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Watchdog Program Sends Clyde Dads Back to School

Clyde Elementary is sending dads back to school with a program that puts gives men a way to get involved in their children's lives and education.
Think of it as "Take Your Dad to School Day."

Dads at Clyde Clementary are taking part in a program that is getting a lot of attention.

"This program tries to break that stereotype that it has to be all about moms," said Robert Pritz. "I think there are a lot of dads out there that want to be involved, but because of busy schedules and work, it's difficult for them to find those opportunities."

That's where Watchdog D.A.D.S. comes in to play.

All it requires is for the guys to take a day off of work during the year and spend it at school.

It's a way for males to get involved in their kids day-to-day lives, from the morning drop off, to dropping down on their knees to color in class, and everything in between.

"It's been a while since I've been in elementary school, and getting to see our well our teachers do, the job they do with these kids, is just amazing," said Patrick Burson, another Watchdog.

There are about 340 kids at Clyde elementary and more than 120 dads participating in the program, so that gives you an idea of just how popular it has become since it was started last year.

And it's not just for dads -- Bobby Beard is a granddad who devotes his time to be closer to his grandchildren, two of whom attend the school.

"Not only do you get to spend time with your kid, but all the other kids and I end up not just being pa pa to Drayden [my grandson], but to all the other kids in the classroom," Beard said.

As for the kids? If you think they're embarrassed to have dad hanging around, think again.

"You don't really know what to expect the first day you come in, but you get to see these kids and how happy they are that you're there," Burson said.

Dads can sign up to be "Watchdogs" at the front office at Clyde elementary.

The program has recently expanded to the intermediate school as well.

Everyone has to go through a background check before they can begin.
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