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

October 28, 2009

Fathers Reading Every Day Encourages Dads and Kids to Read Together Daily

From the Paleolithic Age when cave paintings decorated stonewalls to present day where books, newspapers, blogs and emails are the norm, reading has been essential to navigating our world. According to a poll released by the National Center for Fathering in May 2009, 55 percent of fathers currently read to their children once or twice per month. Reading is not just a mom thing. A study released by the U.S. Department of Education shows that when fathers take an active role in their children’s education, children are more likely to do well in school, participate in extracurricular activities and are less likely to repeat a grade. Colorado fathers can begin contributing to their children’s reading success by participating in the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program throughout the month of November.

FRED is a four-week program originally designed by Texas A&M University to encourage fathers to read with their children every day. 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.

“FRED is a simple and fun way for fathers and their children to start reading together,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Our hope is that fathers will recognize the benefits of reading with their children and continue to do so on a daily basis long after they finish the FRED program.”

According to the report Fathers and literacy: Supporting your child by Suzanne M. Flannery Quinn, PhD, literacy is a lifelong journey and fathers need to be a contributing factor throughout each stage of their children’s lives.

Quinn provides the following reading ideas for children of different ages:

Very young children (up to age 2):
• Focus on the fun of books and stories.
• Take regular trips to the library.
• Show your child how books ‘work’ (how to turn pages and where the beginning of
the book is).
• Play language games that involve rhythm, such as pat-a-cake.

Pre-school aged (2-4 year olds):
• All of the above plus-
• Show your children how to select books based on their interests.
• Show your children that written words represent thoughts and ideas.
• Show your children that letters represent sounds and that some letters have more than one sound.

Kindergarten and primary school aged (5-11 year olds):
• All of the above plus-
• Create an enjoyment for reading.
• Encourage independent reading.
• Help children expand their vocabulary.

Middle school/high school (11-18 year olds):
• Continue to read, write and have conversations about reading and writing with your children.
• Tell your children you are interested in reading some of the books that they are reading.
• Remain patient even if your children do not immediately fall in love with reading. Remember that there are a variety of genres for adolescents to choose from and it may take readers at this age some time to find what they like.

In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division was awarded a $10 million federal grant over five years to strengthen father/child relationships and improve parenting. Colorado is one of two locations nationwide, including Washington, D.C., to receive this federal community access grant. The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative distributes more than $1.1 million in community awards to State, community and faith based organizations to assist in providing direct services to fathers and families. Awards of up to $50,000 are distributed per program per fiscal year. For more information on a fatherhood program in your community, please visit www.coloradodads.com.