Resources for the Upcoming School Year

August 11, 2023

It’s that time again where we start winding down the summer and begin back-to-school preparations. I want to share news and events that will ease that transition for the upcoming school year.
Click on any of the links below to jump to that section of the email:
Sales Tax Free Week 
Connecticut's 2023 Sales Tax Free Week begins on Sunday, August 20 and runs through Saturday, August 26. This is a great opportunity to take the kids back-to-school shopping or to treat yourself or your loved ones while saving money.
Many retailers in Connecticut offer additional discounts on clothing and footwear during Sales Tax Free Week, providing consumers with even more savings.
During this sales tax holiday, most clothing and footwear items priced under $100 are exempt from the Connecticut sales tax. The exemption during Sales Tax Free Week applies to each eligible item costing under $100, regardless of how many of those items are sold to a customer in the same transaction. The tax holiday applies to purchases made in-store, online, mail-order, and over the phone.

More information about Connecticut’s Sales Tax Holiday, including a list of exempt and taxable items, is available on the Department of Revenue Services website.

Expansion of Free School Meal Program
Hunger and the stigma of not being able to afford school meals is one of the biggest hurdles to learning. That is why I am pleased to report that Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker announced plans to expand Connecticut’s free school meals program for the 2023-2024 school year, enabling more students to receive access to nutritious breakfast and lunch at no additional cost to them or their families.
Under the plan, the state will invest $16 million in federal funding into the program. Funds will be utilized to support the provision of meals at no cost. Click on the button below to learn more.
Free School Meals Program Press Release
Investments in Education
We made historic investments in education with millions of additional dollars allocated in the budget and a number of legislative measures that enhance Connecticut’s educational system. Click below for more information:
New Laws Affecting Education
I will continue to support education as one of the most cost-effective investments we can make for the future of our state.
Mental Health Support For Students
The state is answering the call to help children following the unprecedented learning challenges from the pandemic. Orange Public Schools and Amity Regional School District 05 will receive a total of $433,933.20 to hire and retain school mental health specialists over the next three school years. These funds will support our students so they can excel in and outside of the classroom.
Here is the breakdown:
Lead applicant 2024 Funding 2025 Funding 2026 Funding Total grant award
Orange School District $92,505 $92,505 $64,753.50 $249,763.50
Amity Regional School District 05   $68,211 $68,211 $47,747.70 $184,169.70
Learn More About School Mental Health Specialist Grants
Additional SNAP Benefits For Children

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in consultation with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), this week announced that $8.8 million in special food assistance benefits is scheduled to be distributed Sunday, August 13, 2023, to the families of 57,313 children under age 6 who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Specific information about the August 13 distribution: 

  • Benefits will be deposited onto existing SNAP EBT cards on August 13 to more than 42,635 households (57,313 eligible children) who were under age 6 and receiving SNAP benefits from DSS between September 1, 2022, and May 11, 2023.
  • The one-time additional benefit is $172.72 per child who received SNAP benefits for the entire covered period.
  • Children who did not receive SNAP benefits for the entire covered period will receive a lower, pro-rated amount of P-EBT benefits.
  • Families do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits, all eligible families will automatically receive additional benefits.

Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards, including farmers' markets and direct market farms. P-EBT participants also have access to eligible food purchases online through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers. Additional information is available here.
DSS received information from CSDE to implement the P-EBT Child Care plan, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The P-EBT Child Care SNAP funding was authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, with additional amendments made in the Continuing Appropriations Act and Other Extensions Act of 2021, as well as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
Additional Resources:

  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) can help you stretch your food budget further. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • All children up to 5 years old receiving SNAP benefits are also eligible for FREE Head Start/Early Head Start programming that develops early learning skills, healthy lifestyles, language skills, and literacy skills. Click here to learn more and apply.
Summer Fun at Our Local Libraries
More individuals and families have busy schedules over the summer, but please make sure to visit one of our local libraries. They are great resources, offering a wide range of benefits and opportunities for children and adults. You can take advantage of new books, reading programs, or resources for research.

Our libraries are a safe space for the entire community where you can beat the heat in peace. Click on the links below to see which programs are available in the 114th district:

Woodbridge Town Library

Case Memorial Library

Derby Public Library

Hamden Public Library

Derby Events Calendar
Check out the events below to see what's going on in Derby, and click the button at the bottom of this section to access the community calendar.
Derby Public Library is hosting a series of Get Crafty events, which are crafting programs for adults on Wednesdays from 6 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

CLICK HERE to register for the event on Wednesday, August 23.

Derby Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Hamden
Take a look at the fliers below and click on the button to learn about upcoming events in Hamden:
More Hamden Events
Orange Events and Community Calendar
Check out the upcoming events in Orange, and please click the button below to access the community calendar.
Click Here to Get Your Tickets

You and your family can visit the Orange Community Farmers' Market every Thursday from 3:30 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. until September.

Orange Community Calendar
Woodbridge Events and Community Calendar
Check out the event below, and click the button under that to access the community calendar.
The "Quilts on Show: A Patchwork of Our Community" art exhibit is on display all month at the Woodbridge Meeting Room. The exhibit features quilts and fabricart. A special art reception will be held on August 16.
Woodbridge Community Calendar