ARP, Texas (KETK) – Arp Elementary kicked off a program called the Watch D.O.G.S., which stands for dads of great students. This is the school’s way of introducing the students to father figures.
Monica Johnson, Arp Elementary School Counselor, organized the program for the school and got other faculty members on board after seeing it at other schools across the country. She said seeing the positive influence the program had on students in other areas made her want to bring it to East Texas.
“When they see males in their life seeing education as important, they’re gonna take that lead and see that as important too,” said Johnson.
The program works by a dad picking a specific date to spend working alongside the staff at Arp Elementary. The dads can do jobs like hallway monitor, lunchroom helper, gym coach and more.
The goal is to bring more male role models into these student’s lives.
“That’s who they look up to, that’s their model for how they act, how they behave, their outlook on life and that’s why it’s so important to have a male role model in their lives, for their positive outlook,” added Johnson.
Dads that participate in the program will also spend two class periods in their child’s classroom.
Arp Elementary dad of two, Rangel Mojica, said he was eager to sign up after hearing about Watch D.O.G.S.
“I know Arp elementary needs more male figures and that’s why I really wanted to sign up for it. It’s something new, be there for my kids and also other kids,” said Mojica.
Out of 57 faculty members at Arp elementary school only two are male teachers. Staff members like the school’s Assistant Principal Beth Hines, feel that bringing in dads will help students by making them more eager to learn.
“I’ve seen the impact that having the male role models on campuses does for our students especially our male students because when they see people that look like them on campus, it encourages them…someone to aspire to be,” said Hines.
The program also promises to be beneficial to the dads who volunteer their time.
“It also helps our dads see their kids on campus in a different light. It’s different when you’re doing homework with your student versus seeing them in action in the classroom,” added Hines.
Arp Elementary faculty members were expecting about 100 dads to attend, but were surprised to see even more make an appearance.