The Co-Founders Akeiff Staples and Brent Johnstone for decades have both worked with at-risk youth in various capacities in Juvenile Detention Centers, Social Services, Schools, and as Case Managers. They realized there was a striking common denominator while working with the youth, an inability to function at grade level for reading and literacy. Both became increasingly frustrated at witnessing the high illiteracy rate throughout the years.
Akeiff and Brent being very close and familiar with each other from attending Temple University and teammates playing football, began discussing at what stage of development would make the greatest impact to combat illiteracy. Akeiff and Brent came to the conclusion and after researching the best possible stage of intervention it was concluded that from birth to PreK/Kindergarten (0 to 5) years old was the most potent time to make the biggest impact in developing literacy. They titled their movement FathersRead365.
FathersRead365 became an official program partner under the auspices of Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) - a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that has over 350 employees and 160,000 individuals and their families served every year.
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.
FR365 Documentary "Trailer":
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
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).
To date, FathersRead365 has distributed over 100,000 books to youth so they can start their own personal home library. Support the FathersRead365 Book Bus and their goal to provide youth & families access to literacy resources in underserved communities.