The following story was submitted by Valley View School District 365:
Starting Oct. 7, every school day will be Father’s Day at R.C. HillElementary School.
That’s when Hill, in conjunction with the school’s PTO, will launch its “Watch D.O.G.S.” (Dads of Great Students) program giving dads daily opportunities to volunteer at the Romeoville school.
“Kids need male role models,” said Hill PTO member Michelle Gura who is among those overseeing implementation of the new program. “This is an opportunity to show kids that dads find education important too.”
Typically, school volunteers are mostly moms, which is why the National Center for Fathering launched Watch D.O.G.S. in 1998. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds with literally thousands of schools participating nationwide.
At Hill, each interested dad can sign up for a minimum of one day. Some have signed up for more.
“They’ll be extra hands for the teachers and staff,” Gura said. “Maybe they’ll go to a kindergarten room and help with an art project and then a first grade room to help with spelling words. They might travel to fifth grade to help with a science project. They could go to the gym. Every day will be different.”
During a special introductory breakfast meeting earlier this month, more than 100 dads and their children showed up. Gura, and fellow organizers, Principal Alyson Ewald, Administrative Secretary Jen Benge, PTO President Serena Anderson and PTO Member Kristie Timbo were delighted with the turnout.
“We had a great response. We have slots filled from October to May,” Gura said. “But there are still plenty of slots available.”
“We are very excited to launch the Watch D.O.G.S. Program and about this opportunity for both our students and their dads,” Ewald added. “All of our students can benefit from positive male role models.”
Any dads wishing to sign up for the program are invited to contact the school at 815-886-4343.