D.E.A.R – Drop Everything And Read – This Post Is Dedicated To My Son

Jeffrey Vikings Day

Our daughter just went off to college a couple of months ago and my husband and I have been very fortunate to spend more quality time with our son.

Today, my son and I just had D.E.A.R. – Drop Everything And Read time together. I decided that I would drop everything and spend 30 minutes with him. He is thirteen and his love for reading has been replaced with his new phone and Xbox.

Last year, he would get in “trouble” at school for reading so much. This would be the hot topic of conferences. Some teachers would say “I love to see him reading, but he has to pay attention during lecture time.” He brought a book with him everywhere and would read before bed.

This year, it has been a struggle to get him to read more than what is required by his teachers. So to help him we visit the library together every 3 weeks and I will now stop what I am doing and read too. We both read on our phones and computers, but this is the time where we will put the electronics down and pick up a hand-held book.  Children learn by example and this is one example I will continue to show him on a daily basis.

Why, because I love my son. And Tavis Smiley reports on average, African-American twelfth-grade students read at the same level as white eighth-grade students. He wrote a book to address this “Too Important To Fail.”

Every child is too important to fail! It breaks my heart because race doesn’t determine how smart you are. There are a lot of factors involved, but one thing is for sure; practice will help. So join in with me and “Drop Everything And Read” for at least 30 minutes a day with your child.

To purchase Tavis Smiley’s book, “Too Important To Fail”  which includes an extensive resource guide that lists 125 organizations who have a stake in solving the challenges in the black community click here.too important to fail

The origin of D.E.A.R. 
Author Beverly Cleary’s  first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). Since then D.E.A.R. activities have been implemented in schools and youth programs. The month of April is dedicated to D.E.A.R. but it can and should be celebrated all year-long.





  1. It’s so sad t hat African-Americans are comonly disadvantages wher eit come sto reading. You do a great job of encuraging your son to read. I hated reading as a child, b ut my parents reading wiht me encouraged me to read too.

  2. Apologiies for all the typeos. Sure didn’t read my comment well enough. I meant to say you do a great job of encouraging Jeffrey to read.

  3. What a beautiful thing, to fold what is good for your son into what is good for you, creating buy in and motivation for yourself as well. Bravo! I think the more common response of parents trying to get their teens to read would have been yelling or threatening, and finally resigning to, “well, he’s just not a reader, ” or “boys will be boys!” I applaud your refusal to give in to the bent of the culture by being creative and sticking to your vision for your son. Fabulous!

  4. I read all of Beverly Cleary’s works in second grade, didn’t remember the D.E.A.R. reference, probably because you could not find me without a book in hand! Even took one with me when I climbed up in a tree. Just loved to read too much for my own good.

  5. You are so right and for the first few weeks of school. I was almost there, accepting it, but that is just not my nature. Especially, when I see his potential. Thanks for reading! Come by anytime!

  6. Yes Caitlin, it is a win-win for him and I. We both get our reading in. You do a better job than me though reading blog posts. Do you have a strategy?
    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. So grateful!

  7. It’s such an important age to invest time in. He is not a child and not grown up, so this time is perfect also to talk about important things during the reading or at the book shelves

  8. That is a really great idea. My son is too young to be into electronic gadgets (well, too young for me to let him,) but I still love this idea and will be implementing it.

  9. This is a really good tactic. My kids all love to read and be read to–they are still little. I normally read chapter books to them and try to get into character and if I do not read to them they get so mad. Reading is very important and all kids should put down and electronics and read daily….including their parents.

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