Watch D.O.G.S.

March 21, 2014 

Parent and “Top Dog” Mike Medsker shares his vision for the “Watch D.O.G.S.” program at Creekmoor Elementary. More than 60 dads attended the informational meeting March 11.

BETHANY BASHIOUM/DEMOCRAT MISSOURIAN

Raymore-Peculiar School District dads are being invited to trade in a day at the office for a day with their children at school.

More than 60 Creekmoor Elementary fathers and father figures attended a meeting on March 11 with their elementary school-aged children to learn more about Watch D.O.G.S, a program designed to bring the presence of a male role model to the classroom.

D.O.G.S. stands for “Dads of Great Students,” and several schools within the district have already launched the programs within their buildings.

Creekmoor parent Mike Medsker wanted to initiate the program at his children’s school, and has been given the title “Top Dog” as his leadership title with the program.

“Stats show that male influence in schools reduces bullying and increases academic achievement,” he said.

Dads are being asked to donate a minimum of one school day a year to hangout at their child’s school. Dads with flexible schedules are invited to do more, and have strived to volunteer as much as one day every month.

Prior to volunteering, dads must also undergo a background check, as a safety precaution.

It’s Medsker’s goal to have dads volunteering at Creekmoor by April.

On their day of volunteering, dads are given a schedule of tasks -- from greeting students as they get out of the car or off the bus, reading with kids, helping out a teacher or two, hanging out at recess to eating lunch in the cafeteria with kids, or participating in P.E. or art class.

“I think it will be fun to see (my children) in everyday situations,” Medsker said.

But the program isn’t just about being present for their kids, Medsker said.

“It’s not just about us doing this for our kids, but for everyone here,” he said. “There are a lot of kids who don’t have male role models. “

Rich Bartow, a parent who started the program at Raymore Elementary in 2012, agrees.

He is helping Medsker get the program running at Creekmoor.

“You get to be a role model to those kids,” said Rich Bartow, a parent who started the program at Raymore Elementary in 2012. “There are kids who don’t have dads and you get to be that positive role model for them. You can make their day in the car line or bus line and just giving them a high five.”

Medsker said it’s also his goal to have one Watch Dog dad at Creekmoor each day during the nine months of the school year.

More information about the program can be found at www.fathers.com.

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