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By Ryan Crawley for Dadspadblog.com – There is a misnomer that it is bad to have young children spending consistent time on the internet. Just like a lot of things in life, if it is done in moderation, it can actually be a good thing. The amount of quality educational websites grow by the day. The key is to eliminate much of the fluff, and have your children spend their time on websites that will assist them in gaining important skills.
The ability of reading fluently and with expression as a young child is the number one indicator of future success in school achievement. What does this mean as a parent? It means that teaching your child to read should be the number one priority in preparing them for kindergarten. (Of course, there should be a focus on proper manners as well, but we are talking about academic success.)
Besides working with them one-on-one at home, technology can step in and provide you with a breather. Placing your child on a tablet, chromebook, or laptop on these following sites should give you peace of mind in knowing that they are learning something valuable.
Separated into sections for kindergarten through fifth grade, ABCYa is a website that is sure to entertain and educate your child. It will help your child with letter identification and recognition, spelling practice, phonics, storybooks, and many other educational skills that they will need. But it does not only focus on literacy, but there are also numerous math skills they will be learning as well.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) created an award winning children’s literacy website. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation offers famous actors and actresses reading children’s books as the colorful illustrations are displayed on the screen. There are dozens of talented actors such as Kevin Costner, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, and Betty White that have contributed their services to this site.
Storyline Online is an extremely popular website that is constantly viewed by children across the globe. They receive over 100 million views annually. Supplemental curriculum is included for each book that they offer. The curriculum has been created by a certified educator with the goal of strengthening comprehension, verbal, and written skills in children.
For over a decade, Starfall has been helping children read with exploring a systematic approach to phonics skills on their website. Preschool to second grade students will have a great time using the free content of animated songs, colorful graphics, and mathematics and reading activities. These educational resources can be used at home or in the classroom.
This site is one that requires a subscription. With that said, it is well worth the cost. It is a treasure for readers of all ages. Thousands of actual popular books are on this website for students to read or listen to as the words are displayed on the screen. If you were to buy all of these books that the website contains, you would be having to spend a small fortune.
Many children will be able to eventually read the words on the screen just through sight and repetition. The books are read aloud and involve active animation to help retain a child’s attention. Most of the books have a quiz or two to go along with each story. This will ensure your child’s comprehension skills are on point. Tumblebooks can be used virtually anywhere. Placing one of these stories up on a Smartboard in the classroom will definitely entertain the class, but this can just as easily be used in the comfort of your own home.
Children love to hear classic fairytales over and over again. Even as an adult, it is something that we really don’t outgrow. Storynory offers a collection of these stories read aloud to your child. The text is also available on the site, so children can follow along as it is being read. There are also great features available that give you the option of downloading the audio directly to your computer to always have on file.
DOGOnews is sort of a current events website for your children. They constantly are updating and adding new articles daily. But a child can also search back in the archives for any topic that they are interested in. Plus, there is usually a short video that accompanies each article. There are fun topics such as LEGO news, ugliest dog contests, school projects, and many other subjects suitable for children.
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There will never be a bigger role model in a child’s life than their father. Because of this, it’s a bit heartbreaking to live in a world where an absentee father can be considered the norm. Who better than to show your kid what being a good person means than a loving dad. And not just a father that talks the talk, but will walk the walk, too. Ben Franklin once said, “Well done is better than well said.” A father that will back up their words with action is worth their weight in gold.
What is important to the father will be important to his kids. If a child sees their father being caring and compassionate, there is a good chance that the kid will be like this as well. If the father is respectful to others and a good listener, down the road, even the most rambunctious child will adopt these traits as their own. A child is always watching their parents, and will duplicate their actions as they become older, good or bad.
One aspect where fathers can get a bit of a bad rap in is the area of education early on in a child’s life. The early years of a child’s life can be the most informative. The key is to introduce the child early and often to all content areas. The main skill to focus on as soon as possible is reading because this ability goes hand in hand with all subject areas. Follow these tips to show your child that it is extremely valuable to read not just for enjoyment, but to read for knowledge.
Library
From the smallest town to the biggest city, every place has a library to explore. Always remember what Matt Damon’s character said in the movie Goodwill Hunting. “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.” He’s not joking. A public library can educate anyone better than a few textbooks in a new classroom every school year.
As a father, it is up to you to share the love of books with your child as early and often as possible. According to the Office for National Statistics, a little less than 30 percent of all men used a library at least once in the last year. As a comparison, about 45 percent of all women have used the library at least once in the last year. As fathers, our actions, or lack of action, can have consequences on our children.
