Watch D.O.G.S to hit more D-51 schools

By: Alex Hambrick Email
By: Alex Hambrick Email

The Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Good Students) program is being piloted at Shelledy Elementary School. On Monday District 51 School Board members approved the program for the rest of the elementary schools in the district.

Shelledy Elementary School administrators decided to try out the program in the fall of 2012.

One dad said he jumped at the opportunity.

"I didn't need to hear much to think that this was a fantastic idea," said Watch D.O.G.S dad Cullen Purser.

Shelledy Elementary School Assistant Principal Margaret Hofer said each morning the volunteer dad on duty is announced over the intercom, and their photos hang on the wall of fame near the main office.

"The dad comes in the morning with their student we ask them to help patrol in the morning or at recess just to help with kids arriving to school," said Hofer.

The dad stays for the full school day and helps out with math and reading and stays on duty during lunch and recess.

Safety and Transportation Director Tim Leon said having another trusted adult gives kids and another outlet to talk about issues going on around campus.

"It's endorsed by law enforcement across the country I think its just one of those programs that is a good idea," said Leon.

Purser said the first time he walked the halls came at a telling time, and said looking out for intruders is always on his mind.

"The first day I did this was the day after Sandy Hook and it was very much part of my thinking," said Purser.

Leon said the Watch D.O.G.S role is not to intervene or respond.

"The national program really doesn't allow for that type of stuff all they really are is eyes and ears now would an individual take that upon him or herself that's up to the individual," said Leon.

"I don't know that there is anything that anybody can do but um it is absolutely a huge part in creating a feeling of safety," said Purser.

The next step in expanding the program is for District 51 officials to present it to elementary administrators in the district as a tool and help them set up recruitment and informational events.

District 51 officials are meeting with Fruitvale Elementary staff next week to discuss the process for implementing the program next year.

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