Media Contact
Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

October 27, 2008

FRED Encourages Dads and their Kids to Read Together Daily

In today’s world, where literacy means power and opportunity, the importance of reading cannot be stressed enough. The results of a poll commissioned by the National Center for Fathering in June 2008 indicated that 56 percent of fathers read to their children at least one to two times per month. In addition, a study released by the U.S. Department of Education indicated that when fathers take an active role in their children’s education they are more likely to earn As and less likely to repeat a grade. In an effort to increase child literacy and improve paternal relationships, Colorado dads and their children are joining together this month to read with the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program.

FRED is designed to encourage fathers, grandfathers and other positive male role models to sit down and read with their children on a daily basis. The four-week program was originally designed by Texas A&M University. Not only does FRED work to increase child literacy but it also enhances father-child involvement and provides a daily ritual of bonding and learning.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, reading aloud to your children is important because it helps them acquire the information and skills they need in life, such as:

  • Knowledge of printed letters and words and the relationship between sound and print.

  • The meaning of many words.

  • How books work and a variety of writing styles.

  • Knowledge of/exposure to the world in which they live.

  • The difference between written language and everyday conversation.

  • The pleasure of reading.

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative promotes FRED to Colorado fathers every November. Participating dads are asked to read with their children for 15 minutes a day during the first two weeks of the month and 30 minutes a day during the second two weeks of the month. By filling out a reading log and pre and post-program surveys on www.coloradodads.com, dads will be entered into a drawing to receive free books or gift certificates to local bookstores. Fathers can also find links to appropriate books and literacy tips on the Colorado Dads Web site.

“Reading opens up doors and a world of opportunity,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “But fathers have to help their children as they learn to read. Only then are we able to sit back and smile as they read to learn.”