GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Some students at Jenison Public Schools are getting more positive male role models in their lives as part of a program that gives young people a chance to see how good men provide, care for and nurture those closest to them. 

As part of the national Watch D.O.G.S program, men get an opportunity to volunteer at their kids’ or grandkids’ school for a day. 

“They spend a day here at school getting to know the kids, playing at recess with them, doing math facts, helping out with our teachers. It is just a great day to get dads and grandpas and just male role models into our classrooms,” said Rosewood Elementary principal Luke Verbeek. 

Verbeek said the program came to a halt when the pandemic started, but they were finally able to bring it back this school year. There are close to 100 volunteers signed up, meaning some weeks will have a different dad or grandpa acting as a watchdog every day.

“The kids love it. They love to see their dad or their grandpa here and just volunteering and spending the day with them,” Verbeek said.

Volunteers are background checked and vetted before they spend the day in school, and they are kept busy helping out wherever needed in addition to spending time with kids.

“The coolest part for me to see is just dads spending time with their kids and not only their kids but other kids and just making a difference in the lives of our students,” Verbeek said. 

When construction is complete at some of the other elementary buildings, Verbeek said he expects the program to be implemented at more of the schools.