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[Susan notes: The point of this letter is to remind people about basic, fundamental principles: Kids get better at reading by reading books of their own choosing. And hey, a little more sleep for adolescents would help.]

Submitted to Charlotte Observer but not published
09/22/2006

To the editor


Naperville Central High School in Illinois is now

requiring a gym class just before literacy class to

boost reading scores (“School tests notion that

exercise makes learning easier,” Sept. 20).



This practice has only scant support in the published

research. But encouraging wide recreational reading

has very solid support: Increasing the amount of

reading students do increases their levels of

literacy. Has Naperville considered the obvious step

of encouraging students with low reading scores to do

more self-selected reading?



Also, current research has emphasized the importance

of sleep for adolescents: The exercise class starts at

7 a.m. Losing an extra hour and a half of sleep is

sure to hurt students’ academic performance.



Stephen Krashen & Susan Ohanian


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