Virtual D.E.A.R. Day celebrates joy of reading with Waxahachie students

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

The 24th annual “Drop Everything and Read,” or D.E.A.R., Day, was held on Friday, Feb. 26, as students throughout Waxahachie ISD read a book.

The virtual event was kicked off with a video greeting from Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain.

Students dropped everything and read on Friday, participating in the annual D.E.A.R. Day event.

"Last year’s DEAR Day was the last major district event we had before COVID hit, so it was a full-scale event," said Jenny Bridges, director of public relations for WISD. "We are still not allowing visitors on campus, so our wonderful Partners in Education team, led by Melissa Cobb, planned a completely virtual event."

This year's DEAR Day looked a bit different as volunteers were not able to physically read books to students.

"We had an outstanding response with over 500 volunteers from the Waxahachie community and from student groups involved," shared Melissa Cobbs, director of Partners in Education. "There were businesses, service organizations, churches, neighbors, friends, students, ... part of this virtual reading celebration. In addition, many generous contributions were made to purchase new books for our elementary libraries as well as finger flashlights, bookmarks and gifts were provided."

As volunteers signed up, they were matched with a teacher and classroom for the day.

"Many shared favorite childhood books and favorite places to read. In addition, the community match sent a picture of themselves reading," stated Cobbs. "Our WISD secondary student groups created video greetings, encouraging reading to our elementary students."

Since the D.E.A.R. Day program began 24 years ago, more than 5,500 books have been donated and 11,500 hours of reading have been volunteered for this one-day event. 

"Even though DEAR Day had a new look this year, we were thrilled with the response from the amazing Waxahachie community as they faithfully support WISD," said Cobbs.