Dear Families,

Summer reading is so important to keep learning going and to let imaginations run free! We are thrilled to make more e-books and audiobooks for all ages available for free this summer to all DOE families, and it’s easier than ever to access them. Please read on for more information, and visit schools.nyc.gov/summerreading for additional details to be posted on Monday, June 29.

Summer Reading and Learning Resources for Students

  • Sora: The DOE is providing free access to summer reading and learning resources for all NYC students, via Sora, an online ebook reader. The e-book reader Sora has a diverse set of hundreds of resources available for grades 3K-12 in a multiple languages to help students see themselves and fellow students in the books they are reading. You can download an app to your device or access them via a web browser. All you have to do is log in with your student’s DOE ID; no additional sign up is necessary. Please visit discoversora.com/nyc to get started.
    • Need help finding your student’s DOE login? Click here. If you received an iPad from DOE, it will have the Sora app automatically installed by July 1!
  • GalePages: Students may also visit GalePages to access additional ebook titles and databases provided by the New York City School Library System. To access these additional resources outside of New York State, please email libraries@schools.nyc.gov to request an out-of-state user ID and password.
  • Brainfuse: As a reminder, the public library systems are also providing digital resources and access to the tutoring platform, Brainfuse, through internet-enabled devices including all DOE-issued iPads. To access Brainfuse and other digital supports, New York State residents must sign up for a free library card in one of the three library systems:
  • Brooklyn Public Library eCard: To obtain a Brooklyn Public Library eCard, fill out this form. Families and students may access Brainfuse using their Brooklyn Public Library eCard.
  • New York Public Library eCard: To obtain a New York Public Library eCard, download and use the SimplyE app. Please note that this app has been uploaded to all iPads issued by the DOE. For instructions on how to apply using the SimplyE app, please visit NYPL.org. Families and students may access Brainfuse using their New York Public Library eCard.
  • Queens Public Library eCard: To obtain a Queen Public Library eCard, fill out this form. Families and students may access Brainfuse using their Queens Public Library eCard.

NYC Programs and Services

Note: These websites and apps have not been vetted for privacy or data security protocols by DOE or City of New York.

  • Get Tested in Your Community: The City of New York is working to expand testing for COVID-19 rapidly throughout the five boroughs. Check back regularly for more locations as testing sites continue to open.
  • Organizations Near You that Support Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families: Explore this interactive map that lists communitybased organizations dedicated to serving NYC’s linguistically and culturally diverse families. You can search by borough or zip code to get to know the agencies, advocacy groups, and youth organizations within your community.
  • Get Adult and Family Mental Health Resources from the City: The Health Information Tool for Empowerment (HITE) provides a comprehensive list of no- or low-cost supports for physical and mental health supports:
    • NYC Well provides 24-hour hotlines in a wide variety of languages to support mental health, coping, and wellbeing.
    • Family Resource Centers provide family resources across the state including counseling and group support.
    • While many of the resources above are at no-cost for services with costs, New York State has issued an emergency regulation requiring insurance companies to waive deductibles, copayments (copays), or coinsurance for in-network telehealth visits, including mental health services. High-quality, low-cost and no-cost mental health services are also guaranteed for NYC Care members. New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance can click here to enroll in NYCCare.nyc or call 646-NYC-Care (646-692-2273).
  • Food Benefits for All NYC Public School Students: Pandemic EBT P-EBT is a program for families to buy food while students are learning from home. This resource shares that in NYC, every single public school student ages 3-21 is eligible, regardless of income or immigration status. Benefits will be issued automatically; there is no application or documentation required.
  • Growing Up NYC: Growing Up NYC is a mobile-friendly website that makes it simple for families to learn about and access City programs, as well as services and activities available through government agencies and community partners in English and in Spanish. COVID-19 content and resources for families produced by DECE now appear on this page of the site.

Digital and Hands-on Activities for Children

  • Khan Academy Kids: Free, fun, educational app with thousands of activities and books for young children ages 2-7.
  • Vooks: A streaming service for kids, where storybooks come to life. First month free. “Our mission is to make screen time better. Unlike traditional cartoons and movies, Vooks allows for children’s imaginations to engage; it encourages reading; it promotes attention and focus. By bringing storybooks to life, Vooks redefines what screen time can be.”
  • Sesame Street: Lupita Nyong’o Loves Her Skin: Elmo talks with his good friend Lupita about skin. Skin comes in all different textures and shades of color. Elmo’s skin is very ticklish. Lupita’s skin is a beautiful brown color. Most of all, they talk about loving the skin you have.
  • Dr. Gupta shows Elmo how to make a mask: Short video featuring Sesame Street’s Elmo and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, where Elmo learns how to make a homemade mask.
  • Free Online Daily Art Classes for 3-6 year olds: Check out free online art instruction that’s just right for ages 3-6. Monday – Friday mornings at 10 a.m on Instagram Live with Wendy MacNaughton.
  • Camp Noggin: Summer of 2020 will look a little different from other summers, and Noggin is welcoming families to a free, virtual day camp where kids become campers alongside the characters they love. Sign up for your free Noggin account through Noggin Cares, and be one of the first to know when Camp Noggin begins.

