Drop Everything and Read at John Smeaton Academy

Give a Book are always looking to support new schools and foster a reading for pleasure environment.

In November 2020 we were contacted by John Smeaton Academy looking for support to kickstart their whole school reading project, Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.).

For twenty minutes every day the whole school will quite literally drop everything and read with a set text assigned to each year group. The reading session will be followed by a discussion to further engage the students with reading and demonstrate how the solitary act of reading a book has its place in a social setting.

Drop Everything and Read

D.E.A.R. projects – also known as SSR (sustained silent reading) or FVR (free voluntary reading) – run in schools across the globe and aspire to embed a culture of reading for pleasure for both students and staff in a rewarding and enjoyable manner. Beverly Cleary, an American writer of children and young adult fiction first wrote about D.E.A.R in her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in 1981. After this the programme became very popular and thus Beverly Cleary is associated closely with the program and why National D.E.A.R day falls on April 12th, the author’s birthday.

Despite the new year bringing with it a new lockdown which pushed back plans for the D.E.A.R project, John Smeaton have plans in place to introduce a virtual D.E.A.R time during tutor period for the time being. This will involve reading an article or a short piece and discussing it with their peers to embed daily reading habits and familiarise the students with the D.E.A.R project.

We started off the D.E.A.R project at John Smeaton Academy by sending copies of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for each Year 10 student.

May 2021-Testimonials 

Drop Everything and Read book“The Hate U Give is a great book. It is relevant to the world right now and making us ask questions regarding topics such as racism and sexism. Thank you to Give a Book, it is a really nice rest from learning at the end of the day.” Ethan

“I find the book interesting as it is not something we always learn about in class. I would like to say a big thank you to Give a Book for giving us this educational opportunity.” Ellie

Find out about our other school projects here.


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