Fathers and Father-figures

WATCH D.O.G.S.®  is an innovative program being used by schools across America which helps them to be positively impacted by the committed involvement of fathers and father-figures in their student’s life.  Our goal is to have you spend at least one day this year at the school to be a positive male role model and to provide an extra set of eyes and ears.


What Do Watch D.O.G.S.® Do?

  • Welcomes the kids in the morning as they arrive and generally keeps on eye out
  • Attends recess with the kids
  • Has lunch with their kid
  • Helps in classrooms
  • Sees the kids off to home
  • Hi-Fives every last kid at the school!

3 Winners Of Watch D.O.G.S.®

  • Students win because the father and father-figures give their time and energy as a positive male role model.
  • The school wins because of the Support and Safety a Watch DOG provides as an unobtrusive fathering presence on campus.
  • The ‘dads’ win because they know their role as a WatchDOG may have an impact on many lives, starting with our own students.


Who Are Watch D.O.G.S.®?

  • Dads
  • Step-Dads
  • Uncles
  • Grandpas


What Do Watch D.O.G.S® Days Look Like?

Here’s an letter from our former Top Dog Paul Van Lierop after the first kick off day of Watch DOGS to give you a view into what your day would be like.


Well I’m home after day one of Watch DOGS at East Ridge. I had a great day, although I’m kind of wiped out. I have a new appreciation for the faculty and other volunteers now. I tell you what though, you are going to have a great day, and you’ll want to go again and again. The kids were awesome, as were the faculty. I felt very welcome and appreciated. Just prepare to bring everything you’ve got, a good smile and a great attitude and you’ll have a great day too, especially since they’ll know why you are there now.

Your day will look like something like this:

You’ll check in at the office between 8:20am and 8:30am, get your visitor tag, your Watch DOGS shirt if you don’t already have one and one of the Watch DOGS loaner coats if you need a coat. We have a L and a 2XL so hopefully that should cover it. You’ll get a schedule and you can sign off on your orientation sheet in your folder. Now you head out and keep an eye on the students as they arrive. I kind of walked around between the buses arriving and with the cars dropping kids off. Then check your schedule as you’ll probably be asked to be in a variety of classroom situations. Don’t be nervous our worry about this, they gave me a good overview once I got there, and they are just thrilled to have you helping.

Then you’ll go to the various recesses. Go play with the kids, one of the highlights of my day for sure. Encourage good sportsmanship, get them in on a kickball game or something. (Don’t let them talk you into playing tag or “Infection” as they’ve tried to call tag, it’s a no-no).

Lunch may be a bit tricky so when you check-in in the morning you will want to find out when your kids lunch is, and bring $3.75 if you are going to buy lunch. Mid day recesses do run during some of the lunch times, so you can grab lunch and go to some of the recess.

What I did today:

So for example here’s what I did today in the classrooms. I got to hang out with the kindergartners and help them with their science boxes. It was very cool to be there with them. Then I went to the 1st graders and did some individual reading time with them, where they read to me. I went to recess then went and helped the 3rd graders with some reading. Lunch then some serious kickball and football games with the kids. Then I went and helped in the 6th grade class with some individual times with kids who needed to get ready for their botany test. I then went to PE for a bit and played some pickleball then ended the day helping some other 6 graders get their thoughts together for their research projects.

This program is a great gift to not only the dads but the kids and staff of East Ridge, and I’m so excited to see the changes over the rest of the year. Thanks for signing up, or thinking about it. If you have not registered yet, click the above SignUpGenius link and sign up for some of our remaining slots and we’ll see you at school!

Paul VL
East Ridge Watch D.O.G.S.


Click here for more info!


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