The world was brought together in a unique way under the banner of "United we read” for 2002 seconds on December 14, 2001. Schools dropped all activity at noon and every member of the school — from the principal to the students, teachers and the office and supporting staff — read silently.
The feeling of being a part of a global programme and the fact that every member in the school was participating in the activity was an experience one should go through to understand. The sheer silence, with just the rustle of the turning page against the backdrop of traffic on the road, was loud.
The exams in most schools put a damper on the programme in the South. Most schools are aware of Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time and it will be an endeavour to get schools to incorporate reading and DEAR time as an integral part of their curriculum.
In the United States, hundreds of classrooms were connected with the rest of the world where children read together or shared views on books, reading and the culture of their lands. The spouses of 21 Governors, under the banner "United we read. — Ambassadors of reading" , signed up for the Declaration of Literacy, where they pledged to work literacy in their States. Among the highlights on the web, were reading with award winning children’s authors, and celebrities, among them Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter movie fame, who certainly knows the magic of great books.