Father Figures Demonstrate Value of Learning
Since its Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) kickoff in September 2016, 29 father figures have stepped up to volunteer at Norfleet Elementary in Raytown. Pastor Travis Yeargans of River’s Edge Fellowship, spearheaded establishing the program at Norfleet, recognizing the impact that a male presence at school can have on the students and their families.
“One look at a Watch D.O.G.S.’s child can tell how excited s/he is to have their dad, stepdad, grandpa, or uncle at school,” said Sonya Swenson, school counselor. “Watch D.O.G.S. provides dads with another avenue for sending the message, ‘Your school and your learning are important to me.’”
Sally Secchio, a Norfleet teacher, notes that students beam with pride as they introduce their dad to the class. “Their smiles and laughter demonstrate their delight of having ‘dad’ with them,” she explains. Class members are engaged as the Watch D.O.G. shares how he uses math and reading in everyday life and in his job. They also work one on one with students.
One of the students summed it up (child’s spelling): “I like the watch dogs because they can help you read. And they can help you get no math beter. And they can help you get smarter.”