As Palm Beach County schools get ready to head into winter break, administrators are thankful for the volunteers that make their campuses feel safer and happier.
The Wellington Landings Middle School Watch D.O.G.S. keep a close eye on the campus and are making a big impact.
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Werner Raschdorf is not a school employee, but he is a member of the Watch D.O.G.S., or Dads Of Great Students.
"There’s a lot of great dads out there," Raschdorf said. "Dads don’t always get the credit for being around the kids. It’s usually the mom that gets it. So hopefully we’re making a difference getting that changed."
Wellington Landings Middle School has about 40 dads that participate in the volunteer program to help out wherever and whenever they're needed.
"Some of our students go home and they don’t have a dad there at home. So there’s fist bumps in the hallways and hi’s," said principal Lindsay Ingersoll.
Ingersoll said the dads provide an extra layer of security on campus, always keeping their eyes and ears open to what's happening, while supporting the students at the same time.
"To be able to see the fathers giving back and being able to see the camaraderie that it builds between their own group, and also them and our students on campus, is really an amazing thing," Ingersoll said.
Their kids love it, too.
"I asked him, do you want me to volunteer this year? And he said, oh definitely. And I said, OK. I thought you wanted some space, but apparently he didn’t," Raschdorf said.
"He loves me coming," parent David Williams said. "At first, you would think your kid would be embarrassed with dad there. But the kids love it when their dads are here.
Williams, a fellow member of the Watch D.O.G.S., said he enjoys reliving his school days and connecting with the students.
"It gives the kids somebody other than a school authority. So we’re a little more approachable in that aspect," Williams said.
They volunteer as often as they can, in between full-time jobs — Raschdorf is an airline pilot and Williams is a firefighter — making this time at school with their kids even more valuable.
"During his school time, I can come hang out with him here," Williams.
As they watch out for all students and staff on campus.