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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

DuPage County Celebrates West Chicago Dads

In celebration of Father’s Day, the DuPage County Board honored 11 West Chicago families for their participation in the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program offered through the West Chicago Elementary School District.

The school district teamed with the West Chicago Public Library to enroll preschool students and their fathers in the four-week program which encourages language development and reading skills. Participating dads read to their child at least 15 minutes a day for the first two weeks, and at least 30 minutes a day for the last two weeks. The evidence-based program, developed by Texas Cooperative Extension Service from Texas A&M, has proven to strengthen the quality of time fathers spend with their children and improve the level of parent involvement in their child's education, as well as improve children's success rate in school.  At the end of the four weeks many fathers reported that the program led to improvements in their child's vocabulary and helped improve their relationships with their children.

“As we celebrate the importance of fathers in our community, we are happy to shine a spotlight on this program which gives local dads the tools they need to support their children’s academic success while nurturing those important family relationships. This is a true example of why community school efforts can make a significant difference in the lives of our children and their parents,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.

FRED is part of a larger, federally funded community schools program in West Chicago District 33 that aims to foster connections between home and school which promote student success.

“We are excited to see programs like this that bring our schools, library, non-profit partners, the County Health Department staff and citizens together. The success of Fathers Reading Everyday benefits everyone: the child, the parent and the community at-large. We are happy to have these families recognized for their enthusiastic participation," said West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda.

West Chicago Elementary School Superintendent Dr. Charles Johns said the program would continue in the 2016-2017 school year. Families interested in learning more about the community school’s program can call (630) 293-6000 or visit