Over 60 dads celebrate reading success with FRED

Local fathers and their children celebrate completing the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) programme.

The four-week pilot, funded by the Big Lottery through A Better Start Southend, saw fathers encouraged to read with their children regularly. They were helped to understand the importance of reading, how to bring the stories alive, and how to support their child’s learning during the process. Over 60 dads, step-dads and father-figures took part and read with their child every day as a result, and have said they will continue to do so.

Kathy Jones, Joint CEO of the Fatherhood Institute, said:

“Research shows that children who grow up with warm, nurturing, and actively involved fathers and male carers do better in school, have high self-esteem, and build better relationships with other children. We were overjoyed that so many fathers signed up to take part in FRED and it has been great to see the children’s confidence grow with support from their dads.”

Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery, which had 55 fathers sign up to its FRED programme, held a celebration event on Thursday 3 November, which included an awards ceremony for the dads and children and a professional storyteller, who entertained kids and adults alike.


Headteacher at Milton Hall, Mrs Debbie Priest, said:

“The sense of community and achievement among the dads and children is fantastic. It’s so important to make time for reading and to encourage a sense of confidence at an early age. The FRED programme has helped make reading a regular habit for those who took part.”

And Bonfire Night on Saturday 5 November was extra special for the dads who ‘graduated’ from the Barons Court Primary School FRED programme. They celebrated with the community at a family fun day in South Church Park, which was open to the general public and included an outdoor storytelling workshop.

Headteacher at Barons Court, Mrs Julia Jones, said:

“Literacy is so important for young children – it sets them up for life, and it’s great to see fathers getting more involved. Today’s family event was brilliant and I was proud to see so many people – family members and those from the wider community –  come together to celebrate our dad’s achievements.”

Comments from the Dads included:
“We got to spend more 1 on 1 time together and loved making our own stories up”
“Helped me bond with my son”
“Meant we got to spend quality time together everyday”
“It’s great seeing the improvement in my child’s reading”
“My child read a whole book to me during half-term which was a real WOW! Moment”

Article published November 2016