State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C - Schenectady) stresses the importance of reading and reminds families to help promote this educational and imaginative hobby.
"Reading is a fun activity that opens the mind to all sorts of adventures," Senator Farley said. "As Chairman of the New York State Senate Subcommittee on Libraries and a former teacher, I try to promote reading and learning as much as possible. Parents have a very important responsibility in their children’s growth and education. Studies have shown that children whose families are involved in their learning become higher achievers and learn more quickly than children whose families are not. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s not difficult to help your children learn. The best way is to encourage them to read," Senator Farley said. "When children see their family members reading, writing and conversing, they naturally want to participate."
Senator Farley promoted the importance of reading and libraries at Duanesburg Central School District on March 5th, when he attended the elementary school's open house. The elementary school showed off its new and expanded library and media center. Senator Farley was able to secure a $10,000 Senate grant for books and other vital supplies for the new center.
Senator Farley also said that March 20th is a special day for promoting reading, since it is New York Agriculture in the Classroom's 2006 Ag Literacy Day. On this day, volunteers throughout the State will go into classrooms to read a book with an agricultural theme and talk to students about agriculture. Senator Farley reports that Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery Counties is currently seeking volunteers to visit second grade classrooms in Fulton and Montgomery Counties to read on that day. To volunteer, call Cornell Cooperative Extension at 762-3090.
Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, Senator Farley said, and the Senator is also promoting a couple of writing contests. The "Be Aware of New York Agriculture" contest, sponsored by New York Ag in the Classroom, the New York Farm Bureau and the New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Foundation, is divided by grade level categories and statewide winners are selected for each grade level. Students can learn more about where food comes from and why agriculture is important in their lives. First place winners will receive a $50 United States Savings Bond and the winning classroom or school will receive agriculture-themed educational videos and/or books. For more information, visit the website www.cerp.cornell.edu/aitc. Information on the contest is also available at Senator Farley's offices at 412 Legislative Office Building, Albany (455-2181); 2430 Riverfront Center, Amsterdam (843-2188); and 33-41 E. Main St., City Hall, Johnstown (762-3733).The deadline is April 14th and entries should be submitted to: "Be Aware of NY Agriculture" Contest, c/o NY Ag in the Classroom, 106 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
As a member of the American-Irish Legislators Society, Senator Farley announces that the Society's annual scholarship competition is again being offered to high school juniors and seniors in New York State. The scholarships, to be used at an accredited New York State college, include a first place award of $1,500 and a second place award of $750. The competition is a 1,000-word essay with the topic of "The Rise of the Celtic Tiger - Ireland's Entry into the Technological Era." Students should include a letter of nomination from a teacher or guidance counselor with their essay. Submissions must be postmarked by April 17th. Application forms are available at the website www.emsc.nysed.gov/nysssa/AmIrLeg/flyer.htm or from Senator Farley's offices. Entries should be mailed to: American-Irish Legislators Society, Legislative Office Building - Room 648, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12248.