By Kathy Walsh

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Traditionally, mothers have done most of the volunteering at their children’s school, but these days, plenty of fathers spend time serving in classrooms and on playgrounds.

In fact, there is a national program that encourages father involvement in education. It is called Watch D.O.G.S., or Dads of Great Students. It is a program through the National Center for Fathering.

(credit: CBS)

At Belmar School of Integrated Arts in Lakewood, you’ll often find Watch D.O.G.S. on duty.

On the day CBS4’s Kathy Walsh stopped by, Tim Venn was checking doors to make sure the school was secure. He patrolled the halls and was an extra set of eyes and ears.

Matt Payne was playing a colorful math game, helping in a small group. Both have shown that a father volunteering is not such a rare breed.

(credit: CBS)

“Because the moms usually will be the classroom mom, be part of the PTA,” said Payne.

With Watch D.O.G.S., dads are encouraged to contribute.

Payne gets to spend time with his boys, 8-year-old Justin and 6-year-old Brayden, while monitoring recess. Venn can stop in math class and work with son, Kaleb.

“It’s fun to see his face light up when I come in,” said Venn.

“It makes me feel special,” said 11-year-old Kaleb.

(credit: CBS)

And these fathers volunteer at the school for all of the kids.

“There’s a lot of single parent households and so, I think, just having that positive role model in the school is a big plus,” said Payne.

“It just provides a different type of role that they may not be used to,” said Venn.

Belmar boasts about 30 Watch D.O.G.S. They are dads of great students and pretty great dads.

According to Jefferson County Schools, about 40 percent of their elementary schools have the Watch D.O.G.S. program. Participants are not all fathers, some are grandpas, stepdads and uncles.

Kathy Walsh

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