North Carolina Department of Correction

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Fatheread teaches inmate fathers to read to their children - Page 4

Inmate Christopher Brinson and sons

Inmate Bobby Burk and sons

After giving them some time together, Meningall called them into a circle and passed out a book entitled Love You Forever. Looking at his child, one of the inmates read, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

As the reading ended, the fathers gave their children wrapped presents. Eagerly, the youngsters tore off the wrapping to find paper mache animals, characters from children’s books. Then they painted with watercolors, ate a snack and talked. The fathers cleaned up spills and one even changed a diaper. The prison program staff who helped organize the class and the children’s visit kept a watchful eye on the children and prisoners. By 12, family members had picked up the children and the inmate fathers had begun cleaning up the room.

"The idea of Fatheread is to let the child know that his father still loves him and is concerned about him," said Meningall. "We start by talking about children’s books in class, but the men learn how to become interested in that child and show them love."

Inmate Jerry Davis and son

Inmate El Garner and daughter

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