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[Susan notes: It's good news that Stephen Krashen got this letter into the Chicago paper. Here's the story in Substance.]

Published in Chicago Sun-Times
06/27/2014

To the editor

( CPS board warned of drought of librarians June 26.)



There is enormous evidence that self-selected pleasure reading is the source of much of our literacy development: Those who read more read better, write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and better grammar.



Most students in CPS live in poverty. Students who live in poverty are "behind" in reading because they have few books in their homes, live in neighborhoods with few bookstores and few good public libraries. Their only sure source of books is the school library.



The importance of the school has been confirmed in study after study: Better school libraries with credentialed libraries mean higher reading scores. In our recent study, based on data from 40 countries, we found that access to a good school library was positively related to reading scores, and nearly offset the negative effect of poverty. In other words, school libraries and school librarians can help close the achievement gap.



Source:

Krashen, S., Lee, S.Y. and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is the library important? Multivariate studies at the national and international level. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1): 26-36.

Stephen Krashen


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