Dads mentor Rainbow Elementary students through Watch D.O.G.S. Program

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MADISON, Ala. - Madison City Schools knows the importance of the father's role. That's why they've adopted a program to give every student a chance for that relationship. It's called Watch D.O.G.S., which stands for watch dads of great students.

Geoff Vanzoeren is both a parent and a volunteer mentor with the program.

"Helping out at recess, helping out in the lunchroom, walking the halls, kind of being an extra set of eyes and ears," Vanzoeren said of his duties under the program.

Madison City Councilman John Seifert is also a volunteer dad with the program. He's one of about 30 men who help support the teachers at Rainbow Elementary School.

"We'll partner with them to take kindergarten kids and do math facts with them, go in there and help them with the STAR reading tests," Seifert said.

Principal Brian Givens said the guys inspire the students by simply showing up.

"Having that male influence is so important for our students," Givens said.

Even state leaders express the importance of Watch D.O.G.S.

"It's going to bring some great volunteers into the school," Sen. Bill Holtzclaw said. "They're going to have an opportunity to really mentor these children here at the school."

Several other schools across the district have adopted the Watch D.O.G.S. program. Rainbow Elementary will hold an informational meeting for dads interested in volunteering soon.