PARKADE — Sept. 15 marks the kick-off for Parkade Elementary School’s Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program for the school year. The program is a national father involvement initiative that works to place positive male role models in schools and classrooms, according to its website.
Parkade's vice principal Carrie Freeman said that dads and other father figures sign up for specific days to come into school and spend the day helping out in different classrooms, including their own child's. The school has been able to place dads in the building three times a week.
The kick-off event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday Sept. 15 at Parkade Elementary School, 111 Parkade Boulevard. For more information, contact Vice Principal Carrie Freeman at (573) 214-3630.
The program has been at Parkade Elementary School since September 2009, and has been very successful, Freeman said. She said dads initially come into school shy, but leave at the end of the day high-fiving students, visibly involved in what's going on in the school.
Freeman cited a statistic offered by the program: In 2003, of 50 schools surveyed, 79 percent of participants saw increased father involvement in areas outside of school, such as parent teacher conferences or PTA involvement.
The event will be held at 6:30 p.m Thursday at the school and is open to the public. In previous years the kick-off event, which provides free pizza and soda for participants, has brought in roughly 200 people. Freeman predicts similar attendance numbers this year.
More information on research conducted by the Watch D.O.G.S. program is available on the program's national website.