Once every week, every family should take a trip to their local library. Instill in the children the importance of reading the written word. Show them everything the library has to offer. Walk them into the different sections, review how e-books or audio books work, look at the daily newspapers, and chat up the librarians by asking their thoughts on why a library is perhaps the best field trip a child can take. Your kid will remember this throughout the years, and the library will be a safe haven for them for the rest of their lives. Their memories of these trips will be priceless and passed down from generation to generation.
Set an Example
Your son or daughter will duplicate whatever they see you do. The key is to display all the good and hide all the questionable things that they will undoubtedly imitate. If they see their father smoke or drink, there is a great chance that they will do the same as they become older. Use this power that you have to set good examples for your child. Even if you have never been a voracious reader in the past, becoming one will ensure that your child will be one as well. And the number one indication of academic success later on in life in young children is not only their ability to read, but how much time is spent reading.
Limit Television
Parents that spend hours in front of the television everyday are showing their children that it has a sort of control over them. Be aware of this, and be wary. Raising a couch potato not only takes time away from their studies, but it prevents them from building relationships with others. Plus, in a society where almost 50 percent of the population of adults are overweight or clinically obese, limiting television exposure can help combat this problem. The number one thing that people do while watching television is overeat. Setting reading time for the entire family every night prevents a dull imagination and actually will benefit everyone’s health.
Bedtime Reading
Toddlers remember much more than we give them credit for. We incorrectly believe that since they are so little, they will not recall a lot of what we do early on in their infancy. One way to bring the magic of books to your child early on is to read to them for half an hour every night while they snuggle up in bed. Not only will it inspire their love of reading, but it is quality time that you will wish you had back as they become older. All of these activities will bring the joy of reading into their lives, but they are also meant to allow for many hours of family time that you just cannot put a price on.
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In September 1965, an article titled ‘The All-White World of Children’s Books’ appeared in the influential American magazine The Saturday Review of Literature. Its author, the editor and educator Nancy Larrick, noted that African-American children were learning about the world ‘in books which either omit them entirely or scarcely mention them’. In one award-winning volume from 1945, black children were portrayed with bunion-covered feet and popping eyes, living in dilapidated shacks with gun-wielding adults. Meanwhile, white children were ‘nothing less than cherubic, with dainty little bare feet or well-made shoes’, Larrick wrote. After years of complaints, she said, the publisher finally solved the problem by simply removing all black faces from the book.
More than 50 years later, the problem persists. Imaginary black children remain almost as marginalised as real ones, at least in mainstream publishing. In literature, as in life, the belief that children are valuable, vulnerable and in need of protection has mostly been denied to black children in the United States. Black children learn fast that their childhoods have very strict boundaries, in which any small slip or mistake can put their lives in danger, often from police or other agents of the state.
In this context, what children read is more than just frivolous entertainment. It’s an imaginative, safe space in which they can experiment with different modes of selfhood and citizenship. So what does the history of the representations of black children in the US reveal about the cultural tools they’ve been handed, and with which they’ll need to fashion their own lives and futures?
Depictions of black characters in the late 19th and early 20th century tended to promote negative stereotypes. Childhood favourites such as The Story of Little Black Sambo (1899), Tarzan (1912), and The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant (1931) are transparently propagandistic portrayals of Western and white superiority over Africa. In Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan writes in a note that Jane reads: ‘This is the house of Tarzan, the killer of beasts and many black men.’ For the black child who seeks to identify with the hero but is categorised as the villain, these depictions produce a mental and conscious disconnect.
It wasn’t until the early 20th century that a more positive strand of black children’s literature developed. In 1920, the African-American scholar and activist W E B Du Bois created The Brownies’ Book – the first black children’s magazine, he said, that would help ‘black children to recognise themselves as normal, to learn about black history, and to recognise their own potential’. The Brownies’ Book was one of the first attempts to try to normalise and dignify black childhood.
In the 1960s, children’s books became a powerful ideological tool during times of protest and civil unrest. In The Wretched of the Earth (1961), the French-Algerian writer Frantz Fanon talked about the importance of literary representation as a site of political influence. Fanon believed that black children learned self-hatred and alienation through early contact with the white world, partly because of the storybooks, comics and cartoon images to which they had access. Finding alternative representations was therefore an urgent necessity.
