Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BC teacher-librarians (BCTLA) challenge the Legislature to Drop Everything and Read

BCTF: 2009 October 20

October 26, 2009 is National School Library Day and the third anniversary of the BC Drop Everything and Read Challenge. DEAR started as a small challenge between BC school libraries in 2007 and has since grown by leaps and bounds. The simple but powerful idea is to promote the importance of literacy by having as many students and adults as possible read at the same time on the same day.

This year, Victoria school librarian Karen Lindsay and the BCTLA are challenging the Legislature to participate in the DEAR Challenge as well. Imagine the message it would send to the entire province about the importance of reading if MLAs took out their books to “Drop Everything and Read” on October 26!

Organizer Karen Lindsay’s dream is to have everyone in BC put down their work, turn off their computer screens, pick up a book, magazine, or newspaper, and read quietly for 20 minutes on October 26 between 11:00 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. The event was a huge success last year. Dozens of schools representing thousands of students participated in the DEAR Challenge. Many schools across BC organized special events. Local celebrities—athletes, firefighters, police officers, politicians, parents—came in to read, “big” kids read to little ones, and group read-ins were held on playing fields. The response was uniformly positive, so positive that several schools decided to make silent, free-choice reading part of their weekly routines.

That is why the BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association is so committed to this challenge. It gives kids across the province not only the chance to relax with books of their own choosing, but the opportunity to see the grown-ups around them model how important reading is in their lives.

Want to participate? This year’s blog is at http://bctladear.blogspot.com/2009/02/dear-drop-everything-and-read.html. To take the event “viral” the BCTLA has a Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/ktj3ea. On Twitter, search BCTLADEAR.

To see some of the participation and endorsements from last year go to http://bctladear.blogspot.com/2008/10/bc-school-trustees-association-has.html.

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