Fathers at Yellowknife’s North Slave Correctional Complex are being supported by the NWT Literacy Council to connect with their kids through reading.
The latest Reading Together program invited six fathers to choose books for their children and record a video of themselves reading a story or delivering a bedtime message.
The video, professionally recorded and edited, is sent to children alongside a blanket and stuffed animal chosen by their father. Kits provided to children also include pajamas, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a USB and DVD of their father’s video, mailed out in time for Christmas.
Katie Johnson, the NWT Literacy Council’s Family and Community Literacy Coordinator and Program Manager, explained that “An important part of this project is supporting fathers in their role as parents. While in a correctional centre, they don’t get to make day-to-day decisions for their children like helping them choose a toothbrush at the store, reading them their favourite book at bedtime, or choosing a stuffed animal that their child will love.”
Reading Together has been delivered twice at the North Slave Correctional Complex and will continue in March 2022. Recently, six fathers with a total of 12 children were involved, including three fathers who were returning to the program.