In the civil rights era in the US, black children and teenagers played a crucial role, both symbolically and on the ground. They were participants in marches and meetings, and often subject to violence and imprisonment. But black children’s lives also became politicised in other ways, as activists used literature and culture to galvanise the youth and foster a sense of purpose and pride in their identity. Factions such as the Black Arts Movement tried to create counter-narratives that pushed back against the brutality that white children’s literature inflicted on young black psyches. For example, Virginia Hamilton’s young adult novel Zeely (1967) centres on the realistic, everyday aspects of black childhood. Its 11-year-old black protagonist, Elizabeth, is a smart and strong-willed girl, who becomes intrigued by a tall black woman who lives on a nearby farm. Books such as Zeely represented a watershed moment in culture. They served to counteract previous distortions of black youth, allowing children to develop a sense of imaginative possibility about their own lives, and empowering them as agents of social change.
In the 21st century, black authors have continued the tradition of using literature to rally young people. Often, writers depict black children who are active participants in the struggle for liberation. One example is the picture book Daddy, There’s a Noise Outside (2015), by the community activist Kenneth Braswell. Inspired by the death of Freddie Gray when he was under arrest in Baltimore, Braswell uses children’s literature to discuss protest in black communities. The story begins as a brother and sister wake up in the middle of the night after hearing chanting outside their window, and their parents try to explain the nature and value of protest for black communities. The young characters in the story are learning about the many forms of activism that are accessible to children, which include creating signs, writing letters, participating in protests and organising.
These narratives pay homage to earlier black liberation efforts and give children the tools necessary to understand themselves as actors in the political process. Children’s literature becomes a means of education, offering a safe space for experimentation and a supplement to the organisation of formal movements.
In an opinion piece for The Guardian in 2015, the American young-adult author Daniel José Older wrote: ‘Literature’s job is not to protect young people from the ugly world; it is to arm them with a language to describe difficult truths they already know.’ He added that it’s vital for literature’s creators and publishers not to sit on the sidelines of movements such as Black Lives Matter, where most of the actors are young people.
Children are not just the passive recipients of what they read. They should be seen as active subjects, creating and recreating themselves in relation to the representations that surround them. In this way, literature is an arena in which children can safely play with and develop an understanding of the state, and their role and relationship to it. Children’s literature not only shows how important children have been to black social movements. It also highlights the power of books to rescue childhood from a culture that has dehumanised black children, and denied them healthy and expansive models for growing up.
source: The Real African | Original Article
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One of the biggest concerns as your child gets older is college. Of course, you are going to have worries about which college your kid is going to attend. But the main concern centers around the ability to pay for college. With expenses rising across the board, it will take a small fortune to pay for four years of college when your child is ready to go.
Lucky for you, there is an education savings plan called a 529 Plan that can greatly assist you in your goal of having money set aside for your child’s college expenses. The plan can provide special tax benefits that an ordinary savings account cannot offer.
There are two basic types of 529 plans. One is a savings plan and the other is a prepaid plan. The savings plan is similar to a 401K or IRA and they will invest your contributions into mutual funds or other investments. The prepaid plan is only available through educational institutions. These colleges and universities will allow you to prepay all or part of your child’s future expenses at their college. However, unless you know for certain which college your kid will be attending when they get older, you probably want to go with the 529 plan that allows you to save and invest for any college or university.
Benefits to a 529 Plan
With the 529 plan, the contributions are not deductible, but the earnings that grow are federally tax-free when the money is taken out to pay for college expenses. For about 30 states, there are also tax benefits as well. Be sure to check if this is the case with your state. It’s always nice to avoid having to pay extra taxes on your own money.
Another key benefit of going with a 529 plan is that the person or persons contributing to it stays in control of it. This means that it does not automatically rollover to your child once they turn 18. Why is that a good thing? This will provide you peace of mind that the money in the account is actually going for college expenses, and not a new car, clothes, new phone, or anything else that a teenager might spend their money on.
The 529 plan is an easy one to keep track of. You can set it up and forget it. Automatic deductions can be taken out of your paycheck and deposited into the 529. There is not a lot of extra paperwork. Just like with a 401K or IRA, check on it frequently to see how the investments are doing.
Contributions to a 529 will not have to be reported on your tax returns. The only time it will have to be reported is when the money is taken out. A single person can contribute up to $14,000 a year to the 529 plan. A married couple can contribute up to $28,000 a year. Both can qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion.
Plus, unlike Roth IRAs and similar programs, there are no income limits, age restraints, or annual contribution limits. Anyone, in any financial bracket, can start investing into the 529 plan for their child. The earlier the better.
