Had you peeked in my living room window on that super Sunday when the “Big Game” was about to start, you would have seen me blubbering away in my recliner as the Sandy Hook Elementary Chorus sang ‘America The Beautiful’ with Jennifer Hudson. Twenty-six kids, beautifully representing their school and those we lost in that awful Newtown, CT tragedy last December.
I am hopeful that our national, state and local authorities will one day find a solution to end these kinds of senseless events.
I know that hind sight is 20/20, but I wonder if Sandy Hook Elementary had had a Watch D.O.G.S. program in place, could it have deterred that tragedy?
For those unfamiliar with the Watch D.O.G.S. program, (Dads Of Great Students) it began after the Jonesboro school shooting in 1998. The program is an initiative of the National Center for Fathering that encourages dads to be involved in their kids’ schools, providing a positive male role model for students and to enhance school safety by being an extra set of eyes and ears.
I am thankful my son’s elementary school in Mill Creek has a Watch D.O.G.S. program in place. For the past several years, I’ve joined other caring dads by volunteering at school; welcoming students, greeting parents, playing kick ball at recess and helping in their students classroom… being a dad.
Dads in the halls may not be the solution to school violence, but being there for that one child, who at that moment, needs an encouraging pat on the back, someone to practice math facts with or give a high-five to after making a good kick, may make all the difference later.
PS: If you want know more about starting a Watch D.O.G.S. program at your child’s school, I’d love to help.