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Citation: Baskwill, Jane. (2009). Getting Dads on Board: Fostering Literacy Partnerships for Successful Student Learning. Markham, Ontario: Pembroke.


Title: Getting Dads on Board: Fostering Literacy Partnerships for Successful Student Learning
ISBN:
ISBN-13:
Edition:
Year: 2009
Publisher: Pembroke
City: Markham, Ontario
Medium: Book
Author(s): Baskwill, Jane
Grades: Kindergarten to Fifth Grade
Categories: Communicating with Families about Writing
Annotation: Jane Baskwill begins this fascinating book by saying that, “in most schools, fathers remain an important yet relatively untapped family literacy resource” (p. 5). She illustrates her suggestions with stories about 11 dads and the literacy events they participated in with their students. She urges teachers to get to know the dads of their students, to discover what they enjoying doing with their kids, and to make them feel welcome in the classroom. If the fathers aren’t available, you may want to include other male caretakers or “big brother” volunteers. She has lots of practical suggestions about ways to involve dads and includes sample letters and templates for the activities she suggests, such as a blog specifically for dads. Chapter Four includes a “Dad and Me” journal template and suggestions for making a “Dads in the Kitchen” cookbook, ways to invite dads and their children to do research about an animal, to write about items they collect on a nature walk, or to make a video showing how to do something. You may want to explore her suggestions about how to adapt “Take-Home Activity Kits” and “Backpacks for Dads” to appeal to the fathers of your students. Jane also has information about workshops for dads, such as a bookmaking workshop, a games evening, or a “how-to” evening. Her suggestions are engaging and fun, such as her idea of sending the invitation to a workshop to the dad written in “invisible” ink (she provides the recipe and instructions). She suggests that the most successful workshops for dads include the following:
• Make them factual (dads like information and want to know “how to”)
• Keep them active (pace is important)
• Ensure there is a hands-on component
• Include discussion (it helps develop a sense of community and network of support)
If you’re a classroom teacher looking for ways to involve more dads in their children’s learning, this book provides a wealth of practical ideas. This book might also be helpful as part of a school-wide effort to increase participation by fathers and male caregivers in the community.