For the past 21 years, Waxahachie ISD has conducted a communitywide reading effort through "Drop Everything and Read Day" — commonly known as D.E.A.R. Day.

Over 500 volunteers from businesses, nonprofits, schools and individuals will be on Waxahachie ISD campuses to stress the value and joy of reading.

"Businesses, organizations and individuals are donating books so that every elementary classroom in Waxahachie ISD has at least one new book for the day," read a WISD press release.

Since the establishment of the program, over 5,000 books have been donated and 10,500 hours of reading have been volunteered.

Jim Phillips, the owner of KBEC 1390, spoke to the Daily Light at the 21st annual D.E.A.R Day after he read the first chapter of "Killer Pizza" to students at Howard Junior High to entice them to finish the chapter book.

“It is a great way to give back to the community,” Phillips said. “I love seeing the look on the little guys and girls’ faces as you read to them. It’s just a wonderful experience; I love seeing Waxahachie Drop Everything and Read.”

Reading times will take place at 8:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Guest readers will be placed in every classroom for grades pre-kindergarten through sixth. Turner Pre-Kindergarten will read at 8:45 a.m. and all elementary classes will read at 8:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Junior high campuses — Coleman, Finley and Howard — will read at 10:15 a.m.

“We are very grateful for the continued and faithful support of Waxahachie schools from the outstanding volunteers of the Waxahachie community,” said Melissa Cobb, director of WISD Partners in Education.

To make contributions to purchase new books for DEAR Day or for additional information to reserve your place to read, please contact Cobb at 972-923-4631, extension 142 or by email at mcobb@wisd.org.