Watch DOGS Reporting for Duty Across RISD

The watch dogs that are commonly seen walking the halls of Richardson ISD elementary schools aren’t the ferocious creatures you might be picturing. No growling. No barking. And definitely no biting. Instead, these watch dogs are fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father figures that are volunteering their time to make an impact in their local elementary school.

Watch DOGS (Dads Of Great Students) is one of the nation’s largest and most respected school-based, family, and community engagement organizations in the country. The primary goals of the Watch DOGS programs are to provide positive role models for students, demonstrating that by their presence on campus, education is important. And secondly, to provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance campus security and reduce bullying.

The Watch DOGS program is thriving at many elementary school across the district and the program continues to grow. “This program helps children feel safe, provides positive male role models for all students in the school and has truly helped our school community grow,” believes Susan Greenwood, kindergarten teacher and Watch DOGS sponsor at Heights Elementary.

“The Watch DOG is a true celebrity, when he is volunteering,” said Greenwood. During a typical volunteer day, a Watch DOG may read and work on flash cards with students, play at recess, eat lunch with students, watch the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and any other assigned activities where they actively engage not only with their own children, but with other students, as well.

“The Watch DOGS do whatever we may ask of them, and with smiles on their faces,” said Amanda Sandy, Heights Elementary 4th grade teacher. “The kids and teachers truly love the help they give us!”

The Watch DOGS program also allows fathers to get a glimpse of their child’s everyday world and learn about the increasingly complex challenges and decisions today’s youth are facing. Fathers gain a greater awareness of the positive impact they can have on their child’s life and as a result, can effectively relate and connect with their child.

Fathers and father-figures that volunteer with Watch DOGS have a tremendously positive impact on the educational process, making countless lasting impressions.