(DADS OF GREAT STUDENTS)
And to all you guys out there- we want you to join our Watch D.O.G.S. group! WatchD.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is one of Horizon's most exciting and rewarding programs and is spearheaded by our principal Mr. Rodney Richardson, with help from our guidance counselor Mrs. Jennifer Walker and the PTA. Who are WatchD.O.G.S.? Fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles, and other father figures who volunteer to serve at least on day a year in a variety of school activities as assigned by the school principal or other administrator. WatchD.O.G.S. at Horizon spend time helping children at the car and bus lines, reading stories, helping the teachers, or taking the kids on a duty free lunch. The kids are always so excited to see a dad at school.
Take a day to hang out and have some great fun. Your presence can inspire and provide a role model to the children in our community.
To see the list of available volunteer opportunities, contact Mrs. Jennifer Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Spotlight … Meet Two of Horizon’s 2014/2015 Watch D.O.G.S.
“Welcome back to Horizon, the BEST school in the world!” That’s the greeting Horizon car riders hear on Thursdays when Watch D.O.G.S. dad Bob Hannah opens their car door in the morning. Wearing a huge smile and with kind affection in his heart, Hannah greets our students with enthusiasm, pumping them up to have a great day.
Right next to Hannah in car line - and usually wearing a camouflage jacket or coveralls - is Walt Anderson, grandfather to one of Horizon’s 1st graders. Pictured at left, Anderson stops by Horizon at 7:00am every day (rain or shine) on his way to work because he likes to see our children’s bright faces every morning. “It’s a chance to start the day off right for them, and for me! It’s a real joy to be out there with them each day,” he says.
WatchD.O.G.S. stands for “Dads of Great Students” and it is a program spearheaded by Principal Rodney Richardson and Guidance Counselor Patti Bill. It is open to dads, granddads, step-dads, uncles and other male father figures of our students, and provides unique opportunities for men to volunteer at school whether they have 15 minutes or up to several hours to give. Horizon has a big group of wonderful WatchD.O.G.S. who volunteer their time to help greet students arriving at school via bus and car, read to students in the class, help in the library, help with lunch duty, and more.
The WatchD.O.G.S. who work car line affectionately call themselves “car liners” or “car line specialists,” and most of them work one day a week. They take pride in their work, and they are keenly aware of how meaningful their work is to both themselves and our students. “It’s an amazing opportunity to go back and serve,” says Hannah, whose daughter is in 6th grade. “Every day we are out there to welcome and encourage the kids. I get to remind the students that they are special. It’s the best job in the whole world!”
The WatchD.O.G.S.’ enthusiasm spreads positive energy that stays with students all day. In turn, the dads get to take that positive energy to work with them. And the men also benefit from the time they spend volunteering with each other. Hannah and others are especially fond of working with Anderson. “Walt is awesome!” says Hannah. “He is a great role model for all of us fathers, and he inspires me to do better. He’s really good with the kids, and he’s got his priorities right.”
The men also enjoy spending time with teachers and administrators who work the car line. And of course they enjoy getting to know students and parents. “It’s a great extended family out there on the car line,” Anderson says.
Everyone who works with these gentlemen at school adores them. “Mr. Anderson and Mr. Hannah’s personalities, presence and participation are PRICELESS!” raves Assistant Principal Kim Stewart. “Horizon is fortunate to have such committed volunteers. They spread a lot of JOY in the mornings.” Mrs. Bill adds, “Both of these men offer something to our students as they begin the day. Mr. Anderson is a steady, reassuring influence and Mr. Hannah’s enthusiasm pumps them up!”
Anderson and Hannah enjoy getting high fives and hugs and hearing students share their stories. They also relish in watching parents and children as they say their goodbyes for the day. Bob says one of his favorite moments in car line each day is the mother who without fail always tells her children, “I love you. You’re special, and you are going to do great today!”
Mrs. Bill is always looking for more WatchD.O.G.S. And if you are not yet sure what you would enjoy about being a “car liner,” just take Anderson’s advice - “Try it for a couple days and it will become abundantly evident from then on,” he says. To volunteer, go to horizonelementarypta.org/watchdogs