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Derbyshire tales

DERBYSHIRE dads have been targeted by two "It's A Man Thing" projects as part of a drive to improve literacy across the population, writes Amanda Kelly.

More than 20 dads and grandads with children attended sessions at a library on the Gamesley estate, an area of high unemployment in Glossop. A similar project (see below) at the Pottery primary, in Belper, attracted nine adults.

Carol Taylor, director of Derbyshire's literacy projects, believes it benefitted everyone who took part. "The kids loved having their dads around and many of the adults said it brought them a lot closer to their children," she said.

"It also made them realise how much fun it can be to spend time with their kids. Some of the fathers enjoyed it so muc they have signed up to become reader volunteers and go into schools to help with one-to-one reading.

"There is often a shortage of male role models in children's lives today and this is a way of tackling the problem at very little expense."

Gary Muscat, a 33-year-old hygiene worker who attended the course at Glossop, believes the computer sessions have made him more able to help his five children with their school studies.

He said: "Kids are so clued up about computers these days that I think it is important that parents know something about them too. I really enjoyed the lessons and meeting the other dads.

"All in all, I think the project is a great way of involving dads in the development of their kids."

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