Getting creative and being goofy together: how sharing books and stories helped Louie strengthen his bond with his son

Louie, 26, has a four-year-old son and a newborn daughter. He’s been coming to Cornwall’s Wild Young Parents Project for four years – an organisation that supports young parents to create a positive start to family life.

Wild encourages parents to read to their children and uses books and resources from BookTrust to inspire families – including at its weekly group for dads, which meets at  allotments in Camborne and Truro.

“I was always quite bad at reading,” Louie says. “I always knew how to read, but I’d never really got that interested. I’ve always been a creative person, but since school I’ve sort of delved away from books.

“Now, we try to read through a book together every night, or at least a couple of pages. You look at your child and see their mind ticking when you’re reading these stories – they’re being creative and imagining what’s happening.

Over time, Louie has gained the confidence to lead other dads in reading activities around the allotment, inspiring them to read books and share stories with their families.

“I never thought I’d be doing anything like this,” he says. “I think it’s nice for my son to see me step up. I’ve never really done much public speaking or reading aloud. Doing it around kids is something I really enjoy. It gives me a chance to be childish myself, and I can’t get in trouble for it. I can be as goofy as I want.

Louie adds: “Motivation is the hardest thing. I say just give it a try – get out there and read to your kids. Try to read one small book. If you find that easy, just try a slightly bigger book.

“You just see the positive outcome once you actually start doing it. Your connection to your child is going to be so different.”

BookTrust collaborates with local partners like Wild Young Parents Project in communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to share books and resources that encourage families on their reading journeys.

To read more about Louie’s experiences working with Wild and reading with his children, visit BookTrust.

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