Dads are key to improving children’s reading

8 September 2014

Jeremy Davies writes:

New evidence from ‘Read On. Get On.’, a Save the Children campaign launching today, suggests the need has never been greater for dads to read regularly with their children.

Researchers from Newcastle University found that dads on the lowest incomes are 14 times more likely to never read to their children, and three times as likely to read less than once a week to their five-year-olds, as fathers from the richest families.

The impact of dads’ reading behaviour can be huge. Children not read to at all by their dads at the age of seven lag behind those who are read to daily, by more than a year (13.1 months) in terms of language development.

You can find out more about the ‘Read On. Get On.’ campaign here.

The FI is supporting the campaign, which complements our supported reading programme for dads, FRED (Fathers Reading Every Day), which is already running in local authorities across England including Leicester, York, Lambeth, Southwark, Sutton and Salford through funded projects.

Settings in Newham, Warwickshire, Portsmouth, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire , Conwy, Hull, Wigan, Ealing, Enfield have completed our training and are now able to deliver FRED. We are now accepting bookings for more FRED training courses, and we have some places available on our next open FRED course in London on 14 November. Find out more about the course and who to contact to book a course or discuss options, here.

If you’re looking to encourage more dads to value their role in reading with their children, do also check out our Youtube video channel, which includes Celebrity Story Time videos and testimonies from dads who have participated in FRED; and our research summary about fathers’ impact on young children’s language and literacy.

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