Ever since Beverly Cleary first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide each year on April 12 in honor of the author’s birthday. What is D.E.A.R.? Those four letters stand for Drop Everything and Read and serve as a reminder to folks of all ages to make reading a priority. Cleary was inspired by letters from readers who shared their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, so she decided to give the same experiences to Ramona and her classmates.
Over the years, D.E.A.R. has grown in both popularity and scope, and today it’s a national month-long celebration of reading. This year, why not join the millions of families, schools, and communities who participate by pledging to “drop” what you’re doing and pick up a book to read instead? Skip the chores, errands, and paperwork and visit your local library, or just stay home, curl up on the couch, and read with your kids. For inspiration, check out these great titles comprised by children’s reading experts and these beloved books by Beverly Cleary.
Of course at BCLS, we encourage you to Drop Everything and Read every day, all year long. After all, reading is fundamental. Happy 101st birthday Beverly Cleary, and happy reading!