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Fathers gather at Mississippi elementary school to welcome back students on first day
Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Fathers gather at Mississippi elementary school to welcome back students on first day


A group of at least 20 fathers convened at Barack H. Obama Magnet Elementary in Jackson, Mississippi, earlier this month to welcome students back to the school year with love.

What are the details?

The group, which calls itself WATCH D.O.G.S., held a rally at the school to offer children a positive experience in coming back to school for the 2019-20 year.

D.O.G.S., in this case, stands for "Dads of Great Students."

Parent Teacher Association President Rashad Williams said that the inspiration behind the event is for the children to know "their dads believe in them and support them."

"It has shown to have a huge impact on the first day jitters and new kids' confidence," he added.

Photos of the first day of school appeared on the PTA's Facebook page. One shot, which caught the dads forming a tunnel through which the children could enter the building, was captioned, "A tunnel of WATCH D.O.G. Dads were on hand to greet our scholars on their first day of the 2019 school year."

Williams said the dads' presence was uplifting.

"The reactions [of the students] were huge smiles, high fives, fist bumps, and hugs," Williams said. "Some kids ran through the tunnel multiple times."

What else?

WATCH D.O.G.S. is a national program as well as a "family and community engagement educational initiative" that aims to "enhance school security and reduce bullying. The organization prides itself on its positive male role models, according to its website.

Other programs organized by the group include "Dads and Kids Pizza Night," "Donuts with Dad," and more. Male mentors are also encouraged to request to work with children in schools. While in schools, the volunteers work on school projects, eat lunch with students, participate in recess games, and patrol the school building.

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