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[Susan notes: Teaching in New York, I was devoted to USSR in my classrooms. I wrote about it, and the man who "invented" USSR, Lyman Hunt, a professor at the University of Vermont, invited me to the university to be the final exam for his graduate class.

Lyman Hunt was so admired and beloved that a school in Burlington is named for him. One of these days I'll go look and see if kids there get to choose their own books.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Millions of children used to read for fun in their classrooms before the testing craze ( Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own, news article, Jan. 8). The practice was called Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading, and researchers dropped the first word because of the abbreviation U.S.S.R.

When I taught high school in Utica and Rochester in New York in the 1960s, I devoted every Friday to sustained silent reading. Students read a book of their choice. The teacher also read.

One of the crucial determinants of successful readers is to have an older person reading in the home. If children come from homes where no one reads, they will see their teachers reading. If they live in cities with public transportation, they will see many adults reading on buses and subways.

It's good to see the present catching up with the past.

The writer is professor emeritus of reading and writing, Miami University (Ohio).

Allen Berger

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