, Muskogee, OK

September 25, 2013

Father figures help students

— Parents play a vital role in a child’s education.

Parents who show their children the importance of education are more likely to have children who value schoolwork, too.

When a parent is  involved, their children learn more, perform better in school and exhibit healthier behavior, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the report, children fared better when a parent had a “high involvement in school-related activities.”

Children fare better if a parent does three or more of these activities during the school year:

• Attend a general school meeting.

• Attend a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference.

• Attend a general school or class event.

• Serve as a volunteer at school.

The report specifically referenced the value of a father’s involvement.

That’s why a program involving fathers at Whittier Elementary School is so intriguing.

 WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) solicits volunteer fathers, grandfathers or other male relatives of Whittier students to help out at the school.

They help teachers in classrooms, patrol school halls and outside, and watch kids during lunch and recess.

“There is a real need for a male presence in our elementary school,” Whittier Principal Ed Wallace said. “Sometimes the kids want to talk to a male person, or they feel more comfortable with a man.”

The school has had a male volunteer sign up to help out each day through the middle of October.

More are signing up.

The school has seen positive results, including fewer disciplinary problems.

The ultimate results probably won’t be know for years. The children being influenced today hopefully will be successful throughout their high school careers, too.

We commend the volunteers.

They are doing a wonderful thing.