Any Penalties for Early Withdrawal?
Just like with most investment accounts, early withdrawals are frowned upon. If you are investing into the 529 plan, but some emergency arises that requires taking out some of the money, you will face a 10% penalty from only the earnings portion of the account. The amount you originally deposited can be removed without acquiring any penalty at all.
There are exceptions to the 10% penalty as well. In the unfortunate circumstance that the beneficiary dies, then there is no penalty. If the beneficiary enters into a Military Academy, there is no penalty either when taking out the money. Also, in the event that your child receives a scholarship and does not need access anymore to the funds to pay for college, you may take out the money without facing the 10% penalty. 
Begin Immediately
This program is one of the best for assisting your child down the road with college expenses. Too many kids leave college with huge amounts of student loans to pay off. If you like having your son or daughter living with you until they are 40, then don’t worry about saving for their college tuition. But if you are like the rest of us and would like them to eventually have a family and life of their own, then start planning now. The 529 Plan is available in all 50 states, but it can differ slightly from state to state. Research your state to find out the specifics that the 529 Plan offers.
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Ryan Crawley is a writer and educator from Washington, Illinois. He enjoys using humor in all of his writing. You can find articles by him on several top Education, Parenting, and Fitness sites. To contact him, check out his LinkedIn profile. www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-crawley-b854bb146
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New York Times best-selling author Denene Millner, has made quite a donation for the children of Muscogee County. Warren Steele, local volunteer and board member of  Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy was contacted by Ms. Millner regarding her wish to donate several of her children’s books. Her generous donation of 100 books will be distributed among local organizations who have a focus on developing early literacy skills in children. Steele says "although the mission of Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy is to mail books into homes to provide access to books for all children, I am more than happy to share the gift of literacy by distributing donated books to local organizations serving children to increase their access to age appropriate reading materials.” The book 'Early Sunday Morning' was distributed to Real Dads Read, ColGa for area barbershops and salons and to Girls, Inc. Denene Millner said, "I created Denene Millner Books with one very specific goal: to celebrate the humanity of Black children. All I've ever wanted to do as an author, a publisher and a lover of babies is to get these stories into the hands of children who deserve to see themselves in the pages. With this incredible donation from a friend of Denene Millner Books, we were able to do that. I'm so grateful to Mr. Steele for being open to receiving the donation and knowing exactly who to get them to so that they could make it into little hands. My heart is so full!" Leann Malone, Executive Director of Girls, Inc. shared, "Thank you so much to Denene and to Ferst Foundation! The girls are going to love reading 'Early Sunday Morning' again and again!!" Randalette Williams, of Real Dads Read, added, " Barbershops and salons are the new launching pads for literacy in the African-American community. I am extremely grateful for Mr. Steele and the support he has displayed for the Real Dads Read, ColGa program. The Ferst Foundation was the first literacy organization to donate books to our program and they continue to do so to this day. To say that I am over the moon excited and appreciative to be receiving Author Denene Millner's beautiful books would be a gross understatement! I cannot wait to add 'Early Sunday Morning' to our existing barbershop and salon literacy centers."
Photo: Warren Steele presenting copies of 'Early Sunday Morning' to Randalette Williams
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No matter how prepared you think you are in life, once you hear those two words, everything goes straight out the window. The moment your wife says, “I’m pregnant,” is one you will never forget. I believe my heart actually stopped for a complete minute. I think I saw a bright light and tunnel before it started beating again.
We have been planning on having a child for several months. We have only been married for a bit now, but we are also older parents, so we don’t have much time to mess around. I’m a young acting 42 years old and my wife is a level-headed 36 year old. I’m an elementary school teacher and I made the mistake of saying aloud the other day that a child’s father that was picking the kid up appeared to me to be his grandfather. The father looked too old to have a nine year old. One of the girls in my class quickly set me straight when she declared that this would be me when I have a nine year old. Of course I smiled at her humor, and then gave her a detention.
I have a few major concerns being a future first time father. Is this going to be our only child? We are both getting up there in age. It could be one and done. And if it is, how can I guarantee it will be a boy? I mean, I will love the child and everything if it is a girl, but this might be my one chance at having a son. I have so much knowledge I want to pass down to my future son that a girl might not appreciate. Will a girl care that the Flash can beat Superman in a foot race? Will a girl be able to benchpress hundred and hundred of pounds with me? Will a girl watch wrestling with me as I babble on and tell her how much better it used to be? Not likely.
