Dads of Great Students

Since Tom O’Hanlan founded Sealevel back in 1986, he has always maintained a philanthropic spirit. In his own words, “We are all given a lot in this life and giving back is sort of like insurance – no guarantees, just hope.” Through the years, Sealevel and the O’Hanlan family have supported numerous organizations that support the arts, children and education. In fact, Sealevel was recognized as the Philanthropic Spirit Award winner during the Charitable Giving Awards in Greenville in November 2012.WatchDOG-Eric Resize

Tom’s philanthropic spirit has spilled over to the rest of the Sealevel family. Employees are encouraged take part in various fundraisers and volunteer projects throughout the year including the March of Dimes, Helping Hands of Clemson, and much more.

One of the programs I’m currently involved in is WATCH D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students). WATCH D.O.G.S. is a father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering. WatchDOGS are fathers and father figures who volunteer to serve at least one day a year in their son or daughter’s school in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. The program is designed to engage men, inspire children, reduce bullying and enhance the educational environment at the school.

I’ve had the chance to volunteer twice at my son’s school, Concrete Primary. My day typically begins at 7:30 AM by opening car doors as students arrive. As the children get out of the car, I say “good morning” and the kids usually respond with, “Are you a WatchDOG?” After opening car doors for 30 minutes I head to the library for morning announcements. My 5 year old son, Jackson, proudly introduces me to the entire school as one of the day’s WatchDOGS. From there, my day’s schedule consists of rotating through various classrooms to interact with the kids. I read, play math and word games, and help create works of art in art class. I also get to enjoy lunch with Jackson and spend time with him in his class and during recess. When the school day comes to an end, I am once again opening car doors and getting the occasional hug or high five from the children. The last car door I open is for Jackson. Invariably he asks, “When are you going to be a WatchDOG again, Dad?”

To read more about the WATCH D.O.G.S program, click here.

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