Students and fathers (or father figures) of Northwest Elementary will have Kids’ Pizza Night on Thursday, Sept. 20, 6 p.m. at Northwest Elementary (311 Bluffview in Brownwood) to kick off a new innovative father involvement program called WATCH D.O.G.S.® or "Dads Of Great Students".  WATCH D.O.G.S.® is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering. Inspired by one father’s desire to increase male involvement in his children’s school and with the help of the school's teachers and administration, WATCH D.O.G.S was created in 1998 at George Elementary in Springdale, Ark. Since then, the program has spread to more than 2,400 schools in over 42 states and other countries abroad.

 Studies by the U.S. Department of Education have demonstrated that a positive adult male role model will have a uniquely positive impact on the development and educational success of a child. Dramatically increasing the child’s likelihood of graduating and getting mostly A’s along the way, while at the same time dramatically decreasing the likelihood of that child living in poverty, getting involved with drugs and alcohol, and avoiding potentially devastating choices that result in a criminal record or a teen pregnancy. The U.S. Department of Education has identified the WATCH D.O.G.S. ® program as an effective way to increase male involvement in our nation’s schools.

Each school year thousands of men volunteer to work at least one day in their child’s school through the WATCH D.O.G.S. ® program. These men work along side the educators to help as crossing guards, car/bus rider facilitators, hallway monitors, library assistants, lunchroom helpers, classroom and homework tutors and playground/gymnasium coaches. Every school year these men have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids.

Program benefits are that students gain a positive male role model. Some students do not have a father-figure present in their home and the number of male teachers has been steadily declining in recent years. More positive male role models are needed in the school setting.

Schools gain an extra set of eyes and ears. The presence of Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) can increase a sense of security at the building for students and staff, and it helps create an environment conducive to learning.

Fathers and father-figures can spend meaningful time with their students in the school setting and gain a greater awareness of the positive impact they can have on their student’s life, just by being a dad.

When Watch D.O.G.S. invest a day at school, they can learn how better to partner with the school to meet educational goals of students.

For more information on the WATCH D.O.G.S.® program call 1-888-540-3647, e-mail watchdogs@fathers.com or visit www.fathers.com/watchdogs. Pizza Night information: Asst. Principal, Jerry Jones at (325) 646-0707.