D.E.A.R. Day has been around since the early 1980’s as a means to encourage kids to read for fun, but do you know what started it all? A certain book published in 1981 called, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly McCleary, first mentioned a D.E.A.R. day in the novel. Schools and families have been adopting the day as their own ever since. D.E.A.R. Day falls on April 12, and it is quickly approaching.
D.E.A.R. Day. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it? A day where everyone stops to read and silence fills the air. A day where you hear pages turning, and minds creaking. A day where kids search and search for the perfect book to read.
Okay, maybe reading doesn’t sound blissful to everyone, but I LOVE to read as does most of my family. Yet that joy is not something everyone can boast about. Take a look at some of these statistics*.
- 25% of Americans grow up WITHOUT learning how to read!
- Three-fourths of Americans on food stamps perform on the lowest rungs of literacy
- 9 out of 10 of high school dropouts are on welfare.
Startling, yes? So what can we do about this challenge besides teach? Encourage a love of reading in our own children. And how do you do that? By reading aloud to them. That’s it! Read aloud to them EVERY day and NOT JUST D.E.A.R. day.
Some of Our Favorite Read Alouds
While we could recommend LOTS of read alouds as our favorites, here are a few treasures we have been reading THIS year. If you are not sure where to start, these are great selections for all ages, boys and girls!
What about you? Will you and your family participate in D.E.A.R. Day? If so, how will you make it special? Or, are you the type of family that makes every day a D.E.A.R. day?
*Note: Statistics taken from DoSomething.Org.