Brent Johnstone and Akeiff Staples are former Temple University Football teammates, and long standing friends who established FathersRead365. FathersRead365 has a serious mission to share literacy in a compassionate and loving fashion. Brent and Akeiff founded this organization in 2017 in response to an overwhelming need to increase reading skills for children ages 0-6 in Philadelphia neighborhoods. This grassroots organization desires to assist parents and guardians in providing building blocks for literacy before students embark on their formal educational journey. When children develop positive self esteem, they also become confident scholars and citizens.
Shaped by their personal histories, Johnstone and Staples would like leaders, educators, and decision makers to realize that our youngest and most vulnerable members of society cannot have a voice without acquiring the proficiency to listen, speak, read, and write. FathersRead365 is all about making reading engaging, captivating, and lifelong. FathersRead365 hopes that by providing a strong grip on early literacy young learners will garner the tools to prevent them from participating in inappropriate activities in the future. By reaching individuals, families, and neighborhoods partnerships are fostered and communities can begin to flourish.
In December 2018, FathersRead365 became an official program partner under the auspices of Urban Affairs Coalition (a 501©3 nonprofit organization), which serves as its fiscal sponsor, and in 2019, won the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Award for Parent Engagement from Social Innovations Journal. For the past six years, FathersRead365 has read to children & families from Philadelphia to New Jersey, distributed over 100,000 books, and created over 20,000 personal home libraries. In 2023, the organization's co-founders were inducted into the Media Area NAACP Spirit Hall Of Fame, and also selected as a KYW Newsradio GameChangers.
Father focused. Family centered.
FathersRead365 is an early-intervention method which encourages fathers/caregivers to read daily with their children to develop literacy from birth.
Starting in early childhood, fathers can have a deep influence on the development of children's early learning skills and academic achievement. Positive early interactions, such as father-infant play, may help improve a child's social skills and stimulate cognitive competence during this crucial time when children are just learning to interact with the world around them.
FathersRead365 wants fathers/caregivers to become a more reliable and consistent reading resource to the community. Annually, the goal is to have at least one million men utilize the hashtag #1MillionDadsReading by posting a video of storytime's with children on their social media platforms.
The Statistics of Early Childhood Literacy
FR365 Book Bus
Could you imagine a young childhood without books? Books can educate, motivate and inspire people. Books ultimately prepare us for success in school and beyond, opening up new worlds of exploration and imagination. Sadly, a book-free home is all too real for many of the 16 million children living in poverty in the United States. Be on the lookout for the FR365 BOOK BUS! Sign up here to join our waiting list.
Although low-income children have, on average, four children’s books in their homes, a team of researchers concluded that nearly two-thirds—or 61 percent of the low-income families they studied—owned no books for their children
(US Department of Education, 1996).