2nd Annual Watch D.O.G.S. Program kicks off year with pizza and playtime

By BRITTANY DUNCAN and KELSEY MCQUADE

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

Parkade Elementary School hosted its second annual Watch D.O.G.S. Kickoff Pizza Party Tuesday evening to welcome fathers and urge them to sign up.

The Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) began in 1998 after a middle school shooting in Arkansas. According to its website, the program’s goal is to “help every school in America be positively influenced by the committed involvement of fathers and father figures in lives of their children and students.”

The program started at Parkade Elementary in fall 2009, after being suggested at a PTA meeting the previous spring, according to a former Missourian article.

Families lined up single file outside the Parkade gym to get their pizza and drinks. Afterwards, the kids made their way to the playground while parents stayed behind for the information session.

Carrie Freeman, vice principal of Parkade, opened the night with a few words for the families, “The power in having a dad come to school is huge.”

A few previous volunteer dads spoke to the audience about their experiences with the program.

“It’s very laid back,” Dennis Rohr, parent of two at Parkade, said. “You get to experience not only your kids but others and their classrooms.”

“All we’re asking is that you have fun with your kids and get involved in their lives. You are an extra set of eyes and ears at the school,” Rohr said.

The evening concluded with information on how to become a Watch D.O.G.S. parent.

Chad Hill, a reading recovery teacher at Parkade, offered these words to dads in attendance: “Get up. Man up. Show up for your school.”

If you are interested in participating, please contact Parkade Elementary.

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Filed under Columbia-Boone County, Parkade, Schools

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