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Drop Everything and Read Day

Drop Everything and Read Day, or D.E.A.R. Day, encourages families to set a time aside to "drop everything and read" at home today for at least 30 minutes, and reminds and encourages families to read together on a daily basis. Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) is similar to sustained silent reading (S.S.T.), and Drop Everything and Read Day brings it into the home with parental involvement and aims to get people to make reading a regular part of their life, whether by reading alone or with others. Not only does reading take place in homes today, but events are held at libraries, schools, and bookstores. Many organizations have been partnered or involved with the day over the years, including the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) (a division of the American Library Association), First Book, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, HarperCollins Children's Books, the National Education Association (NEA), the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), The Newspaper Association of America Foundation, Read Kiddo Read, Reading Rockets, and Walden Media.

Drop Everything and Read Day began being celebrated at least by 1981. Originally it was on no set date but was moved to the anniversary of Beverly Cleary's birth, April 12, 2006. Cleary's most popular book character, Ramona Quimby, is the official spokesperson of the day, and the concept for the day is referenced in chapter two of Ramona Quimby, Age 8, which was released in 1981. Drop Everything and Read—the activity, not the day—predates the book, however. Beverly Cleary received letters from children who had taken part in Drop Everything and Read activities, which inspired her to write Ramona having D.E.A.R. time with her class in the book.

How to Observe Drop Everything and Read Day

Set time aside today to drop everything and read! If you have children, spend 30 minutes reading with them at home. If you don't have children, read on your own or with siblings or friends. Check to see if Drop Everything and Read Day events are taking place today at libraries, schools, and bookstores near you, today or during the month of April. Resources and activities for the day can be found online. The world is full of books that could be read today, but reading Beverly Cleary's books, especially Ramona Quimby, Age 8, might be most appropriate.

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