Keeping an active mind, especially for school-aged New Yorkers, is critical in the summer months. I encourage all parents and guardians to remind their young ones to pick up a book and immerse themselves in a literary adventure. Reading is one of the most important academic exercises available to both adults and children.

Our local libraries play an instrumental role in the growth and development of young people and the overall health of our communities. That’s why I’m proud to announce that nearly $400,000 in state funding will be awarded to six local libraries in the 131st Assembly District. This money comes from a $34 million pool created in the 2018-2019 State Budget, dedicated for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects. Statewide, 251 projects will be funded.

 

GOOD NEWS FOR LOCAL LIBRARIES

Local libraries are among the most important institutions in our communities, and we have a responsibility to support, invest and assist them any way we can. This critical funding will help aging facilities keep up with proper maintenance and make necessary upgrades. Libraries provide all of us with endless opportunities to learn, discover and grow. As public officials, the least we can do is provide the resources they need to continue their mission.

The projects that will receive this critical state investment are:

Bloomfield Public Library — $30,757 for interior renovations to the building;

Clifton Springs Library — $28,847 for roof replacement;

Geneva Public Library — $244,668 for an expansion project;

Gorham Free Library — $36,385 for interior and exterior renovations;

Naples Library — $35,315 for a new HVAC system and roof replacement; and

Victor Farmington Library — $5,839 for exterior renovations.

I have continued to advocate for adequate library support and funding, and will continue to stand against any efforts to diminish their value to the communities they serve. New York’s libraries are incredible, free resources that facilitate both creativity and learning. The New York Library Association (NYLA), along with library boards across the state, helps ensure these pillars of our education system deliver needed services efficiently and effectively. Most of all, they help build healthy communities.

 

AUGUST IS VISION AND LEARNING MONTH

According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, August was declared Vision & Learning Month almost 25 years ago, in 1995. The goal, it states, is to increase awareness of “the prevalence of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed vision problems.” These problems can spill over into students’ academic performances and later impact them as adults. In between trips to the library and other back-to-school preparations, please also consider making an eye exam appointment for your young ones. This small step can go a long way toward ensuring they have a happy and successful academic year.

While the grant recipients can celebrate new state investments, I strongly encourage parents and kids to visit a local library, pick up a new book and enjoy the journey. It’s a great way to expand vocabulary, reduce stress and help improve focus and communication before it’s time to get back into school routines.

What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at 315-781-2030, email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.  

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, represents the 131st District, which includes Ontario County and part of Seneca County.