I know this next worry of mine is totally unfounded, but I watched the miniseries V back in the early eighties as a child and it scarred me for life. These aliens were trying to take over the earth, like most aliens always try doing. In the show, this young lady gave birth to twins I believe. The first one came out and was a girl. The second one came out and it was a reptile baby of some sort. I realize the odds of this happening to me are like at least 50 to 1, but it continues to keep me up at night.
Like most men that have been single for a long time, I adopted a dog from the animal shelter years ago. I fell in love with a little schnauzer that I named Flair. After a few years, I was still single and decided that Flair needed a brother. I adopted another dog, a shih tzu, that I quickly named Smoosh Face. I named him that because he would always smoosh his face into his food while eating or his water while drinking. Even though both dogs are great with my nieces and nephews, they are going to have this little baby around them all the time. I just don’t want any of them to feel neglected. Not my two dog babies or my one human baby.
Another concern as a first time father is if I will have the stomach to change a dirty diaper. I’m not sure I will. And I am pretty certain my wife won’t allow me to spray the baby off with a hose on the back porch to clean it up.
I’ve been asked if I will be in the room during the delivery. My wife is an obstetrician. She delivers babies every day of the week. What does she need me in there for? She knows what she is supposed to do. I’ve decided that I will be in the room for the baby’s delivery. However, I will stay up near my wife’s head. Possibly facing the wall.
All in all, as long as the baby is healthy and my wife makes it through the delivery alright, I will be a happy man. If it is a boy or a girl, it really doesn’t matter (no reptile baby). It will be one of the best days of my life. Adding another member to our family is something we are all excited about. Just thinking about how it is right around the corner makes each day seem longer. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
____________
Ryan Crawley is a writer and educator from Washington, Illinois. He enjoys using humor in all of his writing. You can find articles by him on several top Education, Parenting, and Fitness sites. To contact him, check out his LinkedIn profile. www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-crawley-b854bb146
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by Ryan Crawley
I have been in the education field for the last dozen years. I know firsthand what happens when parents do not adequately prepare their child for kindergarten. It is always tempting to just put your young toddler in front of the television so you can get some much needed work done, but down the road it will cost you much more time and energy.
Your child will have to be tutored to help catch them up to the rest of the class. No parent wants their young child to have such a poor experience during their first year of schooling that it affects them for the rest of their lives. Just follow these simple tips while your child is still young, and by the time they reach kindergarten they will be at the head of the class. You will have a child that loves to get out of bed every day to go to school.
Social Skills
We will get to the educating your child part soon, but I wanted to make something very clear. If your young child does not have the proper manners and social skills needed, it can be just as detrimental to their life as struggling with reading or math. The importance of how to treat others cannot be stressed enough. What good would it be if your child was the smartest kid around, but didn’t have any friends? Make proper manners and social skills a priority. It is much easier to teach them these when they are young rather than struggling with them in junior high.
Read Early and Often
The number one indicator of academic achievement early on for children is the ability to read fluently. As a certified Reading Specialist, I diagnose and treat students with reading difficulties and true disabilities. If a child is struggling with reading, it affects them in every subject area. All content areas need strong reading skills.
Begin early, and read to your toddler every night. However, many parents make the mistake of not showing the page to their child as they read the words to them. Not only show them the pictures, but point to the words as you read it to them. It will amaze you on how they can pick up on so many words just from sight alone. There are also simple sight word flashcards that can be picked up online quickly or you can make your own at home.
The other way to guarantee your child will be reading at the top of the class is to teach them basic phonics skills. Show them what letters make which sounds. Demonstrate how words can be sounded out completely just by knowing the letters and the sounds. There are also phonics workbooks available that only cost a dollar or two. It’s a good investment when it comes to your child’s reading success.
Numbers and Simple Math
It’s cute hearing toddlers trying to count. They usually start off well with saying 1, 2, 3, and then jump up to 17, 44, 100. Everyone always has a good laugh at this, and they should. It is a cute moment.
But as a primary level educator, I have heard first grade students count this same way. At this point, all the cuteness of their inventive counting has worn off. The laughs are replaced with concerns. Number sense should be introduced early and often before your child even has their first day of school in kindergarten.
Start off with flashcards and have them place them in the correct order for 1 through 10 while they say it aloud. Make sure to get the flashcards that also have some sort of tally marks or something on them. This way the child is learning number sense, so when they see the number 3 it means they have three of something. Then when you eventually switch over to simple addition and subtraction, the number sense will already be there.
