Dads, father figures working to make an impact at Anderson-Shiro Elementary
ANDERSON, Texas (KBTX) -Countless studies have shown that children who have father figures or male role models involved in their education perform better in school. Studies also show that positive male role models provide a sense of security and safety in children’s lives.
For the second school year in a row, father figures are stepping up to the plate and volunteering their time, and making a positive impact on the lives of children at Anderson-Shiro Elementary in Grimes County.
It’s part of a national school initiative called the Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of great students) program. The Dads of Great Students WATCH D.O.G.S. program is one of the nation’s largest and most respected school-based, family, and community engagement, organizations in the country.
The program encourages fathers, grandfathers, or any other father figures to serve at least one day on a school campus each year to support the students and staff.
The program has two primary goals, one of which is to provide a positive male role model for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important,
“We have a lot of kids who don’t have a father figure at home and so by having these dads that volunteer and are familiar faces for our babies day after day, that brings a whole other aspect to our campus,” said Anderson-Shiro Elementary School principal Stacey Zielonka. “Dads are looking to become involved in their school and I think it’s a great way to invite them in and give them a purpose to be a part of our kid’s lives.”
In the wake of recent violence and threats on school campuses, the program also aims to provide an extra set of eyes and ears to enhance school security.
“A big concern this year is school safety so our dads on campus, their focus this year will be keeping our staff and our students safe which is our number one priority all the time,” said Anderson-Shiro Elementary School counselor Kristy Weintraub.
Spending time on the campus of Anderson Shiro Elementary is a responsibility and privilege fathers like Paul Head and Marc Menchaca don’t take lightly.
“It’s important, you know to show these kids hey it’s not just moms that come to school its also dads that have volunteered to be here,” said Menchaca.
“You can make a difference you know just having a presence here,” said Head. “They’re not asking you to police, they’re not asking you to discipline, you’re not here for that. You’re here to interact with the kids, to have a presence on campus.”
The part of the programs that dads love the most is the interaction with their children and their friends and classmates.
“I get to hang out with my son but also with all the other kids that are in there, which is just fun to hear their stories, what’s going on in their lives and talk to them and give them some positive feedback,” said Menchaca.
“It’s building relationships with those kids, building relationships with the community, with the teachers and staff so it’s not something that you just do on the weekend or like after work or at a baseball game its something that you can do actively during the day, during the week and the kids really get a kick out of you being there,” said Head.
Any male figure can take part in the program whether they have a child in the school district however they must pass a strict background check. For more information on the WATCH D.O.G.S program at Anderson-Shiro Elementary see the flyer below.
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