Local school recruits fathers as Watch D.O.G.S.

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 10/02/2013 12:30 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Safety is a priority in schools, but budgets are tight. So one local school is taking a cue from a national program and using a creative way to step up security. 

"The whole school safety thing, as a dad, I guess just stresses me out," said Chris Jensen, whose daughter attends Elmcrest Elementary School.

Other dads fell the same way, which is why Elmcrest is recruiting them to help with the Watch D.O.G.S. program.

By having dads, uncles and grandpas volunteer in the schools, they work to provide positive male role models and enhance safety.

"Probably instinctively they'll feel safer with a dad around," Jensen said. "So that environment is probably really good for them."

Walter Watson is already volunteering at Elmcrest. He got involved because his kids were having problems with bullies.

"I just decided to do something about it," Watson said. So I joined the Watch D.O.G.S.

Because safety is key, the schools make sure to do their homework.  

"They have to fill out the volunteer application form for the school district and our school police [department] does a background check on every individual," said John Sutherland, principal of Elmcrest.

Once the paperwork is done, Sutherland said the men will be a huge help at his school and they'll also get a sneak peek at their kids' daily life at Elmcrest. 

"I'm excited to see her interact in this environment that she spends a lot of time in," Jensen said.

Sutherland said the kids like that too.

"It's just great for the kids to have their dads, uncles or grandfathers here at school with them," he said.

Watson said it's even better for the dads.

"You're making a difference in all the kids lives one way or another," Watson said. "I just love to help."

If you'd like to help out, or you're interested in starting a Watch D.O.G.S. program at your child's school, you can contact the Washoe County School District 
Department of Family-School Partnerships at parentinvolvement@washoeschools.net or (775) 325-2000.
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