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Drop Everything and Read, DEAR

DEAR is a word used for all kinds of things; we address someone we are fond of with the term, we use it as a salutation for a letter or e-mail, and now it’s the name of a day that celebrates reading. What could be better?!

D.E.A.R. Day (or Drop Everything and Read Day) is celebrated on April 12, 2008. It is a national reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority. How many of us remember a parent reading to us as young people, how much it meant to us to sit next to Dad or Mom and hear the wonderful things that came out of books? Many of us remember those books to this day and have even read them to our children, nieces and nephews, and kids at the local library or shelter. They provided us not only with wonderful memories but also with a love of reading.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs has joined the National Education Association, the Parent Teacher Association, the American Library Association, Reading Rockets, the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, First Book, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Ramona Quimby to lead this wonderful celebration of reading. 

Many are familiar with beloved author Beverly Cleary who created Ramona Quimby. Last year, Ramona was charged with spreading the word about National DEAR Day. This year that job goes to the actress Emma Roberts, star of Nickelodeon’s "Unfabulous" and the recent Nancy Drew movie.

Many wonder why National DEAR Day is celebrated on Beverly Cleary’s birthday. The day started with letters from thousands of children who had participated in DEAR Day at school. Their interest inspired Ms. Cleary to provide the same experience to Ramona Quimby who, in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, gets to enjoy DEAR Day with her classmates.

Many organizations are involved in DEAR Day from schools, to libraries to bookstores. GFWC members are encouraged to investigate their communities and see if any celebrations are taking place and if not, initiate one. If there is an established celebration, why not join in the fun.  And, if you are unable to attend an event, you can participate in your home or club by reading for 30 minutes.

»Download resources and activity ideas to help you Drop Everything and Read!


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