Picture It, Dads!
Background Information

Project Summary: While the majority of parent involvement studies have focused on mothersí involvement, particularly with young children, research thus far, although limited in scope, on the involvement, education and support programs for fathers has shown that children do better academically when fathers are involved in literacy-related activities. However, fathersí perceptions of their role and responsibility in children's literacy development, particularly in early childhood, impact on the extent to which fathers take up that role.


Through a series of six interactive, hands-on workshops for two cohorts of fathers (defined as biological fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, and male partners) and their pre-school children, Picture It, Dads! was aimed at positively effecting the attitudes and literacy practices of dads with pre-school children in rural Nova Scotia.


The Workshops: Each workshop provided dads with ideas and activities for supporting early literacy development, a support network of other dads, and supervised practice of literacy tasks with their children. Take-home bags were given to each participant at each workshop. Each bag contained

  • the picture book used at the workshop,
  • a blank book,
  • a booklet of activities related to the book or theme, and
  • a bibliography of related books available at the local public library.


Each workshop focused on specific goals for the dads and goals for the children. Workshops ran for 2 hours with the time broken up to include the reading of a children's book, talk time with the dads alone and time for the dads and their children to make a book together. Professionals were recruited from the local community to work with and supervise the children while the local resource persons worked with the dads.


Dads also evaluated the sessions and made recommendations for subsequent sessions.  They also had opportunities to use various computer technologies, i.e. word processing and digital photography, for making books with their children.


Workshops were held Saturday mornings from 10:00-12:00.   There was no cost for these workshops.


For more information contact:

Dr. Jane Baskwill

Email: janebaskwill@gmail.com