Early years settings sign up for Fathers' Story Week

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Schools, nurseries and family settings across England will invite fathers to join them to read stories next week in the run-up to Father’s Day on 15 June.

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Fathers from Kates Hill and Sledmere Children's Centre in Dudley will be joining in Fathers' Story Week, which runs from 9 - 15 June

Fathers’ Story Week, run by the Fatherhood Institute, provides fathers and practitioners with free online resources to use as part of events to encourage better paternal engagement in children’s learning.

Fathers can sign up online to participate in the project, which will give them access to facts and tips on reading with children, reports on related topics, such as reading with boys, reading lists of books featuring positive father characters, and advice for improving their own reading.

So far than 300 schools and early years settings have registered to take part during Fathers’ Story Week, which this year runs from 9 - 15 June.

The initiative will also provide teachers with short videos to download and show at their story events, featuring celebrity fathers including television presenter Tim Lovejoy and Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou.

Fathers attending the events will also be invited to take ‘selfies’ while telling or reading stories to their children. All photographs received by the institute will then be entered into a prize draw to win a signed copy of Dustbin Dad by children’s author Peter Bently.

The week-long initiative coincides with the release of a new international research summary by the institute, which suggests that children can improve literacy, numeracy and behavioural skills as a result of time spent reading with their fathers.

Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive and head of research at the Fatherhood Institute, said, ‘Many schools and family services still view dads’ presence as an optional extra, when in fact research shows their active involvement in their children’s education is vital. Fathers’ Story Week is lots of fun, and a great way-in to greater engagement with fathers.’

The Fatherhood Institute also runs FRED (Fathers Reading Every Day), a supported four-week reading programme for schools and nurseries to encourage fathers to engage with their children’s reading by spending fifteen minutes a day for two weeks and 30 minutes a day for a second two weeks reading to their children.