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[Susan notes: 3 cheers for Steve Krashen for pushing this point far and wide: To become readers, kids need access to good books.]

Submitted to Arizona Republic but not published

To the editor

The Republic is right when it says that summer

recreational reading helps children progress in

literacy ("Reading tops list of things to do," May

31). This has been confirmed in recent studies by Fay Shin of California State University Long Beach and Jimmy Kim of Harvard. But research does not support some of the other suggestions mentioned in the article, such as the use of phonics games, vocabulary flash cards or reading lists. Research confirms that if good books are available, most children will read.

Because children of poverty have few books in their homes and live in neighborhoods with lower quality public and school libraries, improvement of libraries is the first step in making sure summer reading happens.

Stephen Krashen

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