Fathers take an interest in education and safety at Dickinson school

It's a program designed to get fathers active in their children's education, and it's also helping them keep a close watch.

Heart River Elementary principal, Susan Cook, has 300 kids to look after at her school, but she gets help from some local Watch D.O.G.S.

"The program itself is designed to bring fathers back into the school system: fathers, grandfathers, uncles. Any type of father figure. Adult siblings even," said James Cox, Watch D.O.G.S volunteer.

Cox said the Watch D.O.G.S. program was a great opportunity for him to spend more time with his son.

"One of the biggest things I have enjoyed about the program, because of my hectic work schedule in the oil field, I would often see my son before dinner if I was lucky. This gives me an opportunity to spend a day with him," said Cox.

Leyman Tedford, a Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer, said the program allows him and other fathers to participate in the children's safety.

"So in light of recent of events. . .  whenever you see school shootings around . . .  We actually go around and check the doors. We walk the perimeter of the school, making sure everybody is where they are suppose to be. The children are safe," said Tedford.

The Watch D.O.G.S. program has been incredibly successful at Heart River Elementary with more than 50 fathers involved, but unfortunately Heart River is the only school that offers it right now.

"Now that many of the kids I have worked with the last couple of years are over at the middle school . . . I would like to see them get the program going," said Cox.

Principal Cook hopes more schools in Dickinson adopt the program.

"It makes their day. They look forward to the Watch D.O.G.S. dads. They high - five them . . . it's amazing, " said Cook.

The fathers have no set schedules and volunteer their time as needed, but they value every single second with the kids.

Watch D.O.G.S. is a national program created in 1998, and more than 6,000 schools across the country participate in it.


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