By Lt. Everardo Silva, Administrative Assistant, PIO

The Second Annual Place4Grace’s Father2Child Literacy Project, a program that helps inmates encourage their children to read, was recently held at Calipatria State Prison (CSP).

The Place4Grace’s Father2Child Literacy Project, which is modeled after the national program created by Hope House-District of Columbia, provides children’s books for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmates to read into an audio or videotape recorder.

When the recording is completed, the book and the taped story are mailed home to the inmate’s child.

This project not only promotes literacy in both child and father, but it provides comfort to children who have been left behind during their parent’s incarceration.

“This is an excellent program because it teaches the inmates self esteem and helps to bridge the relationship between an incarcerated father and his children,” said CSP Warden (A) Frank X. Chavez.

It is The Place4Grace’s goal to record more than 1,000 books, this year alone, for fathers to share with their children. For many inmate fathers, it is the first story they have ever read to their child.

In surveys of children’s caregivers who receive these books, 86 percent report that the children read more as a result of getting books from their fathers.

At the closing of the reading of his book to his child, one maximum security Inmate David Salmeron told his son, “Keep reading lots, Mijo, so you can do good in school and never come here.”

reading program women

Karen Ann McDaniel, left, and Carol Fennelly put together the Father2Child Program at CSP.

inmate reading

Karen Ann McDaniel helps an inmate in the CSP program that allows inmates to encourage their children to read via a recording.