Showing up for Our Youth Remotely, NO MATTER WHAT.
We will continue to provide updates to this article regarding our COVID-19 response as we have them.
At Friends of the Children–Portland and SW Washington, we have
witnessed time and again the resiliency and resourcefulness of our
program youth and their families during crisis and hardship. While we
expect nothing less during COVID-19, we also know that they will be the
most impacted by the ripple effects of social distancing and quarantine
measures. They need our support now more than ever.
To all of you parents out there, we get it. Remote learning at home is hard, causing anxiety and stress. We are all scrambling to figure it out. Take a deep breath and remember you are not alone. Here are a few online learning tools and apps our professional mentors are using with their youth to help keep them engaged in the learning process while making it fun.
Splashmath, https://www.splashlearn.com/ - K-5 Math learning program
ST Math, https://www.stmath.com/coronavirus - Web-based visual instructional program that leads to a deep conceptual understanding of math. (Free through June 30, 2020)
Rosetta Stone, www.rosettastone.com/freeforstudents/ - Language learning program (Free for students through June 30, 2020)
Our Friends are working closely with families to identify needs and help them access emergency resources. To help with those efforts, please consider purchasing a few of these much-needed supplies for our youth and families.
While our buildings are closed, a staff member will be receiving supplies and readying them for our mentors to distribute to families. Please use their address located on the supply list for deliveries or shipments. This is also the address to which purchases from our Amazon mailing list will be sent.
While shopping for your own family, consider purchasing a few extra items for our youth. Kid-friendly meal supplies are getting increasingly hard to come by and are often not included in community food boxes.
We will be updating this list regularly as supplies become available.
We stand by our youth and families NO MATTER WHAT. At the same time, the safety and health of our staff, youth and all of our loved ones are very important to us. For that reason, we have made the decision to close all of our youth spaces and offices and have shifted to provide support and show up for our youth remotely.
We persevere on and continue to provide mentoring services in new and different ways. Here are just a few of the things that our Friends are working tirelessly to ensure that youth and families are receiving the level of support and care they have come to know and trust:
1. Contact each of our youth’s caregivers to
identify any concerns they have right now and any need for emergency
provisions or services.
2. Continue to connect weekly with our youth 1:1 through digital devices.
3. Provide activities and resources for youth to stay academically engaged while out of school.
4. Check-in on our youth’s goals, helping them to set plans for how they can continue working on their goals during this time.
5. After weeks of classroom observations, continue
the process of selecting new kindergarteners for our program by
identifying the youth that can most benefit from long-term, intentional
6. Identify professional development opportunities so that we can continue to meet our youth’s needs through highly skilled and trained mentoring.
Though it looks different—we are still in the community! We can’t
emphasize enough the need right now to take care of ourselves and each
other. After all, our work remains the same. We lean into that grit and
hope as we continue to be in service to our youth and families. They
need us more than ever.