In spring 2017, Home-Start Arun, Worthing & Adur launched their exciting new initiative to support dads bond well with their children using reading – Fathers Reading Every Day- FRED. The last 12 months have been successful with 21 dads engaged with the programme and 92% seeing the benefits of FRED in their family.
FRED is a focussed and practical 4-week programme which demonstrates the wider benefits of reading regularly to babies and young children. Reading enables closeness between parent and child, strengthens the bond and is a precious time in the day for the family to take a breather and enjoy stories.
Local Dad, Lee completed the programme and has been reading with his three children of 10,8 and 5 years old every day since. Lee said; “My reading wasn’t fluent when we started but now there are less stumbles… the kids are more proactive with asking to read now.”
Lee and his family have joined the library again and are enjoying selecting books together, dinosaurs and animals are most popular! “We now sit down the three of us, with the younger two, and read together. Reading is better if someone is listening. I noticed increased patience and confidence of our middle child through reading every night. She now likes to read to her younger brother and I listen to her. If there’s a FRED 2 we’d do it!”
Lee, like many dads, works a fair distance from the family home and has a short window of time with his children at bedtime. FRED has been established as a positive routine which all the family look forward to during the week, it now feels natural to the children and they are loving the extra time and reading with dad.
Home-Start would love to extend their programme to more local dads and Fathers’ Day can be a time of reflection with your children.
FRED co-ordinator Jane Lyons at Home-Start says: “Even if dads aren’t living with their children a version of FRED can be achieved, by reading each time they are together, can be in a library, in the car, café or at home. Homes without books is not a problem as you can read the cereal packets or free newspapers. It all helps their language development. Right from birth dads can read to their children and they will benefit. We know from national research that families who’ve completed FRED are four times more likely to exceed at school. When the family complete the FRED training they receive a bundle of new books appropriate to the children’s ages. It’s a great ending and reward for
If you would like to know more about FRED to participate, donate funds or new books please get in touch with Jane at the office on 01903 889707.