Watch D.O.G.S. Program Comes to PES

Thursday, January 9, 2014
Officials with Piggott State Bank present the check to fund the new Watch D.O.G.S. program at PES to local administrators. On hand for the presentation were, from left: bank president and CEO Paula O. Blackwell, Cody Knight with PSB, PES Principal Leean Mann and PES Assistant Principal Erica Harris.

Thanks to a generous donation from Piggott State Bank, a new program is being offered at Piggott Elementary School. The Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) was implemented last fall, with the local bank donating the funds to purchase the program and register the school as a Watch D.O.G.S. site.

"This is an innovative program which focuses on education and safety in schools by using positive influence of fathers and father-figures," noted PES Principal Leean Mann. "It uses a two-fold approach of providing an unobtrusive fathering presence and to provide a positive and active role model for students."

Mann noted participating fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and uncles are asked to spend at least one day at the school volunteering. "They support the school by monitoring the property or by working one-on-one with kids or in small groups," she explained. "They may be reading, doing flashcards, helping with homework, refereeing sporting events or just giving them someone to talk to when needed."

She added the program seeks to provide the students with whatever they might need in order to plant the seeds of success in their lives.

"The program is offered by the National Center for Fathering and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," she noted. "The program has also been involved in the U.S. Department of Education's Partnership For Family Involvement in Education."

Speaking on the House floor in 2000, one U.S. Congressman recognized the program as one which "can be a great tool in our efforts to prevent school violence and improve student performances because it can increase parental initiative and involvement in their student's education."

In October of 2006 representatives of the Watch D.O.G.S. program were invited to participate in a panel discussion for the White House Conference on Safe Schools. Afterward Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling said of the effort, "you know, your model is so simple that it can be put in place in rural America, inner-city America, any place at any kind of school."

Mann offered thanks to Piggott State Bank for their support of the effort, and noted a total of 40 dads and grandpas are currently involved in the program at PES. Those wanting more information on the Watch D.O.G.S. program may call the elementary school at 598-2546, or visit the National Center for Fathering website at www.Fathers.com

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