Every week ‘Learning Through Play’ pre-K center in the South Bronx invites dads to read to their classes. Assistant Principal Anthony Tucker is trying to combat stereotypes that being involved at school is primarily the responsibility of moms, while also building his students’ love for books.

Read the full story at ChalkBeat.

His view is, “Kids don’t normally do what you tell them to do, but they do what they see. So if they see them reading, chances are they’re going to want to emulate that action.” By having 3 and 4 year olds normalize both fathers in the classroom and regular reading, the hope is that over time both will be integrated.

On one such Tuesday, Alphonzo Macon took his seat in front of the classroom of squirming 4-year-olds, and introduced himself as, “Parker’s dad.” Then flipped open, “We are in a Book!” and began to read shouting out nonsense words and funny phrases while the preschoolers at his feet giggled. “Whenever they’ve got something, if I’m available to do it, I always do it. Sometimes I even make time, leave work,” Macon said. “I understand the stereotype, but I’m trying not to have that in my house.” 

Tucker is going a step further, by giving out books to students as well. Just this spring, he hung up plastic folders on the gates of public housing playgrounds, stuffed with books that were being given away, hoping to encourage children to read outside.

“What message are we sending to our children? That we don’t read, besides in school?” he asked. “You won’t fall in love with something if you don’t have access to it.”

Read the full story at ChalkBeat.

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