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Summer Reading News

Summer Reading at Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

Read about how some public broadcasting stations are connecting to their local libraries and communities, and collaborating on A Universe of Stories and the Summer of Space to get more kids involved in Summer Reading and Summer Learning!

The Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County had an exciting time getting kids involved with their WXXI Exploration Station activities this past July 18th for their Summer Reading program event this year! The program was centered around “A Mooncake for Little Star” by Grace Lin, an appropriate children’s book to choose from for CSLP’s 2019 summer reading theme, “A Universe of Stories.” In collaboration with Children’s Learning & Discovery of Rochester (ChildROC), WXXI and the Rochester Central Library created unique activities that supported the main subject of Lin’s story, such as playing with moon sand sensory bins, and making and tasting mooncakes. The program also included a viewing of PBS KIDS’ Ready Jet Go and a take-home moon activity book connected to the same show, searching for and discovering story words throughout their Children’s section, reading Lin’s story in both English and Mandarin, as well as retelling the story through pictures on a storyboard.

Get more information on 2019 Summer Exploration Stations at

New York State Summer Food Service Program Status Report

“Statewide efforts have identified under-tapped potential site locations where children gather over the summer. Libraries are one such location. A statewide effort has been connecting libraries with sponsors. This has allowed libraries to expand their service, raising the number of sites from 36 in 2014 to 127 in 2018. Libraries have been excellent partners in feeding children, often seamlessly wrapping meals around their summer reading programming. Doing so can help minimize the stigma associated with summer meals served in isolation and increase participation in both summer meals and library programs.”

Learn more in the New York State Summer Food Service Report!

With summer underway, book some library time

In early June, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia visited Utica and the Utica Public Library to officially launch the statewide 2019 Summer Reading program and talk about the important benefits of utilizing the summer reading program at public libraries. The Utica-based newspaper, “Observer-Dispatch,” recently wrote about this visit and agreed with Commissioner Elia’s statement on the vital importance of students keeping up their literacy and academic skills over the summer so they don’t fall behind their peers when they return to school. The article also emphasizes that public libraries have the necessary resources and services to help keep students from succumbing to the ‘summer slide’ so they stay engaged in reading and learning all summer long. With over 1,100 public libraries across New York State participating in the Summer Reading program initiative supported by the New York State Library and New York State Education Department, children and teens have amazing opportunities to achieve their summer reading goals and enhance their summer experience. Read the full article at

Libraries Rock with myON Final Report

In 2018 the State Education Department partnered with myON to offer free access to thousands of enhanced digital books as part of Summer Reading at New York Libraries.  This partnership was focused on providing more Summer Reading resources to all children, students and families throughout the summer, while encouraging them to participate in summer reading and learning activities at the library or remotely while at home or on vacation.  Through the dedicated efforts of the School Library Systems and Public Library Systems in NY state, 733 public school districts and 756 public libraries were supplied with information about how to login to the myON digital book collection.  A separate shared account was set up for students receiving educational services directly from their BOCES.  Over the course of the summer months, 192,711 digital books were opened or browsed from May 1 through September 30 using these shared logins and accounts.

A link to the final report that was assembled by the myON and NYSED partnership initiative teams can be found here.  The report contains information on rollout, resources, and outreach activities for the project.  It also includes the end of project survey questions and results.  Many thanks to the School Library and Public Library systems directors and Youth Services staff for their assistance in promoting awareness of the myON/SR partnership initiative in 2018, and helping to advance the shared goal of collaboration to boost student literacy and combat summer slide.

Healthy Meals during the Summer

Healthy meals are necessary for students to stay focused and energized while at school; many students living in low-income neighborhoods rely on school meals to keep them healthy and focused throughout the school day. But many of the students who rely on school meals have nowhere to turn over the summer when school is not in session. In order to provide access to healthy meals for students over the summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the NYS Education Department coordinate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), with the purpose of providing free nutritious meals and snacks for students. 127 libraries participated in the SFSP in 2018 and the program is always looking for more volunteers to help expand their goal across the state. Summer Reading at New York Libraries also partners with Hunger Solutions NY, an organization which helps provide access to healthy school meals and summer meals to students across the state. For more information about summer meals you can read the recent e-bulletin from NYLA. You can also visit or to learn more about the organizations and their initiatives to keep students healthy and fed, because To Be Well Read, You Must Be Well Fed.

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