I have always loved to read. As a child, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louise Fitzhugh were my favorite authors. I became quite attached to the librarian at my elementary school. I went to visit her house on weekends. By the way, I've looked for her for about 10 years--I think she died. I wanted to tell her how much she shaped my life and express gratitude. But back to the story...

Almost 20 years ago, my oldest daughter started school in Montgomery County, Maryland. It was one of the best schools ever. Her principal, David Rotter, enacted something called DEAR time. It stood for DROP EVERYTHING AND READ. Once a week, he would go to the PA System and announce, "It's DEAR time." That meant that for the next 45 minutes, everyone in the school, from the janitors and cafeteria workers to the students and secretaries--even teachers, had to pick up something and read. It could be a magazine, newspaper, novel, or anything other reading material. But you had to read until he announced that DEAR time was over.

It was kind of weird the first couple times that I experienced it, seeing everyone flipping pages and engrossed in reading. But then, I got the hang of it and started bringing a book with me during my volunteer shifts, just in case Mr. Rotter called for DEAR time. After a few years, he retired and someone else took over. I'm not sure how or why, but DEAR time went away. I thought it was a great idea and I missed it. What could be better for our children than instilling a love of reading and learning?

Your comments--priceless!!
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  1. Sinfully Says:

    The person who influenced my decision to become a nurse was the nurse assigned to care for my grandfather after he had a stroke. We (my sister and I) were 9 and my mother had obtained special permission for us to visit him in the hospital. His evening shift nurse was named Miss Peggy. Initially, we were afraid to see,let alone touch him in his semi-comatose state. Miss Peggy encouraged us to talk to him and we were delighted when every now and then he would smile when we told him corny jokes. She would allow us to help prepare his liquid feedings and to do small things to assist in his care. I can remember telling my mother, "I want to be a nurse just like Miss Peggy." Now I'm sure Miss Peggy was just doing her job by offering family centered care, but she made a huge impact in my life. Thank you Miss Peggy


  2. Anonymous Says:

    i know i am a day late and a dollar short on this subject, but being an avid reader i just had to express myself. reading was my escape from a chaotic childhood. it took me on great adventures and introduced me to ways of living and being that i had no idea existed! i love this dear program jewel and am going to go into my grandson's school when i get back home and talk to the principal about doing that. what a wonderful idea! thanks for sharing it.


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