Good morning Neosho, what a great day to be a Wildcat!

Good morning Neosho, what a great day to be a Wildcat! As I thought about what to share with you this week I decided to highlight another one of the wonderful programs we have for our students and their dads. The WatchDOGS program is a wonderful program that gets dads involved with their kids, their school, and the community. The DOGS in WatchDOGS stands for Dads of Great Students. Statistics show that when school and education is important and communicated by adults in a student's life, it becomes important to the student and the amount of student success greatly increases.

The WatchDOGS program has two main goals:

1) To provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important.
2) To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

The WatchDOGS program invites fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other father figures to volunteer at least one day all day at their child's/student's school during the school year. Individuals sign up at a kick-off event such as a "Dads and Kids Pizza Night" or in the office at any time throughout the school year. WatchDOGS volunteers perform a variety of tasks during their volunteer day including assisting with unloading and loading of buses and cars, monitoring the lunchroom, or helping in the classroom with a teacher's guidance.

The WatchDOGS program is being utilized in all of the elementary schools along with the middle school. Each school is at a different level of implementation with some being advanced and strong and some being in the initial stages. If parents have a student in one of these buildings and haven't received any information concerning the program and would like to participate please contact the school of attendance for more information.

Through the WatchDOGS program an increase of father involvement has increased in every aspect of the school climate. The district has seen fathers stepping up to volunteer for family events that in the past have been mostly mother figures.

The reason I wanted to share this information is that it is very timely right now since many of the schools are hosting kickoff activities for their WatchDOGS programs. I know I have said this before but I am very proud of the Neosho School District and the programs we are able to provide for our students. I want to applaud all of the men who are a part of this program. I would also like to challenge those who can't participate due to work or other obligations to find a way to be a part of your child's education it will be the best investment of time you can spend.

Have a great week!

Dan Decker is superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District.