The New York State Education Department announced today in conjunction with Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz that it will work with organizations that promote organ and tissue donation to develop model curriculum, exemplar lesson plans and best practice instructional resources on the importance and value of organ and tissue donation. These materials will be made available free for every school district in the state starting in September at the start of the school year.

“Thousands of New Yorkers are waiting for organ and tissue donations right now,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said. “These tools will help school districts teach students that people of all ages and medical history can donate organs and tissue and help save lives. It’s a valuable lesson in good citizenship; helping others in need. NYSED will issue guidance to every district statewide to inform them that these materials are available for use in the classroom.”

“The State Education Department is committed to making sure this lifesaving information gets to as many students as possible,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “These materials can be used in a number of ways, such as part of drivers education courses. As young people get their drivers’ licenses, they will also get information on the need for organ and tissue donation. That little heart printed on their drivers’ license will be a sign of their compassion and caring. I want to thank Senator Flanagan and Assistant Speaker Ortiz for their leadership and for working with the Department on a sensible approach to this important issue.”

In addition to producing guidance materials, NYSED will remind districts about the materials each year in April as part of Organ Donation Awareness Month.

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