New reading initiative encourages fathers to read to their kids

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A group of fathers in Franklin County is launching a new initiative to change a disturbing statistic.

More than 70 percent of African American kids are not considered “kindergarten ready,” according to the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services. The National Center for Urban Solutions, in partnership with the National African American Male Wellness Initiative, are working to help fight that.  

The National Center for Urban Solutions started the program “Calling All Dads,” encouraging dads to read with their kids. Tihon Johnson has been reading to his children well before the initiative began.

“I know the guys behind the initiative and that’s one of my strong points and proud points of my life is being a father, a husband and a father,” Johnson said. “It’s never too late. No matter how old your child is or the circumstances. If you as a father, a man put your best foot forward to try to establish a relationship with your child, there can always be good that comes from that.” 

Thomas Gunn from the National Center for Urban Solutions said the non-profit organization got a grant from the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services to launch the program.  

“What we want to do is make sure that they are ready, make sure they understand their letters, make sure they can spell their names are more importantly we want to get into these communities and teach these communities how to do that,” said Gunn.  

Gunn says fathers can even read to their kids via social media and he hopes this initiative inspires more parents to take part in their child’s learning. 

For more information about the pledge https://ncusolutions.com/ 

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