I count myself lucky to have learned reading and writing in childhood, without difficulty. There are, however, may in our society who struggle to grasp literacy and need our help to develop that lifelong enjoyment and enthusiasm for literature.
One of my children struggles with a learning disability and despite an immersion in stories from an early age, is still needing plenty of learning support at age 7.
There may however, be other children who come from a family where reading is not so ingrained and encouraged on a daily basis. It is for these, and indeed as a great exercise for us all, that I am writing today to endorse DROP EVERYTHING AND READ DAY (D.E.A.R.).
When is D.E.A.R. celebrated?
D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April . . . offering classrooms and communities additional time to celebrate.
There is plenty of information available about D.E.A.R. Day on the internet and you are encouraged to contact your library for information on events in your area. The event started America and is now a global phenomenon.
Locally, I will be celebrating Drop Everything And Read Day with some new House of Night novels from my library.
Publically, I am part of a group of fantasy authors, known as the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network, who have been championing the great D.E.A.R. initiative for the past month. You can follow on Facebook or Twitter, using hashtags such as #DEAR and #literacy #FSFNet to follow the events.
What will you be reading on D.E.A.R. Day?