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National Heritage Academies Highlights Importance of Positive Male Role Models in Honor of Father’s Day

NHA Communications Team  |  June 19, 2020

Parental involvement is a key ingredient to the success of a child’s educational experience. In celebration of Father’s Day, National Heritage Academies (NHA), a Michigan-based public charter school network, highlights the importance of providing male role models the opportunity to be involved at their child’s school.

Father’s Day, taking place on June 21, 2020, is celebrated to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children, and celebrates fatherhood. According to, children with engaged parents are more likely to earn higher grades, graduate high school and attend college, develop self-confidence and motivation in the classroom, and have better social skills and classroom behavior.

Father and son standing with each other.

To encourage involvement, various NHA schools participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. ® (Dads Of Great Students) program, a family and community engagement educational initiative. There are two primary goals of the program: to provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important, and to provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

Excel Charter Academy participates in the program to encourage volunteering from positive male role models, such as an uncle, grandpa, dad, stepdad, or another father figure.

Father and daughter standing with each other.

For Dan Bartels, principal at Excel, the purpose is to have students see that their male role model values education to the point they are willing to volunteer at their school. “Students will have the chance through this program to create a bond with a male role model, something that for some students is extremely valuable,” shared Bartels.

Parental partnership is one of the four pillars of NHA. Research indicates that a leading predictor of student success is parental involvement; therefore, parents are included in many aspects of a child’s educational experience.

Father and daughter with each other.

“At Excel, we love it when father figures volunteer for a day through the WATCH D.O.G.S program, attend school events, read to students, help at recess, and more,” shared Bartels. “All of these are powerful ways to show students examples of positive male leaders, as well as let students know they matter and are valuable.”