The Orientation meeting for the FRED Program will be the only time you will have to explain the program process to the participants, so it is important to have an effective orientation meeting. Below I have explained each of the sections. Please feel free to add your own creativity to the process!

Registration

              As the participants’ families arrive, ask them to complete the family Registration Form. This information will be necessary for you to keep in contact with the participants. Also, ask them to complete the Entrance Questionnaire. It may make the participants nervous if you call it a pre-test, so just call it a questionnaire. This questionnaire will serve as a baseline for your program.

Welcome/Introductions

              Since the goal is to keep the orientation less than 90 minutes long, I suggest you do a short welcome and allow everyone to introduce themselves. You could possibly let the kids introduce the parents.

Overview/Objectives

              The Overview/Objectives of the program will create an interest for the parents, but if you spend too much time on it, you might lose the attention of the kids. I would suggest you cover the overview and objectives listed in the family guide under Reading to Children Helps Them Succeed.

Interactive Activity

              We all know you cannot expect a young person to sit for long periods of time, so during the orientation we suggest you do an interactive family activity. You may choose whatever you like, but the concept to remember is reading together, so make sure to give a printed set of directions to the family. Here are two activities our agents who participated in the pilot project did (depending upon the time of the year). Ice Cream Cone Christmas Tree and Paper Lantern.

FRED

              Now, we turn to the program itself. You will need to go over the process of participating and completing the FRED Program.

              Participating fathers (or father-figures) will read to their child(ren) for at least five days per week for four weeks. The goal of the first two weeks is to read together at least 15 minutes per day. The goal of the next two weeks is to read together for at least 30 minutes per day. A family who completes the program will have read together 150 minutes the first two weeks and 300 minutes the second two weeks for a total of 450 minutes (7.5 hours). The participating families will need to complete the Daily Reading Log to document their reading time together. Families may go above the minimum time!

Celebration

              In order to recognize the time families have spent together, I suggest you host a FRED Celebration Night at the end of your program. Counties have handled this in different ways, but I have added a suggested FRED Celebration Program. Please feel free to do this as you are able! Remember to mention families completing the program will be asked to complete an Exit Questionnaire, but you will give that to them at the Celebration.

Evaluation

              No Extension program can go without some sort of formative evaluation! I will leave this up to you. I have added a sample one for you to use at the end of the orientation session. Orientation Evaluation.