images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

This week, more than 600 My Brother's Keeper community leaders and participants joined the National MBK Alliance's Online Town Hall meeting, which featured a conversation with award-winning American hip-hop recording artist, actor, film producer and poet, Common. At the Town Hall, Common talked about the importance of MBK and discussed his recent work on issues affecting boys and young men of color.

Regent Lester Young and Dr. Anael Alston, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services, also joined the Town Hall to discuss the positive impacts of the My Brother's Keeper initiative in New York State. To date, New York has invested nearly $60 million in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.

The Town Hall was emceed by Senegal Mabry, a student at Binghamton University and a member of the National MBK Advisory Council. Watch a recording of the MBK Town Hall here.

In other news, NYSED staff provided updates on various initiatives to the Board of Regents last week, including: civic readiness; school climate; Social Emotional Learning; mental health and health education; a Student Placement Information System to provide services more proactively for students with disabilities; the Charter School Performance Framework; the CDOS Commencement Credential; the superintendent determination safety net option for students with disabilities to earn a local diploma; the Regents-HSE Exam Pathway for high school equivalency diplomas; the P-12 Learning Standards for the Arts; and strategies to provide opportunities for high quality candidates to enter the education profession, particularly in hard-to-staff content areas.

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." It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. As part of our #StopSummerSlide campaign, we are sharing tips, resources, activities, and events, highlighting daily themes like "Math Monday," "Where in the World Wednesday," and "Thinker Thursday." Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get all our updates!

One great way to keep kids engaged throughout the summer is to encourage them to participate in Summer Reading. 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 to support summer reading. This year's summer reading program slogan is "Libraries Rock!" Children and teens participating in the program receive book recommendations and engage in creative and fun educational activities at their local libraries. Together, we can keep students reading and learning all summer long and help prevent summer slide.

I hope you're having a great summer. Thanks for reading!


MaryEllen Elia