Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Allen Elementary is proving its students need much more than notebooks and sharpened pencils. What they need is good ol’ dad.
Dads who are a part of the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program at Allen Elementary regularly take time out of their busy schedules to spend a day at their child’s school. It’s a chapter of a national program, which stands by research that shows children thrive when they have an involved father in their life, according to fathers.com.
“It all comes down to our kids and doing what’s best for them and not waking up one day, regretting having not been involved,” said lead dad Jamie LeMay, who is also the vice president of Allen Elementary’s PTA as well as a local children’s pastor at Daisy Church of God.
Between the nearly 20 dads who signed up at Allen Elementary this year, LeMay says the program’s presence is felt in school hallways at least one day each week.
The program at Allen is going on its fifth year, and LeMay said he’s been involved for the past three. He said he became a member of the Watch D.O.G.S. because he wanted to be familiar with the happenings of the public school system as well as how his 10-year-old son Eli was doing within it.
“Eli loves [when I come to school for the day],” said LeMay, allowing that when he does, both he and Eli can don a Watch D.O.G.S. T-shirt to wear at school. “There are many days I’ll go into my bedroom at night and I’ll find my Watch D.O.G.S. T-shirt laying out on my bed with a note that says, ‘Can you be a Watch D.O.G. tomorrow?’
“I know how important it is to have a dad,” LeMay added, explaining that his parents divorced when he was young. “Some kids, their dad’s not involved with their lives; I’ve had little ones ask me to be their dad for a day. As a dad and as a children’s pastor, it breaks my heart.”
A typical day at school for a Watch D.O.G.S. dad can involve anything from walking the halls and checking the security of school entrances to playing on the playground with the students to greeting students and parents at the carpool line, said LeMay.
He added that many of the teachers have told him they feel safe with an extra pair of eyes roaming the halls.
Find out more about the national Watch D.O.G.S. program at fathers.com.
More like this story
- OES adds teachers to address high enrollment
- ‘Hey, new kid!’ Changing schools can jangle the nerves
- Health care facility coming to Tiger Creek Elementary
- Tragedy’s toll: Soddy-Daisy fundraiser helps family after crash deaths
- Memories of Dad: Times Free Press readers were asked to send in their favorite memory of their father