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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Come to 'Sleep Night' at Annandale HS and learn why school should start later

Parents, students, and community members are invited to Sleep Night, Feb. 26, at Annandale High School to learn why later school start times are beneficial for adolescents’ health and learning and why the Fairfax County School Board set a goal to start high school after 8 a.m.

A grassroots organization called SLEEP (Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal) has been advocating for later start times for years. SLEEP is presenting Sleep Night along with the Fairfax County Council of PTAs and the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT).

Sleep Night will begin in the AHS Lecture hall at 7 p.m. with light refreshments followed by a presentation by Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Sleep Medicine Clinic at Children’s National Medical Center, on the findings of a study she conducted showing how early start times harm some students.

Owens will participate in a panel discussion with Dr. Helene Emsellem, author of Snooze or Lose: 10 “No War” Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Sleep Habits; teacher and FCFT President Steve Greenburg; and a high school student. Members of the audience will be able to ask questions and share their own experiences with early school start times.

If that’s not enough to draw a crowd, there will be a raffle for teachers and students and a student photo contest with cash awards. The theme of the photo contest is “I can’t do my best when I don’t get my rest.” The deadline for submissions is Feb. 24. Click here for the contest rules. In case the meeting is snowed out, it will be held March 6.

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