Friday, July 9, 2010

FatheRead

I thought I'd share a bit about the Fatheread Program that I do with the inmates in prison.  I became a certified Motheread Instructor in 2006.  In an adult male prison, we call this Fatheread.  Getting this program up and running has been a challenge in the prison system!  Especially with limited funding.

It is a program for fathers with children under the age of ten years.  Inmates submit an application for consideration and after verification of their children, current disciplinary violations and ensuring the children or child were not victims of their crime, I select 10-participants from each unit to participate.

These inmates receive five children's books and we begin the process of meeting weekly for six weeks to learn to read these children's stories using expression and character voices.  When the inmate feels "ready" I will record them on DVD reading the books to their children.  They make craft items that highlight the book themes. When all the "items" are ready, they send the books, DVD and craft items home to their children.

This program is available to the inmates at no cost, with the exception of mailing the items home.  The inmates have "homework" assignments and reports to write.  For example, one of the books I'm using is "Amelia's Road" and I've suggested the adult John Grisham book, "A Painted House" as it is amazingly similar.

Funding for this program comes from the "community."  After my first run a year ago, one family was so impressed with the program, they donated $500 to keep it up and running.  A local community business donated another $500 and I was able to purchase the children's books through the Scholastic Book literacy project at a substantial savings. My husband and I purchase the mini RW/DVDs to record the inmates and usually the art supplies for their crafts.  You can't put a price on learning, reading, and parenting when it comes to inmates.

There are specific titles that are utilized.  These books cover specific child development themes such as "The Story of Ferdinand" and its theme is what families value.  If you're interested in more information, the website is: http://www.motheread.org/

So, for the next number of weeks I will be busy on Thursdays with 16-inmates and this program.  I plan on six weeks, but it could go longer, as plans often change due to security concerns that arise. Your prayers are appreciated!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Tamara