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.
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.