Munching on doughnuts and sharing conversations allowed Marguerite Vann Elementary students to spend some quality time with father-figures in their lives Tuesday morning.
The smell of breakfast filling the school, Marguerite Vann used the annual Donuts with Dads event as an opportunity to increase involvement from dads and father-figures in the lives of students through the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program.
Greg Murry, superintendent of Conway Public Schools, attended Tuesday’s event at Marguerite Vann and spoke on what the involvement means for the education community.
"The more [dads] are inside the school, the more they will become involved and we think it’s a great idea to get dads out and make them a part of the school environment," he said.
Chris Lambert, a Watch D.O.G.S. parent at Marguerite Vann, helped organize the event, with sign-up forms for parental involvement as attendees walked in the front door.
"Moms have taken a role that men have left vacant," he said, adding that father-figures add a significant dynamic in a child’s life.
Lambert said a father-figure presence adds to the options children have to learn life lessons while giving parents a first-hand look at their child’s progress.
"It’s just another opportunity to walk through the halls of this school and see, wow, there’s books in this building, there’s desks in this classroom, this teacher really has a name," he said.
Regarding the turnout this year at Marguerite Vann, Lambert said fathers came up to him and spoke on the limited parking options.
"They said, ‘No, that’s a good thing,’" Lambert said. "That means there’s dads involved and dads interested and they just want a place to plug in to their school."
Father-figures lined the hallways, filling rooms. The Marguerite Vann students also participated in interviews that were played during Donuts with Dads.
Stuart Wilson, father of Marguerite Vann third-grader Mia, said Donuts with Dads is a good representation for fathers who at times can feel left out of events at school.
"I take every opportunity that I can to represent our family as a father and just spend a little extra time [with my daughter]," he said.
"I think it just shows that fathers are important and that we are actually involved in the kids’ lives."
Holton Minor, who visited with his son, Marguerite Vann kindergartner Rylan, said interaction at Donuts with Dads is important for a child’s learning.
"I’m just glad to see all the turnout, all the dads at the school, because [the] majority is women that you see at the schools," he said.
(Staff writer Brandon Riddle can be reached by email at email@example.com, by phone at 505-1215 or on Twitter @BrandonCRiddle. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to thecabin.net. Send us your news at thecabin.net/submit)