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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (April 1, 2017)
April 2017 - EASTERN OREGON PARENT - 13
Book lovers have good reason to find April D.E.A.R.
By LORI McNEIL, M.B.A., M.Ed.
Most have known for genera-
tions the importance of storytell-
ing and reading to your child when
they are young to help build literacy
skills. Recent research supports
this and has led to campaigns that
encourage reading to children from
15 to 30 minutes each day to help
increase skill level.
Beverly Cleary wrote dozens of
children’s books that have made
their way into libraries all over the
world and provided exciting adven-
tures for young readers since 1950.
Ramona Quimby is the main char-
acter in many of Cleary’s books.
Beverly Cleary wrote about
D.E.A.R. in “Ramona Quimby, Age
8.” Since then, “Drop Everything
and Read” programs have been
held nationwide on April 12 in
honor of Mrs. Cleary’s birthday (she
turns 101 this year). HarperCollins
Children’s Books, the publisher of
all of Cleary’s books, decided to
adopt the entire month of April and
launch an annual campaign cele-
brating the life of Beverly Clearly by
encouraging reading all month!
Drop Everything And Read is a
great time to focus on increasing
the daily amount of time you and
your child spend reading, as well as
engage in activities that will sup-
port literacy skills and a life-long
technology is not necessary.
love of reading.
For instance, on a camping trip,
April is the right time of year
instead of reading on a Kindle or
to get outside! Exploring and
playing a hand-held video game,
experiencing settings with the
take a hardback to read so your
five senses helps kids make last-
child can help turn the pages,
ing connections between what
feel the paper, and interact with
they read in a book and the real
the actual book. This will inspire
world. For example, when you
family bonding and deepen
take your child for a walk, have
their connection with read-
intentional conversations about
ing. Technology has many good
what they notice, what they
educational uses but sometimes
smell or what rocks, sticks, and
allowing children a more tra-
leaves feel like. Most kids also
ditional experience provides
like collecting things. Maybe the
unique learning opportunities.
next book they will want to read Lori McNeil’s new book offers many sug-
Maintaining balance is key.
gestions for reading in the great outdoors.
will be about geology.
As we celebrate D.E.A.R
Try and help your child make
Month, try brainstorming cre-
links between the things experi-
ative ways that you and your family
Something as simple as a going
enced on the walk and something
can increase literacy skills. Spend
for a walk can actually be turned
in a book they recently read. Did
more time reading, making new as-
into a huge literacy building activ-
you recently read about flying a
sociations to books that have been
ity! You might also take a book
kite, camping, swimming, or go-
read, increasing vocabulary, and
along and find a nice place to stop
ing to the park? If so, these are all
creating opportunities for deeper
and read together. Increasing the
things that can help to make other
critical thinking. These opportuni-
number of minutes your child
connections on your walk.
ties are all around us, every single
spends reading or that you spend
Intentionally using larger vocab- reading together is a great invest-
day. You only need to Drop Every-
ulary words when communicating
thing And Read.
ment of time.
with your child will help increase
In our technology-based soci-
their own vocabulary. Don’t worry
ety, most people have cell phones,
if they don’t know what the words
iPads, laptops and other electronics Baker City resident Lori McNeil has
mean, use the opportunity to en-
been an educator for nearly 20
that they never leave home with-
gage your child in a conversation.
years, teaching all grade levels.
out. Don’t forget to interact with
Building vocabulary is an excellent
your child as much as possible by
way to assist reading skills.
participating in activities where
All Comers Youth Track
Meet is May 20th.
At Pendleton High-
School Track. FREE!
$25/couple . May 6th.
Register by May 2nd.
541-276-8100 • www.pendletonparksandrec.com