NAMPA -- More than 30 fathers and grandfathers have signed up to take part in Watch D.O.G.S. at Iowa Elementary School.
The nationwide program is new to the Nampa School District. It encourages fathers and grandfathers to get involved in education.
The acronym stands for Dads of Great Students, and the goal is to boost students' confidence and achievement through positive influence. While the group just started, school administrators say it's already making a big impact.
We come to just spend time with the kids, said father and Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer Lance Hebdon. He has two children at Iowa Elementary School and decided to join the program to get involved in their education.
Don Renchler joined the program after hearing about it from his son, who is a teacher at Iowa Elementary. He and the other parents involved spend the whole day at school floating between different classes.
Hopefully the learning environment is a little bit better, said Renchler, who says his gray hair helps students relate to him as a grandfather figure.
But volunteers here don't have to be math or science experts to make a difference.
Go to recess, eat lunch with them, added Hebdon.
The fathers, grandfathers and uncles involved in Watch D.O.G.S. at Iowa Elementary don't just visit their own children or relatives. They make a difference for many children at the school.
It's enjoyable to meet the students that my children are hanging out with, said Hebdon.
Every dad involved passes a background check, and Iowa Elementary school administrators say just their presence in the school means kids are better behaved.
It takes a community to raise kids, or it takes a village. I really care about these kids and want to see them do well, added Hebdon.
Watch D.O.G.S. just started in January, but it's already getting positive feedback, and not just from the students.
I think anytime you give yourself you benefit from it, added Renchler.
For me it's a benefit and I hope the kids are getting as much out of it as I am, added Hebdon.
Each parent volunteers his time, so it doesn't cost the school anything to bring them in. With class sizes getting larger each year, teachers say they appreciate the extra help.
According to the National Center for Fathering, Watch D.O.G.S.is currently in close to 4,000 schools across the country.