National D.E.A.R. Day

17 Mar

National D.E.A.R. Day is on April 12th, the birthday of author Beverly Cleary.  D.E.A.R stands for Drop Everything and Read.  The day is a celebration of reading to encourage families to include reading every day in the home and to make reading more of a priority.

There are many community events held on this day that one can participate in, but simply reading in the home for at least 30 minutes is another way to participate.  The National Education Association, Parent Teacher Association, the Association for Library Service to Children, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Reading Rockets, and several other organizations lead this celebration.

I support and admire this type of reading encouragement.  I know that when I was in elementary school, my favorite days were those when we read all together in class or when we participated in Accelerated Reading events.  These type of celebrations highlight the importance of reading in a fun, free way.   It seems like kids don’t like to read when they are assigned something that they have to read.  This day just requires that they read something, anything.

Beverly Cleary received thousands of letters from kids that had D.E.A.R at school and it inspired her to make Ramona in Ramona Quimby participate.  She saw the enthusiasm toward reading and the interest in reading that the children exuded and had to put it out there for the world to see.  This enthusiasm is what we want for the children in schools now.  Reading is a skill that everyone needs and starting early (with enthusiasm) is the best way to go.


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