I'm Not Giving Up On You

How one dad's dogged dedication is changing kids lives

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WATCH D.O.G.S. is a father involvement, educational initiative of the National Center for Fathering. The volunteer program was introduced in 1998 in Memphis City Schools, which became the first urban school system to offer it. The program is now in 77 Memphis city schools.

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and others volunteer each school year. Duties range from monitoring the school entrance and unloading buses, to overseeing the cafeteria and helping in the classroom. “Do it once a year, every month, whatever you can do,” urges Ray. “I tell dads that my daughter maintained a high GPA and had no suspensions while I volunteered in the program.”

 ‘Real Dads, Real Men’ is a slogan used by local volunteers. “Some of us live for weekends, hang with buddies, get our haircuts, and make sure the car is clean. Why not take that same energy and say, ‘I need to spend some time with my kids.’ It will make a big difference,” says Ray.

To get involved, contact your school or the Division of Parent and Community Engagement, 416-7264. For more information, visit fathers.com.

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