Drop Everything and Read Day and Beverly Cleary’s Birthday – April 12
You might already know the D.E.A.R. means Drop Everything and Read. But did you know that Beverly Cleary’s birthday is April 12 and a great way to celebrate her birthday is to D.E.A.R. on this day? Families are encouraged to spend 30 minutes reading on her birthday.
Cleary first wrote about D.E.A.R. in her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8. She wanted to give the same experience to Ramona that students were having all across the country. D.E.A.R. is actually a month-long celebration of reading designed to remind everyone of the importance of reading but especially on April 2.
Beverly Cleary lived in a small town growing up and it did not have a library. So, her mother arranged to have books sent to the town and acted as a librarian in a room over a bank. When they moved to a bigger city, she was a struggling reader and was in the low reading group at first. She became a better reader and spent much of her childhood with books all around her. The school librarian suggested that she write stories for boys and girls when she grew up. She decided that she would write the books she longed to read. Her characters are based on funny stories about her neighborhood and the children she knew.
Read a favorite book by Beverly Cleary on her birthday. The purpose of D.E.A.R. is to engage children in reading and to get them to read on a regular basis. The following Beverly Cleary books are available in accessible formats from AIM-VA for those who qualify:
- Runaway Ralph
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle
- Ramona the Brave
- Ramona the Pest
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8
- Dear Mr. Henshaw
To accompany books written by Beverly Cleary or any others, teachers can send in their own worksheets and tests as Curriculum-Based Materials to be converted to accessible formats or even use online materials to support their student’s reading such as activities found on http://www.readingrockets.org/calendar/dear using web-based annotation or text-to-speech supports.