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  • Writer's pictureJordan Raglow

Happy National D.E.A.R. Day!

Tomorrow is National D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read). Day! A day dedicated to spending time reading together as a class or a family. It's celebrated every year on April 12th, in honor of the birthday of Beverly Cleary, a beloved children's author.

As a student, I LOVED D.E.A.R. We used to do it everyday. Granted, I know I was a little unique in this love.

As a teacher, I saw the diverse feelings regarding D.E.A.R., or reading of any kind really. I had students who couldn't be pulled out of books by the fire alarm. And I had those who would rather sit and stare at a wall than read to themselves.

However, I made it my mission each year to get each student to enjoy reading. Was I successful? Absolutely not. But, anytime I was able to get one or two I was thrilled.

As a reader myself, I knew the joys that could come of getting lost in a new world with captivating characters. But, as an educator, I knew the benefits of reading on a student's everyday life.

Reading can help students:

Develop better language skills and vocabulary. Exposing students to new words and phrasing can expand their ability to understand and use language.

↪ Bottom line? It makes them better readers, writers, and speakers.

Improve social and emotional intelligence. Reading opens new worlds, cultures, and life experiences that students may not get otherwise.

↪ Students who read frequently are more empathetic and emotionally intelligent.

Create a bonding experience.

Reading with your child creates a shared

enjoyable experience that can provide an opportunity to connect without distractions. Even just a few minutes a day can make a world's of difference.

↪ Cozying up together as the book is being read provides even more benefit as the physical touch makes neurons more receptive to language development.

Plus, I have yet to meet a kiddo who didn't enjoy being read to!

↪ Some of the most reluctant independent readers were the ones begging me for "one more chapter" in our class read aloud.

So, take a few minutes and D.E.A.R. today!


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