Summer is in full swing, and I hope you and your families have the opportunity to enjoy some extra time together. Popular statewide summer programs are underway, including the Summer Food Service Program and the Summer Reading Program.
The 2021 Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals to approximately 400,000 children, kicked off this month at over 3,000 sites statewide. You can use the interactive USDA online map to find a service site that will provide free meals during the summer for children 18 years old and younger.
Throughout the pandemic, our schools worked tirelessly to ensure students received nutritious meals. Now, our Summer Food Service Program vendors are able to fill the gap in the summer months and provide kids with meals to keep them healthy and ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.
In addition, the State Education Department and the State Library are partnering with 1,100 public libraries and neighborhood branches statewide to launch the 2021 Summer Reading at New York Libraries program. You and your children can visit your local public library’s website to find out how to sign up for Summer Reading events and activities; you can then register online to track your child’s reading, which can earn them badges and prizes from your local library.
Another great summer learning resource is the NYS Museum’s Online Resources and Activities Portal, which brings together many of the Museum’s resources, including virtual “field trips,” digital collections, online resources, and fun activities for kids based on the Museum’s research and collections. Content on the portal is updated often, so be sure to check regularly for new information and activities!
Finally, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn this summer to continue getting ideas for fun and educational summer learning activities for kids – and the whole family. As part of our #SummerLearning campaign, we are sharing tips, resources, and activities, highlighting daily themes like “Math Monday,” “Trivia Tuesday,” “Where in the World Wednesday,” and “Thinker Thursday.” If you don’t already, be sure to follow us for these tips and ideas and for our latest news.
Thank you for reading and best regards for a peaceful and relaxing summer.
Betty A. Rosa