Atlanta RDR Partners
Real Dads Read” Book Drive in Atlanta Barbershops to Engage Men/Fathers in Reading with Their Children
Atlanta, GA—November 17, 2016--Fathers Incorporated, the leading national non-profit for the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood, launches phase one of its Real Dads Read (www.realdadsread.org) initiative in Atlanta, GA. Real Dads Read is a project aimed at elementary and middle school aged children (K-8) and their fathers/male caregivers to encourage a love of reading, improve literacy skills and educational outcomes, and to strengthen bonds between fathers/caregivers and their children.
“While the overall project is designed to encourage all fathers to read to their children, there is a particular focus on Black and Latino fathers, particularly in low-income communities,” says Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. “Reading is a fundamental skill. A child’s ability to read proficiently is a significant predictor of his or her school success, high school completion, and future economic stability. However, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, approximately 80% of low-income children will not achieve this crucial milestone. Our efforts to change this outcome starts by engaging barbershops and, eventually, creating Real Dads Read clubs in schools and churches in Atlanta and, then, nationwide,” continues Braswell.
“It is important for us to begin in Atlanta because it is our home base, and, currently, the city ranks #12 on the Black Male Achievement Index for efforts serving Black Men and Boys. It is our goal to be #1 for both boys and girls. It starts with us engaging men and fathers in the education of our children,” says Braswell. “Fathers, particularly fathers of color, are often an overlooked resource for reading and education, but we know from research that reading is a great way for dads to develop a unique relationship with their children and to improve the quality and quantity of time they spend together.”
Real Dads Read is a two-generation approach to engaging and improving outcomes for both men and the children for which they are responsible. The initial phase of the project kicks-off with a book drive across the city of Atlanta through February 2017 to establish literacy centers in 25 barbershops. Each location will institute a Real Dads Read club and library with, at minimum, a reading activity every second weekend of the month.
"Reading to and with your child is essential. It will not only imprint in your child's mind the curiosity of learning and education, but it is the ultimate act of bonding and love between a parent and child,” said Dr. Jeff Gardere, “America's Psychologist”.
The project will take two years to reach its full scope, which includes Real Dads Read clubs in schools, faith-based centers, libraries, community centers, etc. across the country. A curriculum is in development, along with an activity guide, to assist in the implementation of the project. Further financial support is needed for several areas of program development. “We can make a profound impact in our communities through Real Dads Read, but we cannot do it by ourselves,” states Braswell.
Real Dads Read is supported by several national partners including: 100 Fathers, Inc., Annie E. Casey Foundation, Blaze1Radio, Books with Barbers, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, Dare To Be King, Furthering Fathering, Global Partners for Fathers and Families, K.I.N.G., League of Hip Hop Fathers, ManUp! Community, National Cares Mentoring Movement, Rolling Out Magazine, and Urbn Dads.
Please contact Fathers Incorporated for more information at 770.804.9800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also support the efforts of Real Dads Read by donating to the development of our program implementation, materials, and operating expenses via our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/realdadsread