Foundation Academies‘ youngest scholars learned about footprints in the snow, runaway bunnies, and how to spread kindness during our first in-person “Drop Everything And Read” event featuring community volunteers reading aloud favorite children’s books to our Primary School classes.“We love inviting community members into our classrooms–and our scholars love sharing the stories,” said Chief Academic Officer Natasia Cooper. “Seeing that adults value and enjoy reading encourages children to see reading as fun, which makes it easier for them to learn.” Drop Everything And Read” (DEAR) is a national initiative that encourages young readers to build literacy skills and develop a love of reading. During the COVID pandemic, DEAR events were online, making this visit extra-special for teachers and scholars.“We are all connected by a love of literature,” Primary School Principal-in-Residence Brittany Greco told the assembled volunteers. “We’re honored to have each of you here.”Visiting readers included representatives of The Trenton Literacy Movement, Millhill Child & Family Development, Capital Area YMCA, and volunteers from throughout the Mercer County community. Betsy Rendall, a Friends of Foundation Academies board member, called the opportunity to share her love of reading with FA students “a dream come true.”Primary School’s focus on literacy incorporates intentional learning experiences, such as DEAR, to demonstrate the importance of reading as a lifelong endeavor. At FA, we make a promise to equip our scholars to excel in learning and empower them to lead purpose-filled lives. “DEAR helps our students see how fun and rewarding reading can be,” Ms. Cooper noted. “It shows that we fully support the idea of dropping everything to pick up a  good book!” The next DEAR event will be on October 31. To participate, please contact Mary-Anne Smith, Foundation Academies Advancement msmith@foundationacademy.org.  DEAR and other volunteer events are organized by The Friends of Foundation Academies, a nonprofit founded in 2010 to encourage community support of FA. Board members, community members, and volunteers support, enhance, and promote learning opportunities for Trenton youth attending FA.