Father 2 Father


Know the way, show the way

Fathers Reading Every Day Campaign

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 just 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 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.

With its Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) programme, the Fatherhood Institute is working to change that.

FRED helps dads understand how important their reading is - and supports them to get into the habit, even if they work long hours 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.

An independent evaluation found that children who took part in FRED were over four times more likely than their peers, to improve their reading levels. FRED brings dads and children together, and has been shown to boost children’s communication skills, vocabulary and confidence – and even their maths. Its biggest impacts are on the most disadvantaged children, who need the most help to do well.

The FI wants to bring FRED to 3,000 children and their dads in the UK this year – and as a first step towards reaching that goal, it’s running a crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000, to pay for a schools liaison manager and some simple marketing materials - to get schools signed up for FRED from September.

To find out more about FRED, and watch a video appeal by Sir Tony Robinson (Baldrick), click here.


In the UK, fathers’ involvement with their 7 and 11 year old children is linked with their better national examination performance at age 16.

(Lewis et al, 1982)


Fathers’ involvement is also linked with their skills attainment at age 20.

(Flouri & Buchanon, 2004)


The more commitment a father shows to their child’s education and the more involved they are with the child’s school, the better behaved the child will be at school. This is exhibited in a reduced risk of suspension or permanent expulsion.

(Goldman, 2005)



Children with actively involved fathers show increased cognitive abilities.

(Yogman et al, 1995)


Fathers who actively contribute to a child’s upbringing will see that the child tends to have higher self- esteem.

(Flouri, 2005)



Children with active fathers have increased social competence.

(Lamb, 1997)


Children with active fathers enjoy healthier relationships with peers as adolescents and adults and access to greater financial resources.

(Lamb, 1997)


They also have better outcomes.

(Ball& Moselle, 2007)




A fathers’ reading habits can have a substantial influence on their child’s ability to read, their levels of interest and their reading choices.

(Lloyd, 1999)


Children and young people indicate that fathers are the second most important person to inspire reading, second only to mothers.

(National Literacy Trust Study, Clark , Osbourne and Dugdale, 2009)


The lack of male role models involved in reading and during children’s early years is a possible cause in the declining rates of boys achievement at school.

(Trent and Slade, 2001; Wragg et al, 1998)