school safer, and of course it provides a much needed relationship with male role models. I really can't believe you think it is a bad program. Of course there are many ways for dads to become involved with their children outside of sports. What you fail to understand is that educating our children involves much more than curriculum, it involves building strong family and community ties. What better way than to have family members in the buildings helping the children? Checking locked doors is only a miniscule portion of this program.

Nikki May 11 years ago

I was wondering where in the article it said they were trying to make the school safer. I guess just one more body in the hallway would help.

janeb 11 years ago

We were talking about Dogs in school, which was against District Policy last I heard. And the sub conversation is there are plenty of ignorant fools in the world.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years ago

I'm not knocking this program, but what does it do for school districts like KCK or KCMO? Is participation as great in districts composed of blue collar and working poor? You know, the folks who have to work 60-80 hrs a week to support their kids. Prove me wrong, please, but I can't imagine many volunteers in these instances. Otherwise, it seems great for those who benefit. But it does make me think what I stated just above and about the odd school financing arguements where more affluent communities resent their tax money helping kids who aren't their own (e.g., The OP, Blue Valley, Lawrence).

jd61883 11 years ago

Brian R...your a your probably your probably losing your us all some trouble and go back to eating your jello.

BrianR 11 years ago

This really does nothing to make a school safer. Nothing.

Are you suggesting that women can't handle the situation themselves and need a man around to protect them? Please.

BrianR 11 years ago

V, Ok, you're absolutely right. Anything you say.

"What you fail to understand is that educating our children involves much more than curriculum, it involves building strong family and community ties."

Jumping to conclusions again. Please think before you type. I hope you're not teaching one of my grandchildren.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Kansas Families United for Public Education is pleased to endorse the following supporters of public education. Send this list to a friend

Federal Office: Nancy Boyda (D), U.S. Congress (District #2), Dennis Moore (D), U.S. Congress (District #3),

Kansas Board of Education:

Janet Waugh (D), State Board of Education (District #1),

Don Weiss (D), State Board of Education (District #3),

Sally Cauble (R), State Board of Education (District #5),

Jack Wempe (D), State Board of Education (District #7),

Jana Shaver (R), State Board of Education (District #9),

Statewide Office: Paul Morrison (D), Attorney General, Kathleen Sebelius/Mark Parkinson (D), Governor/Lt. Governor,

theifoncross 11 years ago

Do these dogs require a back ground check? ? ? better keep them on a leash. pick up their male ego b.s. so the kids don't get covered with it?

theifoncross 11 years ago

Yep modeling for our kids that fathers "volunteering" for one day a year is most excellent. yep introduce a lot of strangers into the schools roaming the halls, lunchroom, playground and restrooms. Yep no screening process. Yep seams bout right to me. maybe the dogs can bring treats, and puppies. Strangers with candy and puppies! No time to think : cynicism rotting my mind, must act now to cast a shadow of dought on altruism.

Tychoman 11 years ago

Hey look everyone! It's everyone's favorite D-list cheerleader for Conservativeman (and star adulterer of "The Scarlet Letter") Hester Prynne!

A background check on a student's father? How unnecessary. Big Brother is watching you, England prevails!

Which reminds me: Today is November 5th. Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

imagold 11 years ago

Good grief. Dads wanting to get involved in their kids lives outside of sports and you're looking for ulterior motives and suggesting they are male chauvenists? I think it's a great idea and they should be encouraged to get involved.

Careful everyone...don't step in those first two posts.

theifoncross 11 years ago

just thinking of recent news Foley, preacher Colorado. maybe it is good we have few adult males in the schools.

redneckwoman 11 years ago

Sounds like a great program. More Dad's DO need to get more involved with thing's other than sports!

LeAnne Stowe 11 years ago

Remember those "center for fathering" fundies?... this is one of their programs. It was recently "merged" with the Jonesboro organization. At first I thought the idea was a good one, but after I found out the other motives (think promisekeepers) I withdrew my support. I'll post the link when I find it. Hope the net hasn't been scrubbed for the background info on this organization.

janeb 11 years ago

Weren't the" Men at Work" all gay? That is too funny Hester.

Kathy Theis-Getto 11 years ago

I teach in an elementary school that has had WATCH D.O.G.S for two years now. Sorry imagold, but I have to respond to the first two posts as stupid as they may be,

Through WATCH D.O.G.S., which is the largest school-based fathering involvement program in the country, fathers are often reminded of the important role they play in their children's lives. Fathers are being invited to sign-up to spend one day this year volunteering, serving as a positive male role model and helping increase a sense of security in the school building. During their WATCH D.O.G.S. day, dads will engage in various activities such as welcoming students during arrival, reading to classes, tutoring small groups of students, having fun at recess, or simply sitting down and connecting with students during lunch.

The WATCH D.O.G.S. program benefits schools by gaining an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of WATCH D.O.G.S. can increase a sense of security at the building for students and staff, and it helps create an environment conducive to learning. Students gain a positive male role model because many students do not have a father figure present in their home. Also, the number of male teachers has been steadily declining in recent years. More positive male role models are needed in the school setting. Fathers can spend meaningful time with their children in the school setting and gain a greater awareness of the positive impact that they can have on their child's life, just by being an involved dad.

@BrianR and theifoncross; If you have children in school, do you volunteer regularly? Didn't think so.

mom_of_three 11 years ago

According to the website, which is posted in the article, there can be screenings and background checks according to school policies for volunteers.
My husband used to volunteer in my daughter's kindergarten class and I don't remember a background check, but that was 8 years ago.

BrianR 11 years ago

imagold, Who suggested that the dads are chauvenists (sic)? Certainly not me.

While you're re-reading my post trying to figure out why you are wrong, and you are wrong, perhaps you can explain how this makes schools safer.

There are a hundred ways dads can get involved with their kids outside of sports - that is just a bizarre statement.

Bobbi Walls 11 years ago

I cannot wait to see if our school can start this program.. this was brought up at our PTO meeting, and I think it is great.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years ago

That's f%$#ed up. Tell the folks what NAMBLA is.

theifoncross 11 years ago

i think i heard about this program is New York. but they called it NAMBLA. I think the org that started it said it worked better than most thought. Teach a man to fish....

BrianR 11 years ago

Valkyrie_of_Hyperbole, Sounds like you wrote the brochure or you're reading from it. How nice for you.

My children are late 20s - early 30s. Do you have a clue? Didn't think so.

Kathy Theis-Getto 11 years ago

I am still waiting for annieinkansas to cite her information..........

letsgetwise 11 years ago

I'm sorry...what is the problem here? Fathers wanting to get more involved in their children's lives, including school? At Schwegler ALL parents are encouraged to get involved, and I know there is a "training" time frame, I am not sure about background checks though. I just don't get what the issue is...what, that someone thought of a name to call the group? And, someone from Promise Keepers may have approved what's going on with this group? I have no problem with backgroud checks as long as ALL employees and voluteers are required them. This sounds like a possible good thing and I guess I simply do not get what the issue is that some of you are having.

letsgetwise 11 years ago

annieinkansas--what are the "other motives" you refer to?

hockmano 11 years ago

Why should father's who want to volunteer have to have a background check? It's only a few days out of the year! C'mon people. If background checks were performed on every parent in the school and made public you'd be surprised who has records. I think this sounds like a good program. And there definitely needs to be more of a male presence in Lawrence Public Schools. KCK and KCMO all have more security then Lawrence. Metal detectors in all KCK schools. And better trained security officers who actually break up fights since I was told that the security officers in Lawrence are not trained to do this. I guess they are just paid to watch and sell tickets.

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