Vista PEAK Exploratory is seeing a huge spike in volunteer hours this school year. It’s all thanks to fathers and father figures participating in the new WATCH D.O.G.S.® (Dads Of Great Students) program.
“It was life changing,” said Richard Karwacki, a father of three Vista PEAK Exploratory students. “When you see the way that the staff demonstrates they care for the kids, if I didn’t volunteer, I wouldn’t understand that.”
During the 2013-14 school year, Vista PEAK Exploratory logged just 38 volunteer hours from men. This year, the school is on track to have more than 1,000 male volunteer hours.
Dads who want to volunteer for the program must pass a background check or provide an active military badge. Once approved, fathers spend the entire day at school helping with everything from classroom duties to hall monitoring and even cleaning up after lunch.
"You are busy from the time you get here to the time you leave," said Karwacki. "Volunteer for a day and you'll beg to come back."
Staff members recently hosted a Dads and Kids Pizza Night for hundreds of students and parents. Families came together to recognize the importance of fathers getting involved in their children’s education.
“It means a lot to our campus and it means a lot to our school,” said Watch D.O.G.S. ® organizer Tyler Hettich.