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SSSHHH! Don’t wake them up… they’re doing a project!

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Linden STEAM Academy eighth-graders undertake study of sleep and its effect on Malden Public Schools students

  Just how does sleep affect kids, especially when class is in session during the school year?

  In a fitting project undertaken during National Sleep Awareness Week, a group of Linden STEAM Academy eighth-graders oversaw a districtwide survey regarding sleep habits of Malden Public Schools students.

  Linden educator Peter Rowley appeared before the Malden School Committee this past fall and requested permission to assist a group of ambitious Grade 8 students at his school who were interested in planning and then overseeing this sleep study. The School Committee members enthusiastically supported the request at the time and at their most recent meeting were updated by Rowley, accompanied by a number of his Linden students, on the eve of launching the study. The study was planned and conducted during National Sleep Awareness Week, which fell from March 12-18.

  National Sleep Awareness Week is celebrated in March, which is designated as National Sleep Awareness Month. Sleep Awareness Week, which is conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2023.

  According to the NSF, “Sleep Awareness Week provides us with an opportunity to look at our own sleep habits and search for ways to improve on the quantity and quality of sleep we get. Eating right and exercising are used to maintain good health, but sleep can also affect one’s wellness.”

  Linden’s Rowley told the School Committee his students – during Sleep Awareness Week – were embarking on a districtwide survey of Malden Public Schools students in Grades 6-12 on their daily sleep habits. The survey was designed to be undertaken daily during Sleep Awareness Week, where the students who participated were asked to log in with:

  1) What time they went to bed

  2) What time they woke up

  3) How they felt in the morning

  4) How they felt in the afternoon

  At the end of the week, Rowley explained, the students would gather up the data received and eventually compile results and issue a report on the findings.

  “The students are excited about this project and what they might find out about sleep and its relationship to students in our district,” said Rowley,

  “We are very pleased to see our students undertake this project and we fully support their work and look forward to a presentation of the results,” said Malden Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy, in endorsing the project.

  School Committee Chair Mayor Gary Christenson also endorsed the project. “As long as it doesn’t include the adults,” he said, with a smile, adding that he is eager to hear the results.

  Ward 3 School Committee Member Jennifer Spadafora and Ward 7 Member Keith Bernard also expressed support for the project at the meeting.

  After a question from Ward 6 School Committee Member Joseph Gray regarding any possible recommendations emanating from the students and educators following the survey, Rowley said that while no recommendations were anticipated, “our students are very interested in coming up with ideas for future projects or listening to suggestions from others.”

  The Malden Advocate will follow this project and detail its results in a future report.

peter rowley
Malden Public Schools educator Peter Rowley (right) from the Linden K-8 STEAM Academy (LSA), told the Malden School Committee that he was mentoring a group of LSA eighth-graders who were conducting a districtwide survey of students in Grades 6-12 on sleep habits, during National Sleep Awareness Week (March 12-18). (Advocate Photo)

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