Family Newsletter: Message from Commissioner Betty A. Rosa 08/07/2023

August 7, 2023
Dear Parents and Families,
Commissioner Betty A. Rosa
Summer is flying by, but we still have the month of August to enjoy extra time with family and friends. Before students go back to school in the fall, try some of these fun, educational activities with the whole family! 

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’s theme is “All Together Now,” and New York’s public libraries are hosting activities, events, and programs throughout the summer. Visit your local public library’s website to learn more! 

Explore New York State’s Rich Natural and Cultural History
Visit the Office of Cultural Education’s FindNYCulture website to connect with cultural organizations across New York State. The website features a database of New York’s 4,600+ museums, libraries, historical societies, science centers, parks, zoos, university art galleries, planetariums, and more—all searchable by location and age/grade level of interest. Many of these cultural institutions would make lovely weekend or day trips to help round out your family’s summer plans!
You can also follow the @FindNYCulture Twitter account and subscribe to the Office of Cultural Education newsletter for the latest resources from the New York State Archives, Library, Museum, and public broadcasting. 

Visit the New York State Museum for Special Programming Researched, Designed, and Implemented by Students
Every summer, local high school students in the City of Albany’s LIGHT Summer Youth Employment Program explore the New York State Museum’s collections, work with scientists, historians, and educators, and create their own Exploration Stations and Public Programs for museum visitors. Partner organizations introduce youth to careers in different professional fields helping them acquire skills and insight with hands-on work experience that can be used to improve school performance and become responsible adults. Visit the State Museum this summer for fun, family-friendly activities created by these exceptional students.
Catch Up on the New York State Education Department’s Graduation Measures InitiativeWe at the State Education Department and Board of Regents are already turning our attention to the upcoming school year, and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures has been hard at work. The Commission—which represents a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, including parents and students—undertook an independent, thoughtful, and inclusive process to explore what a state diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student in New York State. The final recommendations will be submitted to the Board of Regents this Fall 2023. Additional information about the Graduation Measures initiative can be found on the Department’s Graduation Measures website.

Visit a Summer Food Service SiteFinally, I want to remind you that free meals for young people are available during the summer at 2,500 Summer Food Service Program sites across New York State. To find a service site, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY, text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877, or use the interactive USDA online map

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

Betty A. Rosa