What an energizing school year! Your children have worked hard and accomplished a lot, and I want to thank you for the joy they have brought to our classrooms. As your children head off for summer break, I have one request: please encourage ongoing engagement and learning. This is a great opportunity to continue your child’s education. Doing enriching, educational activities during the summer is fun and enables kids to sharpen their academic skills, priming them for success in the next school year.
Here are three simple ways to keep the learning going:
- Have your children read at least 10 books over the summer. Help them select a mix of fiction and non-fiction in areas of their interest, and engage them in discussions about what they’ve read. This teaches kids how to think critically and confidently express their opinions, skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Promoting literacy and language skills is one of the most important ways parents can support their kids.
- Take your kids to at least one cultural institution or live performance. We are privileged to live in a city with amazing theater, dance, music, and an abundance of museums—from art and design to science and history. These are the kinds of experiences that both inspire kids and cultivate high-level learning. Many institutions offer free days or times. For more, see the NYC Culture Calendar.
- Involve your children in community service. Giving back to the community is not only rewarding, it helps kids become civic-minded citizens. There are a wide range of opportunities, from volunteering at a compost site or helping to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, to assisting at a thrift shop. To find ways to serve your fellow New Yorkers, visit NYC Service.
Finally, please give your children time and space to just hang out. As I tell my grandchildren, learning is important but it’s equally important to enjoy being a kid.
Have a wonderful summer.
I look forward to welcoming you to an exciting new school year in my favorite month of the year, September!