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Read to Me, Daddy

February 19, 2020

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly, DOC Communications)

Once incarcerated, parents are able to stay connected with their families through visits and phone calls but there are fewer ways for parents to stay connected in the learning development of their child. Programs like Read to Me, Daddy allow fathers to choose a fun, positive book for their child and then record them reading the book for their child.

Terry Dunivan has been involved with the program since 2015 and once a month he picks a book to read to his son, Connor. After a few practice reads, Terry is ready to record and his finished video is sent to Connor at home.

There are 40 to 50 other fathers like Terry who are able to record their readings and send them to their children. Connor’s mom, Sarah, is happy for the connection that the program gives Connor and Terry.

“It makes him feel like his dad is there, helping him. And I hope he’s able to do it when he gets older because then he will be helping him with his homework,” said Sarah.

Terry hopes more fathers will take part in the program. It’s been a great way for Connor and Terry to connect.

“If I can just give him that little amount of hope that, ‘hey, my dad is a good dad, and he’s in my life.’ . . . That makes me feel like I’ve succeeded in fathering my son even from being locked up,” said Dunivan.