Dear HS Staff & Families,
Head Start will continue virtual learning through the academic school year! We know it may not be the news you want to hear, but based on the Governor’s announcement, our centers made the difficult decision to temporarily close through the end of the school year.
Please know that our commitment to your child’s development, learning, health, and safety remains unchanged. As you work to make appropriate preparations for your family, including decisions around how best to support your child during this time, please know we are here to help.
Thank you to our staff for their continued dedication and mission to closing the achievement gap! Our programs have provided links to Google Classroom or Ready Rosie to provide a virtual learning environment with resources for families to keep your child learning. And participation has been incredible, in some areas it is upwards of 80%.
We are also providing additional tips for you to do at home with your child:
Encourage conversations about what’s happening.
Your child likely has questions about what’s going on, why she isn’t going to school, or even why the news suddenly sounds scary. It’s important to encourage her to ask questions and provide enough detail to make her feel informed, reassured, and safe. We recommend asking your child daily how she’s feeling and encourage you to validate her feelings while providing reassurance. Remember that children often express themselves better when talking about story characters or creating art than they do through direct questioning, so be on the lookout for all kinds of messages your child may send.
Build and maintain routine and structure.
Each day your child walks into the classroom and feels confident that he knows what the daily schedule and routine will be. Consistent routines and structures offer comfort and security for children by helping them take ownership of their experiences, which in turn leads to gains in their learning and development. We encourage you to think about ways you might mimic some of these times of day in your home. How might you best provide a sense of structure and normalcy to your child right now?
Find authentic opportunities for meaningful learning.
Young children learn best through meaningful play. Your child has opportunities for deep and meaningful learning through everyday, authentic experiences. For example, as you begin to cook dinner, involve your child in measuring ingredients, reading the recipe, and talking about the flavors and smells. As you get dressed for the day, compare the size of your shoes to hers. Discuss which one is bigger, which one is smaller, and make a game out of lining up all the shoes in your house from smallest to biggest. Then try categorizing the shoes by different attributes, such as color or brand.
Focus on having fun and bonding as a family.
Talk to your child about the things you enjoyed most as a young child—and then do them together! Singing and dancing, snuggling up to share a favorite children’s book or movie, playing with dress-up clothes, or building a fort from couch cushions have been popular activities with generations of children for a reason. Quite simply, they’re fun, they’re easy, and they are sure to spark your child’s imagination.
We look forward to sharing additional strategies to support you and your child during this time. If you need any assistance, are having any difficulties, or have any questions, please reach out to your Family and Community Engagement Specialist.
EVP of Children and Head Start Services