Read to Your Child/Grandchild Program with Incarcerated Fathers

As parental incarceration rises in the U.S., some correctional facilities and outside organizations offer family literacy programs for parents in prison, though research on these programs is scarce. To address this gap in the literature, researchers from the Goodling Institute studied one family literacy program (Read to Your Child/Grandchild or RYCG) offered in Pennsylvania at a state correctional institute.  Researchers interviewed 11 fathers in a rural Pennsylvania prison to understand how they were involved in their children’s literacy, learning, and education before and during incarceration and through the RYCG program. Before RYCG, most fathers had taken steps such as reading to children, teaching reading and math, attending parent-teacher conferences, helping with homework, and singing and rhyming—and then sought to continue supporting their children’s learning from within prison. Fathers used RYCG materials (video-recorded book reading, children’s book, scrapbook) to emphasize the importance of education, literacies, and numeracy. They also created personalized scrapbooks that cultivated their children’s literate abilities and cognitive, academic, and socio-emotional development. Published articles on this research examine various facets and functionalities of the program, including a pathway for involvement in children's literacy, the affordances offered by the video recordings made in the program, and (forthcoming) the capacity for incarcerated fathers to act as moral instructors for their children's ethical development.

Stickel, T., Prins, E., Kaiper-Marquez, A. (February, 2021). 'The video is an upgrade from them all': how incarcerated fathers view the affordances of video in a family literacy programme.  Learning, Media and Technology.

Stickel, T., Kaiper-Marquez, A., Prins, E. (2020). Creative fatherhood behind bars: The Read to Your Child program.  Revista Temas Em Educação, 29(2).     

Prins, E., Stickel, T., Kaiper-Marquez, A. (2019). Incarcerated Fathers’ Experiences in the Read to Your Child/Grandchild Program: Supporting Children’s Literacy, Learning, and Education, Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, 6(2).

Prins, E., Stickel, T., Kaiper-Marquez, A. (2019).  Incarcerated fathers' experiences in the Read to Your Child/Grandchild program: Supporting children's literacy, learning, and education. Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy Research Brief #10.