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Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) Challenge 2019

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Article by Writing IE Admin © 10 April 2019 writing.ie .
Posted in the Magazine ( · News for Writers ).

Children’s Books Ireland is supporting Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) challenge as part of EUReads campaign.

‘Reading is not about something that you have to do, it’s about doing it for pleasure and it’s about entertainment in the same way that all other arts are. On April 12th, together, the whole country, we’ll all be reading at the same time and how wonderful will that be, what a beautiful thing.’ Sarah Crossan, the 2019 National DEAR Challenge Ambassador and Laureate na nÓg https://vimeo.com/326301947

Children’s Books Ireland is supporting Ireland’s fourth national Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) challenge taking place at 12 noon on Friday April 12th. The main aim is to promote reading for pleasure by encouraging everyone to take time out to read. A simple but effective idea to have as many people as possible read at the same time on the same day. Work should be put down, computer screens turned off, school-texts put away and everyone will be encouraged to pick up a book, magazine, newspaper, e-book, audio book, etc. and to read quietly, or indeed be read to, for twenty minutes.

Currently over 97,000 groups and individuals across the country are registered to take part on Friday, marking an amazing 55% increase on 2018.

Speaking at the launch, National DEAR Challenge founder Kathleen Moran spoke about the importance of reading: ‘The main focus of DEAR is to draw attention to the importance of reading for pleasure. Reading is one of the greatest gifts that can be given to children and young people. If reading is to become a lifelong habit then young people must see themselves as participants in a community that views reading as a significant and enjoyable activity.  It’s so important to see the world from another person’s point of view … to hear other people’s stories … that’s how we learn to respect and care for other people.’

In partnership with Children’s Books Ireland this year’s DEAR Challenge will also be the official EURead campaign event for Ireland in 2019. EURead is a consortium of reading promotion organisations working together on a joint campaign to present to the EU commission in October, highlighting the reading and literacy challenges our countries face and urging the commission to make reading, its structures and its supports a funding priority when they are setting the budget for the next eight years.

Children’s Books Ireland Director, Elaina Ryan  said, ‘DEAR is so powerful in its simplicity and is a real statement of intent from all of us, children and adults alike. We are often asked how parents can encourage their children to read and the best advice we can give is to lead by example. So this Friday, for just twenty minutes at noon, drop everything and read!’

The National DEAR Challenge is supported by a range of organisations, including Children’s Books Ireland, the JCSP Library Project, City of Dublin ETB, LAI Youth Libraries Group, Laureate na nÓg, CDETB Curriculum Development Unit, Poetry Ireland and many more.  DEAR is open to all. Schools, community groups, individuals, families and workplaces can register to participate at www.jcsp.ie –where you will also find information, ideas and inspiration.

You can follow on Twitter @dear_Ireland and share your comments, photos and video clips using the hashtag #DEARIrl and #EUReads.