Advocate editorial board opinion: Parents can help improve their children's grades

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Sept. 27, 2011 at 4:27 a.m.

We can't say enough good things about dads who care enough about their children that they make a trip to their schools and wallow in their admiration. That sort of activity goes a long way for a child's security, pride, love and role model.

We are referring to the program Watch D.O.G.S. - means Dads of Great Students. And this successful program began in four elementary schools last year but this year was welcomed in all 17 elementary schools in the Victoria school district. Why? Because it works.

Students earn better grades - mostly A's - in school when dads take an active part in their lives, according to research by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as compiled by the National Fatherhood Initiative.

And when dads are absent, students tend to repeat a grade or drop out.

"Watch DOGS is the single most powerful parental involvement opportunity I have had the pleasure of working with. Not only does it benefit the students and teachers, but the families of the dads involved," said Kimberly Barker, principal at Chandler Elementary School.

We agree. And so do our readers. Here's one comment from Concerned Citizen - an online poster - that is reminiscent of the majority of responses:

"This is such a wonderful program. Great job Dads. You will see the difference you guys make in a child's life. I think dads make all the difference in the world. I work around all types of kids, and they just adore and admire their daddies. Can you imagine if every child here in Victoria and out in the world would have their dad involved, what a difference it would make? ... Great job guys."

Again, we agree with these comments. Dads are critically important.

Victoria school district Superintendent Bob Moore mirrored those feelings.

"The energy that is being generated by Watch D.O.G.S. is unbelievable. I can't recall a time when male role models were more involved in their child's education - or so excited about it," Moore said.

"We have always said that when parents take an active role in their child's education, they send a strong message to the child that education is important, something to be valued. So when you get a program like Watch D.O.G.S., that puts dads, grandfathers, uncles and other special men in a child's life into the school, the child comes out a winner," Moore said.

"But the dad comes out a winner, too. We've heard some of the Watch D.O.G.S. say they are made to feel like rock stars by the other kids. They feel good about what they are doing. This is a win-win-win for everyone: the kids, the dads, and the school. To say it is a powerful program is an understatement," he added.

We become assured of our children's well-being and education when parents participate. We encourage dads and moms to get involved. You won't be sorry.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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