Watch D.O.G.S. out to get dads more involved in their children's schools - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Watch D.O.G.S. out to get dads more involved in their children's schools

They call themselves the Watch D.O.G.S. - Watch Dads of Great Students. They're an initiative of the National Center For Fathering, and want to help get fathers and father-figures involved in the lives of young children. The Watch D.O.G.S. are gaining national attention through the Spirit of America series on World News with Charles Gibson, but their effect is being felt here in East Texas as well, in Kilgore. As KLTV 7's LaKecia Shockley shows us, one East Texas school has already got their Watch D.O.G.S. on the job.

"What are you trying to figure out now?"

Chris Hatcher is back in school, and it's not to help himself but his son Jackson's fourth grade Kilgore Intermediate class.

"Just trying to be a good dad...trying to be a positive influence to my son and other kids here," said Hatcher. Chris, like several other dads, uncles, and grandfathers, is a part of Watch D.O.G.S., and Principal Andy Adams says the men are making a positive impact on students.

"We had 153 dads register, and so far we've had a dad on our campus every day, and we have a dad from now until Christmas that will be here," said Adams. "It's just a win...win program for everybody. You're going to have dads involved in kid's lives which is so critical to their development. The schools are going to benefit from just having parent involvement."

Eric Snow is the national director of Watch D.O.G.S. - he and another dad, Jim Moore, started Watch D.O.G.S. ten years ago after the Jonesboro, Arkansas school shooting in 1998. Their goal is to get dads involved in their kid's schools.

"Whenever there's something that needs to be done as school it seems like that's been Mom's role, and so we're reversing that and saying dads, we need you too," said Snow. "What we're asking these men to do is step in and be that role model for their child but also encourage another child and that's why it's working."

Along with working for the students, nine year old Jackson Hatcher thinks it's pretty cool to have his dad at school.

"It's like since he is helping everybody else, I'm, like, next in line. So I mostly support the whole school now," said Jackson.

LaKecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com

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