Greenwich Public Schools Start School Later Parking Lot Party tonight

Napping Cardinal essay contest winner to be awarded

Greenwich Public Schools hosts the Start School Later Parking Lot Party Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m., in the Western Middle School parking lot. During the event an award will be presented to Elisa Pey, a 6th grader at Eastern Middle School, for winning the Greenwich Public Schools Napping Cardinal Essay Contest. Pey wins a grand prize teen bedroom redesign by The Local Vault design firm in Old Greenwich.

The event also includes pizza, beverages, and the Caffe Bon truck coffees and desserts.

Below is Elisa’s winning essay:

Why Teens Need Another Hour of Sleep Each Night

By Elisa Pey, 6th Grade, Eastern Middle School

Teens need between 8½ and 9½ hours of sleep each night. But teens of today’s culture aren’t getting enough sleep. Why? The problem is the absurd school start times that have them up as early as 6:00 AM (the adult equivalent of this unreasonable time is 3:00 AM) — when they should be sleeping from 11:00 PM to 8:00 AM for basic health.

Teens need quality sleep to be alert to learn and be safe. All teens need to sleep AT LEAST an hour later! An hour later means it would be lighter outside. That would have helped my older sister who got a concussion on her way to the bus. Her concussion could’ve been avoided if the start times weren’t so absurd.

I saw a highly informative lecture by Dr. Judith Owens, who went to Harvard, about how necessary sleep is, and how the EARLIEST POSSIBLE school time for teens is 8:30 AM. I know that Dr. Owens is right because I know what an hour extra sleep time means for me. During the school year, I live at my dad’s house one week and at my mom’s house the next week and so on. My father continues to wake me up at 6:50AM to get me to school on time, and I’m tired as can be. I can’t concentrate. I can’t get much learning done during math class (my first class) as I’d be napping half the time, and forgetting that I was in school.

At my mother’s house, I may get to school an hour late, but I actually understand what my teachers are teaching. I’m better off coming to school rested because the drowsy feeling never leaves — no matter how many classes I try to sleep through.

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