Thermopylae Donation Funds Terraset WatchDOGS!

Published on September 12, 2012

"WatchDOGS - Dads of Great Students" gets underway at Reston school.

From the Reston Patch.

Mike Spatter took physical education at Terraset Elementary School on Friday. He walked the halls with the third graders, gave high-fives to the fourth graders, ate in the cafeteria, read out loud and listened during social studies.

Spatter is not a student, teacher or an administrator. He is a dad of two Terraset students who was taking part in the school's new Watch D.O.G.S. program.

D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is an initiative of the nonprofit National Center for Fathering. It seeks to engage men - including grandads, uncles or any other father figures - into schools to inspire students, reduce bullying, and enhance learning.  Dads sign up to spend an entire day at the school.

Terraset principal Lindsay Trout said she heard about the Watch D.O.G.S., which has more than 2,000 programs in 41 states, from another Terraset father. That father, Mike Cachine, even got his company, Thermopylaeto donate the $500 start-up fee, said Trout. Trout says about five schools in the Fairfax County now have Watch D.O.G.S. programs.

"We had a huge response at Back to School Night," said Trout. "We've got about 20 dads signed up. They pay a $20 fee, which goes to the school."

Spatter, an Army Staff Sergeant, was moved to the top of the list because he is returning to South Korea, where he has been stationed, later this week.

"It's important for any parent to be involved," he said. "It really shows that sense of community."

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