February 18, 2013

Monmouth school gets dads to volunteer

The Henry L. Cottrell School will be only the second in Maine for the Watch DOGS program.

By CRAIG CROSBY Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 1)

Hamann, working with Cottrell Principal Deborah Emery, pitched the idea to the parent-teacher organization, which in turn agreed to provide startup money. Hamann signed up with the national chapter for a training session, conducted via conference call, and sent away for a startup kit that includes a guide book, posters and T-shirts.

Next came seeking volunteer fathers. That's where Hamann's children came in.

"I had them recruiting for me," Hamann said. "I've been talking to everyone I know in town about it."

An informational pizza party for volunteers attracted 40 fathers with 60 children. Chris Rhoda, who started Belgrade's Watch DOGS program, helped guide Hamann through the organizational process and attended the pizza party to talk about the program. Hamann said any fathers who were on the fence were convinced to join.

"My daughter came home after the pizza party and said it was the best night of her life," Hamann said. "My kids love it, and they're getting other kids pumped up about it."

Hamann said most volunteers have children at the school, but their uncles and grandfathers also would be welcome. He hopes volunteers can give a full day -- many use vacation days from work on the days they volunteer -- but those who can give only parts of days are also invited to help.

Craig Crosby can be reached at 621-5642 or at:



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