MAKING A DIFFERENCE: National program Watch D.O.G.S. comes to a Muskogee elementary school

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Michael McCutcheon volunteers at his son's school, Whittier Elementary, once a month as a Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer.

"Lovin' it. I just love it," he says.

The Watch D.O.G.S. which stands for "Dads of Great Students" are also pretty great according to the kids.

"I think it's special," says a smiling fourth-grader named Callisdo.

The D.O.G.S. volunteer full days helping all out around the school from classrooms to the cafeteria and playground while providing strong male role models for the children.

"It didn't hit home until I gotten here and met his friends who didn't have dads or dads moved away," says McCutcheon.

The dads also regularly patrol around the school providing a protective presence.

Quai is also in the fourth grade and says, "If there's a WATCH D.O.G. in the school and we're supposed to do a drill or something really happens he can protect us."

The staff coordinating the program admit they were skeptical in the beginning about whether any dads would take off from work to spend an entire day with hundreds of little kids. Then, the school representative for the Watch D.O.G.S. program, Denise Dunn, says packs of Watch D.O.G.S. answered the call.

"Every day another dad comes and signs up. And these kids can be pretty persuasive," said Dunn. "They want their dads here so a lot of them sign up just for that but then they get here and they feel like they're rock stars."

McCutcheon's son Jax says, "I know somebody I can really, really, trust is right there by me, helping me."

"You don't understand it until you get here and do it. Just, very, down and deep down in there. Just, very rewarding," says McCutcheon. 

Protectors willing to let their hearts melt a little for the children who've found new heroes.

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