images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

I would like to take the opportunity to provide you with an update on translated guidance on the rights of immigrant students and some news about the State Library's Ready to Read Program.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) takes very seriously any action that compromises the school climate in which our students come to learn every day. We must do everything in our power to create safe and supportive learning environments, including providing all parents and guardians the resources they need to be informed of their rights and the rights of their children. In response to a rising number of reports on bullying, discrimination, and harassment across the country and the fear and confusion resulting from recent federal actions, NYSED, in partnership with the State Attorney General's office, provided guidance to school districts on these important topics. The guidance is now available in the top 20 languages spoken in New York State so parents, guardians, and other interested individuals have expanded access to this critical information.

NYSED is also committed to improving and expanding quality public library early literacy and early learning services across the state. This week, the New York State Library announced that its early literacy Ready to Read at New York Libraries program has reached 444 public libraries since the program's inception in 2014, serving young children and families throughout the state. Annual participation in early literacy library programs grew from 1.98 million children and caregivers in 2012 to more than 2.4 million over three years. Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and I urge our congressional leaders and educational partners to advocate for continued federal funding of this critical program that serves children throughout New York State.

The State Library also provides the DayByDayNY website , which offers a virtual calendar of daily early literacy resources and literacy reinforcement strategies for librarians, teachers, caregivers, and families. A Spanish version of DayByDayNY will be available in spring 2017.

I hope these updates are helpful. Please encourage other parents to sign up for our parent email list to receive these updates, too. I look forward to staying in touch.


MaryEllen Elia