National DEAR Day (Drop Everything and Read)Amber Brandt
Have you ever heard of DEAR day? It stands for Drop Everything and Read – a special reading celebration designed to remind families to make daily reading time together a priority. On this day each year, families are encouraged to take at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together.
This annual nationwide campaign happens April 12, honoring the birthday of much-loved author Beverly Cleary who recently passed away at 104 years old! Cleary included references to DEAR Day in her famous book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. But the original history of Beverly’s introduction to DEAR day is a little unclear, as two stories are circulating the web:
- One account says her own children observed DEAR at school. This theory states Beverly’s own children took part in DEAR when they were young and she loved the idea so much, she wrote the activity into her book.
- The other claims it was fans of her books who told Cleary about DEAR Day and she liked the concept well enough to use it as a plot device for Ramona and her classmates.
Either way, it’s clear to see Cleary thought it was a great idea and something to celebrate! If you’d like to dive into the legacy of Beverly Cleary and DEAR Day, here are some fun links to explore at home:
- An animated interview where Beverly Cleary answers a variety of questions from children
- Reading tips for parents of children from birth to third grade
- Themed book lists for children 0-12 years old
- How to help your child make the most of reading aloud
- How “family message journals” can help your child learn to write
- Purchase a special Ramona Quimby journal just for kids
- Enjoy this handful of DEAR resources available to download now
However you decide to mark the day, we hope you share a book you love with your kids!