Dads Make a Difference

Eddie Hayes, III spends a lot of time with his son Eddie Hayes, IV. A fact that's not lost on the younger of the pair. "I love him and he will always be by my side. I will never forget him," says little Hayes.

But they don't just spend time together at home. They spend time together at school. Eddie Hayes volunteers at Bruce Elementary where his son is a second grader. "About three days a week I'll come up and monitor kids as they're getting out of school," says Hayes. "Help watch the traffic, that kind of thing."

Hayes is also part of the W.A.T.C.H.D.O.G.S. program at Bruce. "W.A.T.C.H.D.O.G.S. dads of great students, D-O-G-S. So it's to put a male presence in the school."

An important presence according to Trevor Thompson of the Parent Learning Academy. "Research shows when parents are involved, especially when fathers are involved, grades go up and the self esteem goes up."

A byproduct of parental involvement for Hayes, IV and his classmates. "Just to let him know hey, I'm around," says the second grader's father. "You can look for me wherever, however. And I think it helps sometimes with other kids too to see that there is a man around the school."