June 2, 2009

Reading - FRED - and Man-Making

Here is a great Man-Making program suggestion from Lowell Johnson, a Minnesota subscriber.

Earl, I think you and your readers might be interested to know about the FRED program here in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota. Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) is a national program which encourages men to connect with young children by reading to them regularly. We are in the third year of programming and will have almost 2000 participants at 11 different sites by our June 30 year's end. We have expanded the standard FRED format to include an option called Run and Read where we play a lot of active games as well as read to kids and give away free books. A new FRED development this year has us doing parent/literacy education to inmates of the Crow Wing County jail.

I believe FRED is a great Man-Making program because it's a non-threatening way for men to connect with young children in a positive way. If any of your readers would like more information about FRED, they can reach me at ljohnson@brainerd.net. Keep up your good work!

I have lots of fond memories of being read to, mostly by teachers. I especially liked when the stories were done in a serial fashion and you'd have to wait a day to get to the next exciting installment. We do the same thing on a boys to men weekend utilizing a storyteller. That last thing to happen prior to bedtime on both Friday and Saturday night is that a man will read or tell the initiates a compelling and relevant story. Don't ever under estimate the power of a good story to interest, inspire, and calm down a group of adolescent males. A campfire doesn't hurt either.

FRED was originally developed by Lynn Bourland White and Stephen Greene in 2001 at the Texas Cooperative Extension at Texas A&M University. The program was named for Fred Bourland, who read to his children as they grew up. For more information on this program, you can contact Lowell Johnson at his email above or you can contact Steve Green directly at Texas A&M at (979) 845-6468 or s-green@tamu.edu

Lowell is right! The idea of men reading to kids at home, as volunteers in schools, in support of young fathers in prison, on a rite-of-passage weekend, or in any setting, is indeed first class man-making.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.