Welcome 2023...

 I hope you and your family have had a safe and happy holiday week. Over the course of this holiday season, I realized that so many of us look forward to the New Year with goals and agendas that make the previous year seem like a virtual waste of time. The traditional New Year's change is a diet or exercise for most and we all know the running joke for that, they rarely last. People make resolutions and statements of grandeur about the upcoming year being better than the previous year. Yes, we all have had tough times and negative situations in the past year. It would be tough to find a human being that had the "perfect year", but is that really cause to dismiss the events of a previous year and act as if just because it's a New Year, you can be a different person. Those that can magically change due to the calendar changing should market their ability by writing a book or finding a mini-series. The truth is, it's hard to change habits and it takes work. And most habit-changing exercises are tough to stick with because human beings need instant gratification in today's world, and most changes to a person's habits do not yield instant change. There is one habit though that we can all build or build upon that does provide instant results, selflessness. 
Find a way to make an actual difference in the lives of those you care about and that care about you. When you go out of your way to do something for someone else that is kind, the instant gratification is a smile and a thank you. And if we all do something little every day, the concept of respect and care will begin to grow again in our world. It can be done, it does not require much, it's simply a mindset to be kind. So, Happy New Year to everyone out there, and I am certain that this next year will bring positivity and joy to your family and life!!

Schools Re-Open January 3

Just a reminder that schools will re-open for students this coming Tuesday, January 3. As the month progresses, please be aware of upcoming calendar items such as Martin Luther King Jr. day on Monday, 1/16, and the final week of the month has some calendar items for high school families to be aware of, along with a half-day for pre-k through grade 8 on Friday, January 27.

NYSED Graduation Measures

The New York State Education Department is currently conducting a ThoughtExchange to gain more information regarding how people feel about potential changes in graduation requirements in our state. The Blue Ribbon committee which was organized to investigate possible changes and make recommendations to the commissioner, is asking, "What are the skills and abilities most needed by NYS graduates to be successful in their chosen post-secondary path?" To participate in their exchange, please visit the NYSED website at http://www.nysed.gov/grad-measures/thoughtexchange.

YMCA Teen Center

As of last month, the Rome YMCA Teen Center has reopened on Monday through Thursday, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The teen center is specifically designed for teens and is a place where teen members can enjoy games, food, and social experiences. For more information regarding the teen center, and/or on becoming a member of the YMCA, please see their flyer on our PeachJar: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/2390436/districts/32521

Rising Stars - Rome Capitol Theatre

Rising Stars is a fun learning experience that teaches stage and life skills through games, activities, individual coaching, and actual performances on the Capitol Stage. The program focuses on developing the students' own creativity, building self-confidence, improving reading comprehension and speaking ability, accepting responsibility, and teamwork. Students will learn stage movement, character development, how to audition, and a whole lot more! Skills developed will better prepare students to compete for roles in school plays and other local stage productions, as well as interact with confidence during pageants, interviews for college or jobs, and in everyday dealings with teachers and peers. For more information, please visit our PeachJar at 

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