TIJERAS N.M. (KRQE) - They’re the Watch D.O.G.S. - dads who are now keeping an eye out for trouble in their kids’ schools.
The program is taking off across the country and now here in metro Albuquerque. An extra set of eyes and ears can go a long way, and a principal KRQE News 13 spoke to says it also gives kids a positive role model in the classroom.
Welcome to A. Montoya Elementary School, where the little ones are guarded by Watch D.O.G.S.
On this day it's Mike Sisneros.
“I think it’s an important job of the Watch D.O.G.S. to provide that extra barrier, that extra security or safety,” Sisneros said.
The father of three at the school, Sisneros volunteers every Wednesday in the hallways and in the classroom as part of the Watch D.O.G.S. program, or “Dads of Great Students.”
He’s one of 15 Watch D.O.G.S. at the school, and it's his job to keep both students and teachers out of harm’s way.
“In this day and age, the extra eyes, the extra ears, you never know when somebody is going to happen on the school grounds that shouldn't be here,” Sisneros said.
But there’s more to it.
The school's principal, Cee Kaye Nation, says the Watch D.O.G.S. act as role models for kids who might not have anyone to look up to at home.
“It has made such a huge difference for our children to connect to other adults who care enough to be here for them at school,” Nation said.
A teacher suggested the idea at the beginning of the school year. Nation says the rest is history.
“We introduced it to our parents, and they jumped on board and have been signing up ever since,” Nation said. “It can be a dad, a granddad, an uncle. It makes such a difference in a child's life.”
That's what makes it so rewarding for Sisneros, making a difference in his own daughter's life and in the lives of others.
“The best thing about this program is the fact that you get to spend time with your kids, you get to help the teachers, and you get to see what's going on in the classroom,” Sisneros said.
Albuquerque Public Schools says there are at least a half a dozen schools participating in the Watch D.O.G.S. program.
Nation says they can always use volunteers even if it's just one day a year.
The Watch D.O.G.S. program is put on by the National Center for Fathering. It's currently in more than 3,000 schools in 46 states.
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