images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

The summer is flying by, and it's August already. The first day of school is around corner, but we still have a few weeks of summer left. If you're looking for some fun, educational activities for the whole family, I have a few suggestions:
  • Participate in Summer Reading at New York Libraries
    Reading is a great way to keep kids engaged during the summer. Summer Reading at New York Libraries is a free, annual program that gives you and your children the opportunity to access the vast resources of New York's public libraries.

    This year, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) partnered with myOn to bring digital books to you and your children via unlimited access to the myOn digital library at school and in your local public library. The myOn library has a collection of over 6,000 fiction and nonfiction e-books geared toward children from birth to 8th grade, many with recorded audio and other useful features. The myON pilot partnership will run through September, so be sure to check it out with your child!
  • See a New York State Summer School of the Arts performance
    The 2018 New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) is coming to an end for the season. Each program culminates in a final public performance or exhibition that is free and open to the public. If you can, I encourage you to attend a public performance and see these talented New York students in action.
  • Visit the New York State Museum
    Escape the August heat and enjoy a variety of family programs at the New York State Museum! Check the Museum's schedule for August programs, including "pop-up" programs designed to spark creativity and engage the whole family. Call the Museum's front desk at (518) 474-5877 in advance to see if the Museum is offering a special program the day of your visit.
  • Tour the New York State Education Building
    Take a tour of the State Education Building in Albany! Tours are led by New York State Museum staff and allow visitors to explore historic Chancellors Hall, the Regents Room, and the Rotunda adorned with murals by Albany native Will H. Low. Summer tours are available for just a couple more weeks, and reservations are required. If you can, take advantage of this opportunity to take a tour of our workplace - it's an amazing building!
  • Need more ideas?
    We continue to post fun and educational summertime activities for kids on our social media channels in an effort to help prevent the "Summer Slide." As part of our #StopSummerSlide campaign, we have been sharing tips, resources, activities, and events, highlighting daily themes like "Math Monday," "Where in the World Wednesday," and "Thinker Thursday." If you're not already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get all our updates!
Finally, I want to remind you that free meals are available during the summer for children and teens across New York at more than 3,000 Summer Food Service Program sites. You can use the interactive USDA online map to find a service site that will provide free meals for your child.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. As always, thank you for reading.


MaryEllen Elia