images of parents with their children
May 24, 2019
Dear Parents,

May is Mental Health Month. Health education that emphasizes the importance of mental health and recognizes the challenges of mental illness can help young people and their families feel more comfortable seeking help, improve academic performance and, most importantly, even save lives. The School Mental Health Resource Training Center was established by the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. to provide free mental health resources for parents, students, educators, caregivers, and community partners. I encourage you to visit the web page for parents and guardians, which includes resources for talking to youth about mental health, supporting youth in school and college, encouraging positive mental health habits, and more. When young people are educated about mental health, the likelihood increases they will know where to turn for help.

This week, the U.S. Department of Education released the names of its 2019 Green Ribbon Schools, including two school from New York State. The honorees are Sanfordville Elementary School and Warwick Valley Middle School, both in Warwick Valley Central School District.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools where staff, students, officials and communities work together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates. The recognition award is part of a U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates and workforce preparedness.

To receive this prestigious national award is truly an outstanding achievement and I congratulate staff, students, and the school board for their commitment to creating sustainable and healthy school communities. I am inspired to see the next generation of clean energy leaders in these schools and encouraged that they will continue to advance efforts to ensure a cleaner environment for future generations. Congratulations to Sanfordville Elementary School and Warwick Valley Middle School!

Finally, the New York State Education Department will host the 2019 New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Symposium in Albany next Friday, May 31. Nearly 1,000 students, parents, educational leaders, and citizens from across New York State will gather for a two-day symposium on the MBK initiative to help boys and young men of color - and all students - realize their full potential. In addition to providing resources and motivating and inspiring participants, we will also induct the 2019 class of the MBK Fellows. A webcast is will be available on from 8:30am-5:30pm. If you can, I encourage you to watch live and hear from MBK students and programs as they share their success stories, challenges, and strategies. For more information, check out our MBK website and subscribe to our MBK newsletter for regular updates.

Thank you for your continued support of education in New York State.
MaryEllen Elia