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Monday, December 17, 2012 - 00:39
EL PASO — They're a group of fathers, grandfathers and uncles who volunteer their time at Mitzi Bond Elementary School as a part of a national group known as the Watch D.O.G.S.
The Dads of Great Students at Mitzi Bond Elementary consist of about 20 to 30 men spending whatever time they can helping with security and anything else they can help with.
"They've been able to assist teachers in the classrooms and they've also been an extra set of eyes out there for us to alert us of things," said Principal Haidi Appel.
Appel said the presence of the group has been reassuring ever since the program started 3 years ago.
"We can't be everywhere," Appel said.
The group's work has added value after the Connecticut shooting that killed 20 elementary aged children.
"I have a granddaughter that goes here and she is the joy of our life," said Jerry Gunter. "It would absolutely devastate us to have something like that happen."
The group of men spend time checking the perimeter and making sure the building is secure.
They also work together with faculty and staff to help improve the educational experience and reduce bullying.
"We spend a lot of time with them on the playground, during P-E or recess or lunch," said Bobby Blanco, who helps organize the group. "We just spend time with them being that father figure."
Blanco's children said they like having dad at school.
"It's pretty cool cause we have lunch with him and he tells us a lot of funny stuff," said Ava Blanco.
The group hopes the idea of setting up a Watch D.O.G.S. program will catch on.
"You want your kids to have the best educational experience that they can and if you can help enhance that why wouldn't you."