DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) is an old-school reading engagement strategy inspired by a classic children’s book, Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. DEAR still works because it is simple – it encourages everyone in the classroom or school – teachers, students, principals, custodians, lunchroom cooks – everyone in sight – to read a book of their choice at the same time. DEAR time is celebrated nationally on April 12th, Beverly Cleary’s birthday. Some schools celebrate with daily DEAR for the whole month of April, others use it during February for “I Love to Read” month, and some very smart teachers employ it weekly or daily in their classrooms. DEAR time creates community through the simple goal of reading for pleasure and sharing the common practice with others. Watch this video where a first-grade teacher adds in a family component to create more community connections through consistent shared reading time.
How does this strategy benefit the learner beyond reading and beyond the classroom?