Berg Elementary School launched its Watch D.O.G.S. program this week, joining Roosevelt and Heart River Elementary.
"In a school, we always look to improve our parent involvement and this is just one way to do it. It's also bringing in those male role models. Often you don't see many male role models in a school building, so I think that's just a plus," said Tracy Lecoe, principal.
At the launch party, 17 dads showed up to learn about the program, and 13 of them began the process to become a volunteer.
Since the program is new to Berg, they brought a speaker to address the dads.
"He talked about having dads just present in our building right away in the morning, helping greet students as they come off the bus or out of their car; also helping out walking through the halls, checking doors to make sure they're locked; helping in classrooms, whether that might be to help with a reading activity, maybe an art project they have going on; participating with P.E., music, lunch, recess — just anything we have going on in our building," Lecoe said.
The program suggests that dads volunteer at least one day a year.
To become a Watch D.O.G., dads or other male role models in a kid's life must complete a form and submit to a background check.
"It sounds like the fingerprinting processing has gotten quicker, which we're really excited about, so we're hoping that — I would say by March that we can get some dads in our building," she said.
Dickinson Public Schools rezoned when Berg Elementary School was reopened following renovations, and some of the parents on Berg's Parental Action Committee had kids who had attended Heart River prior to coming to Berg.
"Our PAC really wanted to get this program into our school, and they worked to do just that," Lecoe said.