Make It Fun!
If this sounds like a lot of work, it really isn’t. Young children have very short attention spans, so these little activities should should not last more than five to ten minutes. The key is to do them often enough instead. Repeat these lessons frequently otherwise they will soon forget them.
Come up with activities that will help making the learning fun. Spinners and dice will work with math, and can show the child how many sight word cards they have to read correctly to get a reward. Be creative with the learning activities! Not only are you preparing your child for the future, but you are also making a lifetime of memories at the same time.
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Fathers Incorporated was awarded $10,000 to expand and strengthen its Real Dads Read program in Atlanta, GA. The grant issued by the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta's Literacy For All Fund will support the implementation of programs, projects or efforts that approach literacy from a multi generational perspective.
Currently Real Dads Read has 27 libraries in barbershops around the city of Atlanta. This fall both Fathers Incorporated and its partnerFurthering Fathering will seek to expand by creating Real Dads Read Literacy Clubs in schools, headstart centers, day care facilities and libraries. "This grant is evidence of the support already shown by the Anne E. Foundation, Kelly Family Cuidiú Foundation and the United Way of Greater Atlanta for improving proficiency of our children by engaging dads," say Kenneth Braswell; Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With 65 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation manages the behind-the-scenes details, empowering our donors to focus on the joy of giving. Please visit the Foundation’s website at cfgreateratlanta.org for more information.
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First National Real Dads Read Day set for June 9, 2017, with a Focus on Children of Color
Atlanta, GA—It wasn’t too long ago that Fathers Incorporated, a leading national nonprofit for the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood, launched its new initiative, Real Dads Read (RDR), in Atlanta, GA. The initial project objective was to create literacy centers in barbershops with the goal of encouraging father-child involvement through reading and improving literacy for young children. Today, with help from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, RDR has established 26 libraries in barbershops around metro Atlanta and 9 in Columbus, GA. In addition, 45 barbershops and partners engaged in a citywide book drive, collecting 2,245 books, which included a large donation from the Atlanta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi.
“We are encouraged that so many organizations have come on board to celebrate and support the effort of Real Dads Read,” says Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. “The inquires to bring the project to other cities around the country are overwhelming. We have had to temper the excitement because we are still building our capacity to meet the tremendous need and requests for RDR,” Braswell continues. “Fathers Incorporated is now working on building the RDR infrastructure to support broader and more intentional programmatic activities.” Currently RDR has a pilot site in Columbus, GA with its partner, Chattahoochee Valley Parent 2 Parent.
One RDR program objective is the creation of a national engagement day. Fathers Incorporated is pleased to announce its inaugural National Real Dads Read Day on June 9, 2017. This day is designed to encourage individuals, groups, businesses, etc. to plan reading activities in support of fathers/male caregivers and their children. “This day supports all our program outcomes for children,” says Lamont Jones, co-partner of RDR and CEO of Furthering Fathering. While RDR is designed to encourage all fathers to read to their children, there is a focus on children of color, particularly in low-income communities. 
Real Dads Read is aimed at elementary and middle school aged children (K-8) and their fathers/male caregivers with the goals of 1) encouraging children to develop a love of reading, 2) improving children’s literacy skills and educational outcomes, and 3) strengthening bonds between fathers/caregivers and their children.
National Real Dads Read Day will take place each year on the 2nd Friday of June. “This isn’t complicated; children do better on a host of measures, including reading, when fathers are actively involved in their care, so we simply want to earmark this day to encourage reading among dads and their children and remind the public of the important roles fathers play in the lives of their children. We encourage whatever you can do as a dad, individual, group, business, or organization to help achieve this outcome. Let us know about your efforts and plans so we can let others know,” says Braswell. RDR is planning a twitter chat (@REALDADSREAD), social media contest (#2017NATRDR), and other fun activities to support National Real Dads Read Day on June 9, 2017.
Fathers Incorporated has submitted several requests to cities to proclaim June 9th as National Real Dads Read Day, including Atlanta and Columbus.
For tips on engaging fathers, barbershops, planning events and more information on National Real Dads Read Day visit our website at www.realdadsread.org, email us at fathers incorporated@gmail.com, or call our office at 770.804.9800.
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Kenneth Braswell is featured in the March issue of Monster Story Ink. The article features the work of Real Dads Read. If you would like to read the article visit their website at https://www.storymonsters.com/current-issue
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