Parenting Information / Supporting Children’s Learning

  • Video on How To Talk to Kids About Race: This 3-minute video produced by The Atlantic offers guidance on different ways to approach racial conversations with children, and how to incorporate them into everyday life. “The worst conversation adults can have with kids about race is no conversation at all,” says author Jemar Tisby. “Talking to kids about race needs to happen early, often, and honestly.”
  • NPR Segment: Talking Race with Young Children: This 20 minute audio clip addresses how young children (birth to 5) understand race and its impact on their lives. It offers concrete strategies for talking to young children about current events and everyday moments.
  • DOH Covid-19 Guidance for Neonatal/Infants: Covid-19 guidance for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and caring for newborns.
  • HITN: Articles, printable playsheets, crafts, activities, and a series of LIVE forums with HITN’s educational Advisors as seen on Facebook or Instagram to help parents and caregivers navigate this challenging time with their young children.
  • Let’s Learn, NYC! This collection of resources for children ages 3-8 supports the public television series Let’s Learn NYC!, a partnership between the WNET Group and the New York City Department of Education. The series is designed to supplement remote learning and includes foundational reading skills, literacy, science, and social studies.
  • SEL Tips for this Moment: Six social and emotional learning (SEL) practices, from deep breathing to self-talk, that can help both parents and children deal with stress and anxiety.
  • When A Child’s Emotions Spike, How Can A Parent Find Their Best Self? Steps parents can take to help their children strengthen emotional competence, using the RULER method: Recognize, Understand, Label, Express, Regulate.
  • At-Home SEL Strategies for Early Childhood: A variety of at-home strategies to promote social emotional wellness. Can be filtered by grade level and duration.
  • Fun with Feelings: Fun with Feelings cards are a playful way for you to help your child learn about and manage feelings together. This resource is now available for families to download and use at home!
  • Age Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event: A resource to help families understand how children experience traumatic events, express their lingering distress, and how to restore balance to children’s and families’ lives.
  • Talking is Teaching: Brought to you by Too Small To Fail at the Clinton Foundation. Resources for simple tips and ideas on talking, reading, and singing with young children during everyday moments.
  • All the Way to K and Beyond: Activity posters for children ages birth-5 with easy, age-specific tips and activities to help prepare children for learning and school.
  • Conversations that Matter: Talking to Children About Big World Issues: NAEYC statement on the importance of talking to children about what is happening in the world. Guidance on how to have these conversations so that children understand and have a stronger sense of safety.
  • ReadyRosie: Healthy at Home With the growing impact of the COVID19 virus, ReadyRosie developed this free toolkit as a resource to support families with information and resources for supporting the children in their care.
  • Para Padres: Spanish-Language Resources for Families of Dual Language Learners Habladll.org provides research-based Spanish Language resources for families of children under 5 who are learning more than one language at home and school.
  • COVID-19 Fact Sheets in 35 Languages: Harvard’s Health Literacy and Covid-19 Project have developed age-appropriate tip-sheets on COVID-19 in a wide variety of languages.
  • Sparkler: Play for Parenting: Now FREE for NYC DOE Families! Sparkler: Play for Parenting is an app that offers play-based learning activities you can do with your child. Download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play. When you open the Sparkler app for the first time, create a new account. Next time, sign in using the method you picked. Use code 2-1-2-1 to register, which will give you access to Sparkler for free. Pick “Family” from the drop-down menu. Visit “Play” for ideas for off-screen play that grow your child’s heart, mind, body, and words.
  • Ready4K: Free offering now extended! Ready4K is an evidencebased family engagement curriculum delivered via text messages. Each week, you’ll receive short text messages with fun facts and easy tips on how to promote your child’s development by building on existing family routines – like pointing out letters on the shampoo bottle during bath time and naming their sounds. To sign up text “NYC” to 70138. While there is absolutely no cost for enrolling, your regular data & message rates may apply for receiving ~3 messages per week. You can cancel text messages at any time by texting STOP to 70138.
  • Why Are We All Stuck Inside? This kit offers fun activities that will get young children moving, creating, experimenting and even cleaning, while helping families answer tough questions about coronavirus. The kit is intended to be a jumping off point for your family’s creativity, so adjust for your kid’s personality and what you have on hand.
  • NAEYC For Families: Research-based resources on child development, reading, writing, music, math, and more! Need a suggestion? Read 10 Prop Box Ideas: Mini Learning Centers at Home.
  • Message in a Backpack articles from Teaching Young Children: Tips and ideas about supporting preschool age children’s learning at home.