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Fathers Reading Every Day: A campaign to boost child literacy, confidence and wellbeing – Katherine Jones, Joint CEO of the Fatherhood Institute

Father reading with son

Katherine Jones is Joint CEO of the Fatherhood Institute, the UK’s expert body on fatherhood. She joined the organisation in 2003. Trained as an art psychotherapist and psychoanalytic consultant, she leads the strategic direction of the organisation.

Katherine Jones
Katherine Jones

This week the Fatherhood Institute launches a crowdfunding campaign to support a pioneering new programme to improve child literacy, confidence and wellbeing.

This summer the Fatherhood Institute will be launching our first crowdfunding campaign to kick-start the roll out of Fathers Reading Every Day and I will be donating to the campaign in memory of my dad who spent many hours reading and telling stories to me when I was a child and who continued this tradition with each of his grandchildren. Fathers Reading Every Day is a home-based ‘reading for pleasure’ programme through which schools can get more dads reading to their children

About the project

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 there’s a problem. 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.

Fathers Reading Every Day

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’re out at work 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 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.

What’s the money for?

We want to bring FRED to 3,000 children and their dads in the UK this year. To kick-start things, we need to raise £5,000, to pay for a schools liaison manager and some simple marketing materials.

By donating to this campaign you will help us reach out and sign up schools. Maybe you’re a dad who loves reading stories to their children… maybe you enjoyed and benefited from reading with your dad … maybe he wasn’t around, and you feel you missed out. Perhaps you want to donate in the name of a much loved father?

What are the rewards you receive for joining our campaign?

Rewards range from your name on our website to a set of our limited edition FRED bookplates to lunch with Charlie Condou from Coronation Street or a FRED event in your children’s school.

Give more children the gift of reading with dad and transform children’s lives.

To find out more, join our campaign and help spread the word, please visit:





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