At Milford elementary school, dads double as positive role models and security

Meet Mr. Nick and Mr. Jerry, two doting fathers with two sets of eyes and ears putting on a show for the children of Kurtz Elementary School in Milford. 

The show is a mix of father figures working as positive role models while providing an added layer of security for the school and emotional support for the kids. While at home they're just fathers, at school they're Dads Of Great Students - watch dogs of the Huron Valley School District.

"It's exciting, the kids want to give you high-fives, they smile and say hi to you and my kids really enjoy it," said Nick. "Its like cool for them to have their dad at school."

For Jerry, who is a provider for his family, it can be tough to break away from work. The WATCH D.O.G.S. program enables him a chance to participate.

"It's sometimes hard to step away from work, but this program really allows that opportunity to set time aside on your calander and really be with the kiddos," he said.

The Dads of Great Students program was started in 1998, growing into one of the nation's largest and most respected school-based organizations that help pair fathers and father-figures with school districts for a full-day of work.

At Kurtz, Jerry and Nick work under the guidance of Principal Steve Chisik.

"In this world of safety we are always focused on making sure that the kids are taken care of. Doors are locked. We've got a safe secure entry into the building. It's the physical presence of our male role models in our building which we just love," he said.

The school district has placed an emphasis on safety with some creative solutions. Recently, Lakeland High School introduced a new student with a special knack for sniffing out problems. Rosie the dog is an elite detection K-9 and can sniff out bullets and firearms. 

For the younger kiddos at Kurtz Elementary, a different kind of security comes from having male role models engaging with the students.

They help students with school and any other issues they may be struggling with. The help extends to deter bullying as well.

 "They're able to get some context of what their children go through every day. At the same time they're very visible," Chisik said. 

"Part of our job when we first come in for the day is we help the kids get inside the school and off the bus, and we go around, and we check to make sure all the doors are locked, and we actually do that periodically throughout the day and do walkarounds," Nick said. "We also go out with the kids at recess and go to lunch with them and it's really enjoyable."

Nick will be the first to admit it's enjoyable for him - and the kids. 

Learn more about the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program here