April is Drop Everything and READ Month. Here’s what parents need to know to prepare!

April is Drop Everything and Read Month (DEAR). Here's what parents need to know!Did you know that April is D.E.A.R.? D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to make reading a priority activity.

D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide in honor of Beverly Cleary’s  since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in the popular book Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates!

Why is early reading proficiency so important?

The importance of achieving reading proficiency by the end of third grade is well established among education professionals. And, many states have even passed legislation designed to improve third grade reading, while providing specific, targeted interventions for struggling students.

This goal — reading proficiency by the end of third grade — is by no means arbitrary. If “graduating” third graders don’t develop the necessary reading skills, they quickly fall behind not only in reading, but in other subject areas. Plus, research indicates that students who do not achieve proficiency by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school on time.

State policies concerning third grade reading vary significantly across the nation. And, despite best intentions, only 35 percent of starting fourth graders across the country are proficient in reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Can reading scores be improved?

Unfortunately, reading scores have been notoriously difficult to improve. While math scores have improved substantially since the early 1990s, reading scores have remained flat or increased only by small margins.

One explanation is that children generally learn math at school. But, they learn most of their language skills at home – and much of that before they ever enter school!

In fact, new advances in research show early experiences — like reading aloud — have a decisive impact on the architecture of a baby’s brain. And, when reading to babies and toddlers, cells in the children’s growing brains respond. Some brain cells are ‘turned on,’ triggered by this particular experience, existing connections among brain cells are strengthened, and new brain cells are formed.

The Top 12 Ways that Early Intervention Can Make a Difference

Early identification is crucial when it comes to helping children who are having trouble learning to read. According to author Joseph K. Torgesen in his recent article Catch Them Before They Fall: Identification and Assessment to Prevent Reading Failure in Young Children, “One of the most compelling findings from recent reading research is that children who get off to a poor start in reading rarely catch up. As several studies have now documented, the poor first-grade reader almost invariably continues to be a poor reader.”

Parents play a crucial role in their children’s attitude toward reading. And, experts offer the following suggestions to help:

  1. Let your child see you read.
  2. Encourage your child to read on her own at home.
  3. Keep a variety of reading materials in the house.
  4. Encourage your child to practice reading aloud. Read together!
  5. Write short notes for your child to read.
  6. Encourage activities that require reading (cooking, directions, etc.).
  7. Establish a designated reading time (even if it’s only 15 minutes each day).
  8. Talking makes children think about their experiences more and helps them expand their vocabularies. Ask your child to give detailed descriptions of events and to tell complete stories.
  9. Give your child writing materials.
  10. Restrict screen time.
  11. Visit the library. It’s a free resource!
  12. Work in partnership with your child’s school and teacher before reading proficiency becomes an issue.

Need some inspiration? We’ve compiled a list of Beverly Cleary’s most popular works! These must-read books are the perfect way to celebrate Drop Everything and Read Month:

Ramona Quimby
Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Brave
Ramona and Her Father
Ramona and Her Mother
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
Ramona Forever
Ramona’s World

Henry Huggins
Henry Huggins
Henry and Ribsy
Henry and Beezus
Henry and the Clubhouse
Henry and the Paper Route
Ribsy

Ralph S. Mouse
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Runaway Ralph
Ralph S. Mouse

More Fun Friends
Ellen Tebbits
Emily’s Runaway Imagination
Mitch and Amy
Muggie Maggie
Socks
Otis Spofford
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Strider
Two Times the Fun

Young Love (for older readers) 
Fifteen
Jean and Johnny
The Luckiest Girl
Sister of the Bride

Picture Books
The Hullabaloo ABC
Petey’s Bedtime Story
Lucky Chuck
The Growing-Up Feet
Janet’s Thingamajigs
Two Dog Biscuits

Memoirs
A Girl from Yamhill
My Own Two Feet

When more help is needed: Reading Tutoring and Summer Reading Programs in Delaware

Sometimes, intervention by an educational or reading specialist is necessary for success. If your child is struggling with reading skills, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics in Wilmington, Delaware provides 1-on-1 instruction using proven strategies for reading and reading comprehension.

Our experienced instructors will work 1-on-1 with your student to read, comprehend, retain and apply reading material. These sessions will provide students with the knowledge and confidence to complete any required reading-related assignments, such as reports, projects and tests.

Back to Basics is available 7 days a week at your home, day camp, or in our Newark or Wilmington locations. To learn more about reading help in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, contact Back to Basics at 302-594-0754.

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics can also help your child learn to love reading this summer, with summer reading enrichment camps and programs for all ages:

Read to Succeed!  Maintenance & Enrichment (K-1st, 2nd – 3rd, 4th-5th)
In this 5 week small group reading skills program our experienced instructors will provide strategies to strengthen your child’s phonemic awareness and word attack skills. Students will work independently and within the small group to improve comprehension and fluency through a variety of text and online materials.

$299 with $20 materials fee for 15 hours of instruction
5 week program runs July 9 through August 10

  • Grades K-1   Tues/Thurs  9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Grades 2-3   Tues/Thurs  10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • Grades 4-5   Tues/Thurs  9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Read to Succeed! Maintenance & Enrichment (6th – 8th)
In this 5 week small group reading skills program our experienced instructors will provide strategies to strengthen your child’s knowledge of literary terms, comprehension, and fluency through a variety of text and online materials. Students will also delve into more specific reading and studying strategies for textbook and other non-fiction pieces of literature

$299 with $20 materials fee for 15 hours of instruction
5 week program runs July 9 through August 10

  • Grades 6 -7   Tues/Thurs  10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • Grades 6-7    Mon/Wed   12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Reading Reinforcement and Enrichment (9th – 12th)
Our experienced instructors will work 1-on-1 with your student to read, comprehend, retain and
apply summer reading material. These sessions will provide students with the knowledge and confidence to complete any required reading-related assignments, such as reports, projects and tests. Available at your home, day camp, or in our Newark or Wilmington locations.

About Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware

Back to Basics offers 1-on-1 tutoring in 60+ subjects, professional development, translating and interpreting in 21 languages, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior specialists, reading specialists, paras, ELL services, homebound services, RTI support, psycho-educational testing and test prep. Plus, Back to Basics Private School is Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 Private School for K-12. We also offer summer school and educational summer camps, original credit and credit recovery, along with unique enrichment options such as music, art and photography. And, Summer Planning starts NOW!  Learn about more educational summer camps, summer school, original credit and enrichment options in Delaware. 

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