The community came out in force Thursday as more than 300 people attended Seeliger Elementary’s first Donuts with Dad event.
As an effort to get more positive male role models into the schools and get dads, uncles, grandparents and other father-figures more involved in school and childhood learning, the school hosted the event to get the men excited to volunteer.
Seeliger and other elementary schools in Carson introduced the Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students) program on campus to create volunteer opportunities for the father-figures so they can come into the school and volunteer for a day.
“Last fall, when we first started the Watch D.O.G.S program, we had lots of dads volunteer,” said Rachael Armstrong, second grade teacher and chairperson family engagement committee at Seeliger Elementary. “Now, with the new year, we don’t have near as many signed up to help. That’s partly why we hosted this event today … to reenergize dads to remain engaged and continue to volunteer.”
The volunteers work a full school day where they can read and work on flash cards with students, play at recess, eat lunch with students, watch the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and other assigned activities where they are engaged in their own students but also with other students’ learning.
Studies have shown a significant importance positive male role models play in a child’s development. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse and children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.
“Male role models make such a positive impact on children, especially those in early childhood development stages at elementary schools,” Armstrong said. “Just having a presence and being there is more meaningful than most dads realize.”
Internal surveys conducted by the national Watch D.O.G.S program indicated benefits such as better ability to relate and connect to students, gaining a greater awareness of the impact the father can have on their student’s life in academic performance, self-esteem and social behavior, and providing real and important help to every growing classroom numbers.
For information on how to volunteer, contact the main office at each specific school site.