Fathers rally for Valley View
by Special to the Banner
Sep 30, 2012 | 495 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Valley View School
A GROUP OF VALLEY VIEW FATHER FIGURES crowds into the cafeteria during a recent Watch D.O.G.S. meeting.
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Valley View Elementary recently held its fifth annual Watch D.O.G.S kickoff night. Watch D.O.G.S. is a program sponsored by the National Center on Fathering. D.O.G.S. stand for Dads of Great Students.

This program is currently in more than 2,200 school in the country and in 43 states. However Valley View is the only school in the area that has adopted the program. Too many times, when a parent is at a school, it is exclusively Mom who is volunteering in the classroom. If there is a dad at school, it usually means someone is in trouble. This is something Valley View is working to change. The school asks dads, stepdads, granddads or uncles to volunteer one day during the school year.

During that day, the dads serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for security purposes. They do perimeter checks, check to make sure all doors stay locked and report anything out of the ordinary. They also spend time in the classrooms, both in their own child's classroom but also in the classrooms of other children.

They may read with students, play on the playground, listen to them sing in music class, talk to students about career choices, work with a small group of children in a reading center, and many other activities. Each dad’s schedule is tailored for that Dad and to meet the needs of the students in the school that day.

Fatherlessness is running rampant in our society and the Dads at Valley View want to try and fill in the gap. Valley View begins each year with a Pizza Night Kickoff, where dads learn about the program and get a chance to sign up for one day during the school year.

This year, several dads spoke to the largest group of father figures who have ever participated. While many dads did not know their work schedule and plan to sign up at a later time, 68 days were filled on the calendar the first day it was posted.