Brunswick Elementary is the first school in Frederick County to launch a local father-involvement program called WATCH D.O.G.S.®, according to the school’s assistant principal Liz Worch. She invites fathers and father figures to learn more about the program over pizza on Thursday, October 3 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school.
Inspired by one father’s desire to increase male involvement in his children’s school, the program was created in 1998 in Arkansas. Since then, it has spread to more than 3,075 schools in over 46 states and 3 countries abroad, according to the National Center for Fathering, which adopted the program in 2006. According to www.fathers.com/watchdogs , U.S. Department of Education studies have shown that a positive adult male role model can have a uniquely positive impact on a child’s development and educational success. The Department has identified the WATCH D.O.G.S.® program as an effective way to increase male involvement in our nation’s schools.
The program helps fathers gain a greater awareness of the positive effect they can have on their child’s life in three critical areas including academic performance, self esteem and social behavior. It gives fathers a glimpse of their child’s everyday world and helps them learn about the increasingly complex challenges and decisions today’s youth are facing. As a result, they can learn to relate better to their child.
Schools gain an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of a father figure can enhance a sense of security and help create an environment conducive to learning, according to literature about the program. And students, many of whom do not have a father figure present in the home, benefit when a positive male role model is present.
The program’s goals include raising the banner of positive fathering through the forum of schools, awakening fathers to the values and benefits of committed fathering and changing the culture by providing every student a father figure with whom to connect in a positive way. More about the national program is online at www.fathers.com/watchdogs .