Dads Read

"Be their reading legend. Reading just
10 minutes each day makes a difference"


Research confirms reading to children just 10 minutes each day strengthens literacy, models positive behaviour, and builds children's self esteem about reading (especially for boys). Dads Read encourages fathers to invest in your child's future by choosing to read to them each day.


What Phil Cummings read Boom Bah, this is a great example how to share great stories with your children and shows that it can be more than just reading a book!






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Click here Dads Read Event Photos_Dec2013 to view photos of events held







Dads Read is an early childhood literacy initiative, developed by State Library of Queensland in 2010 and launched statewide in 2012 as part of the National Year of Reading, to promote family literacy.

The program continues to expand and Public Library Services is pleased to partner with Channel 7 Adelaide and State Library of Queensland to bring you Dads Read.

The Dads Read message is based on the simple but true premise that reading 10 minutes a day to your children is not only quick but also essential.

Dads Read recognises that fathers reading to their children strengthens literacy, models positive reading behaviour and builds children's self-esteem around reading (especially for boys) which is a fundamental life skill.



  • raise awareness of the important role fathers play in their child's development and the importance of reading to children from their early years
  • encourage fathers in South Australia to read to their children and promote the value of reading
  • provide fathers with the tools to give them the confidence to read with their children
  • promote reading as a family
  • to promote early literacy and family literacy
  • to connect children, young people and families with writers and other industry professionals in a practical environment to achieve these outcomes
  • to link fathers and families to literacy information through public library resources

The development of the Dads Read program follows recent research that highlights the importance of dads reading to their children during their early developmental years. As little as 10 minutes a day improves children's literacy levels, stimulates creative and critical thinking.

'Investment in early childhood is the most powerful investment a country can make'.
World Heath Organisation 2007



  • prepares children for learning to read
  • introduces children to written language
  • opens up new worlds for children's imagination and understanding
  • develops reading mileage - the more time spent reading the more reading improves
  • improves children's language and listening skills
  • gives children the opportunity to talk to you about ideas presented to them and about how they see their world
  • builds social skills and family bonds
  • stimulates creative and critical thinking

Explore the Dads Read pages and find a range of literacy tips, reading lists and resources to support family reading time.


Mark Soderstrom     "It's never too early to start reading"  

Mark Soderstrom, Channel 7’s well known weekend sport presenter and reporter, past SANFL footballer and current SA Fire Fighter has rediscovered the joy of reading since his baby son was born.

Also a former teacher, Mark knows the benefits regular reading provides in preparing children for their school years.  Mark loves the quality time reading with Felix each day, knowing he’s giving him the best start he can.

More information on Mark ...... 

Mark Soderstrom joined Channel Seven Adelaide in 2004 as a part time sports presenter and reporter for Seven News.  

In March 2012 Mark joined the team full time in the dual role of full time Weekend Sport Presenter and Reporter.

Mark joined Seven News in May 2004 after a 121 game career in the SANFL with North Adelaide, Glenelg and Sturt. The highlight of 10 years in the SANFL was playing in the 1998 Grand Final, unfortunately for Mark, Port Adelaide narrowly defeated Sturt.

Mark was part of the ABC’s SANFL commentary team for nine years and has worked long term for the SA Metropolitan Fire Service.

A former physical education and psychology teacher, Mark also spent time at Surf Life Saving South Australia. 

Mark has a passion for sport and is a popular member of the Seven News team.              


Phil Cummings     "10 minutes a day and you'll love to read"


Phil Cummings is the author of over 60 children’s books. Phil has been the ambassador to the Premier’s Reading Challenge in SA for over 10 years and has received a number of honours and awards in Australia and overseas for his work. His latest book Night Watch was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards in 2013.

Phil has an important message to all dads out there “spend just ten minutes a day reading and sharing stories with your children. This simple tip will give them a life-long love of reading. It’s also important to model reading behaviour and show your children how important reading has been in your life.”

More information on Phil ...... 

In 2012 The SA Festival of Music commissioned John Schumann of Redgum fame to write a suite of songs based on Danny Allen was here. This saw 300 primary school choirs performing the songs in over twenty concerts at the Adelaide Festival Theatre and regional theatres. 

Phil’s new books include the bestselling ANZAC Biscuits illustrated by Owen Swan and published by Scholastic in March 2013.

His latest book, Night Watch, illustrated by Janine Dawson, was published by Working Title Press in April, 2013 and was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2013.  

Phil’s website is:              

Hon Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia     "Take time to read every day"

 Ambassador Premier Jay Weatherill 

Jay was born and educated in Adelaide’s western suburbs, completing his secondary education at Henley High School.

He is a lawyer with an economics degree, establishing his own law firm in 1995 and practicing until he was elected for Cheltenham in 2002.

Jay and his wife have two daughters Lucinda and Alice.

Jay is a strong advocate of reading! “Reading to my two daughters is something I’ve cherished doing since they were born.  The Dads Read program, run by Public Library Services highlights the importance of reading to children before they start school.

Just ten minutes a day makes a difference and reading aloud gives dads that special time to laugh, explore and be silly with their children. Talking and posing questions through reading also encourages lifelong learning and a love of books.

We are asking dads to invest in their children’s future by taking time to read together every day”.



Channel 7 Adelaide

The Little Big Book Club

The Premier's Reading Challenge

The State Library of South Australia

Extract from The Little Big Book Club website:

What books do Dads love to read to their babies? Recent research from our UniSA Family Surveys show that 35% of Dads are not reading with their newborn or young babies... they wait until they are older before beginning to share stories with their child. We want to encourage all Dads to read with their babies right from the start! Even if it’s a newspaper, magazine or just talking about their day, it all helps to start a love of reading and talking, not to mention building a strong bond through one-on-one time with their little one. A Dad we know is currently reading “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith and Catz Cowley with his 6 month old and although the book is meant for older children they are both having a great time being silly and having lots of fun together. We also found this beautiful video of a Dad reading with his young baby the wonderful “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jnr. You can see at a very young age this baby adores his Dad, is enthralled by the story and already has an incredible understanding of the process of reading! ( Please share with us the books your partner loves to read with your baby or young child



For more information visit

  • So you’re a dad – find our more about Dads Read and the important role you play in your child’s literacy
  • Reading to your child - 10 minutes a day! Discover reading aloud, reading tips and reading hints
  • Must Reads - a selection of "must read" books loved by children, a great starting point for reading to your child
  • Run a Dads Read event - host your own event and resources
  • Reading Legends - find out who's on board and supporting Dads Read
  • What’s happening in other States?


Dads Read developed by State Library of Queensland

 Dads Read device only_highres




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