Reading a bedtime story with dad…it's such a magical, powerful ritual, which brings huge benefits to children's education and wellbeing.
But for too many children in the UK today, it’s simply not happening. Research shows that reading-with-dad impacts powerfully on young children’s literacy development, behaviour and self-confidence - over and above what mums are doing. But dads read a lot less to children than mums do - one UK father in three reads to his young child no more often than once a month.
With Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) we can start to change that. FRED helps dads understand how important their reading is - and supports them to get into the habit, even if they work long hours or only see their children at weekends.
It's a simple, home-based 'reading for pleasure' programme offered through primary schools. FRED takes just four weeks - but its impact has the potential to last a lifetime.
Developed in Texas, we have adapted and piloted FRED in the UK, and an independent evaluation found that children who took part were over four times more likely than their peers, to improve their reading levels.
FRED brings dads and children together, and has been shown to boost children’s communication skills, vocabulary and confidence. It even improves their maths! And its biggest impacts are on the most disadvantaged children, who need the most help to do well.
We want to bring FRED to 3,000 children and their dads in the UK this year - focusing particularly on areas of high deprivation. As a first step towards reaching that goal, we need to raise £5,000, to pay for a schools liaison manager and some simple marketing materials - to get schools signed up for FRED from September.
Maybe you're a dad who loves reading stories to their children, or loved reading with your dad when you were a child - and you want other children to benefit from the same experience.
Maybe you've lost your dad and want a way to remember and salute the relationship you shared.
Maybe your dad wasn't around, and you understand what it's like to be a child who misses out.
Whatever your motivation, please help us give more children the gift of storytime with dad.