Read to me, Daddy / Read to me, Father
This program is offered at both MCI Concord and NECC (the Farm). It runs for 4 weeks. At MCI Concord, fathers select a fun, positive and inspiring book, or poem for their child. Then they practice reading it aloud and the reading is recorded. The recording and book are then sent to the child, fostering connection between children and their absent parent.
At NECC, men who have participated in the Fathers’ Group are invited to spend 4 weekly sessions reviewing classic and current children’s books, discussing which ones would appeal to their young children (below age 10) and which books both children (and their mothers) would enjoy hearing again and again. Then they practice reading aloud to the group (challenging! but also fun) and finally they read aloud before a video camera. The video and the book are then sent home to the child.
At NECC fathers regularly report that they have learned about the kinds of books they’d like their children to be read—and also learned how to read aloud effectively. They report their children’s pleasure in receiving the books and tapes.
At MCI-Concord recently, one man told of sending home a poem he had himself written to his adolescent children—expressing his sadness at not being there for them. He then said, “My wife brought the three kids to see me here, for the first time in 3 1/2 years. When I asked her why, she said it was because the children had shown her the poem he’d sent home.” Talk about changing lives and attitudes!