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Resources For Families Whose Children Are Home From School

Below is a (fluid and growing) resource list for families. Resources include information, community resources, education, activities and more. Know of a resource you don’t see listed? Email Jamie O’Conner at jamie@familyvoicesmn.org to share.

♦Click here for Facts About Essential Services During the Covid-19 Outbreak⇒

Resources for Families

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)–  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Page.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)– Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page.

Family Voices National– Has a Coronavirus webpage and also organized their March Resource eBlast by five key words for families of children and youth with special health care needs to keep in mind related to the coronavirus–information, partner, plan, talk, and calm.

Gillette Children’s– COVID-19 FAQ

Trinka and Sam Fighting the Big Virus: Trinka, Sam and Littletown Work Together– From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, this book helps young children and families talk about their experiences and feelings related to COVID-19 and the need to shelter in place. In the story, the coronavirus has spread to Littletown causing changes in everyone’s lives. The story opens doors to conversations about COVID-19, ways that families and communities are working together to keep safe from the virus, family and community strengths, common challenges and reactions in children and adults, ways that families support children and each other, and our intense gratitude for frontline workers. A caregiver guide is available in the back of the book that provides ways parents can use the story with their children. A companion story, Fighting the Big Virus: Trinka’s and Sam’s Questions, for how to answer children’s questions about the virus is also available. 

Ten COVID-19 Preparations To Do RIGHT NOW for Medically Complex Families– Complex Child gives ten tips are things you can — and should — do right now in order to survive the next few months.

Emergency Information Form– From the American Academy of Pediatrics

Are you Ready? Preparing for Emergencies– Tips for Families from Family Voices National

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Part 1 of a 3 part COVID-19 series by Family Voices National (pdf). Spanish Version.

United Way– Assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services. Dial 211. United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund.

♦Click here for Facts About Essential Services During the Covid-19 Outbreak⇒

Food

Please check carefully for service areas and be in touch with organizations to be sure operating hours and food availability match what you’re seeing on the websites.

Metro Area

VEAP– VEAP asks for proof of residency when visiting our Food Pantry (valid ID and/or official mail with address) and visitors must reside in our service area (Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and a small portion of South Minneapolis, south of 50th Street and west of Cedar Avenue). 

Good in the ‘Hood– Through the Food in the ‘Hood program, client-choice food shelves and hot meal programs are operated in Bloomington and North Minneapolis.

Ruby’s Pantry– Currently, there are 80 Ruby’s Pop-Up Pantry locations across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Enter your zipcode into the Pop-Up Pantry Location Finder to see if one is near you.

Various Locations Around MN

Restaurants Offering Free Lunches While Schools Are Closed– Many kids rely on school lunches to stay fed during the day, and with the announcement that schools will be closing, several restaurants have said they will give free lunches to any students who need them while they’re home from school.

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Part 1 of a 3 part COVID-19 series by Family Voices National (pdf). Spanish Version.

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-Being During the Pandemic (Child Trends, 3/19/2020)

Telehealth Tips: Part 2 of 3 part COVID-19 series by Family Voices National (pdf). Spanish Version.

Talking to Children About COVID-19– National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offer a parent resource on talking to children about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks– Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration PDF.

Helping Kids Cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic– News article by Mayo Clinic.

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus– It’s based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus– Here are tips from the Child Mind Institute’s clinicians to help calm fears, manage stress and keep the peace.

The Yucky Bug– Written by Julia Cook and illustrated by some great kids at Emerson Elementary School.

Wash Your Lyrics– Generate hand washing infographics based on your favorite song.

Parenting and Ideas for Kiddos: Part 3 of a 3 part COVID-19 series from Family Voices National.

National Center for Learning Disabilities– Every student deserves access to educational opportunities — even if that means virtual education during this pandemic. And if educators are expected to innovate and act nimbly during these unprecedented times, we must provide the resources schools and districts so desperately need to effectively design those learning opportunities and educate all students. 

Have Fun Teaching– Offering FREE Coronavirus Relief Packs for Preschool through 5th Grade. Each download includes worksheets, activities, songs, and videos for all subjects. IMPORTANT: The download is a .zip file. You must be on a computer or laptop to save it. Thanks!

Storyline Online– Beat the boredom with a YouTube channel where celebraties read kids’ books aloud. Also available on Facebook.

Cincinatti Zoo Home Safari -Each weekday at 4pm on they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Videos will be available on-demand on their website.

Toneworks Music Therapy Services LLC– Monday – Friday on Facebook Live Toneworks is offering five 30 minute activities. You can check them out on-demand on Toneworks’ Youtube channel.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!– Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. 

Growing Book by Book– A list of online literacy resources.

We are Teachers– 60+ Awesome websites for teaching and learning math.

ABC Mouse– Full online curriculum for children ages 2-8. Try it free for 30 days.

National Parks Virtual Tours– You don’t actually have to leave your couch to see some of America’s most glorious landscapes. Powered by Google Earth, a whole bunch of parks offer free virtual tours.

Virtual Museum Tours– Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.

20 Virtual Field Trips to Take With Your Kids– There are also lesson ideas, activities and book suggestions to extend the learning for each type of destination.

Toneworks Music Therapy Services LLC– Monday – Friday on Facebook Live Toneworks is offering five 30 minute activities. You can check them out on-demand on Toneworks’ Youtube channel.

Paris Museums– Paris Musees, a collection of 14 museums in Paris have recently made high-res digital copies of 100,000 artworks freely available to the public on their collections website.

YMCA 360: Your Virtual YMCA– Virtual access to the best group fitness classes on the go and resources for kids to learn, grow and thrive even when school’s out.

GoNoodle– Movement Powers Change® GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are!

Recreation Therapy Ideas for Children with Developmental Disabilities: From the Therapeutic Recreation Directory.

Cosmic Kids YogaYoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.

5 Minute Move: Short energizing workouts for kids. 5 minute workouts from a PE teacher. 

National Parks Virtual Tours– You don’t actually have to leave your couch to see some of America’s most glorious landscapes. Powered by Google Earth, a whole bunch of parks offer free virtual tours.

20 Virtual Field Trips to Take With Your Kids– There are also lesson ideas, activities and book suggestions to extend the learning for each type of destination.

Virtual Disney World– Virtually experience Walt Disney World attractions, shows, hotels, monorails, trains, boats, park areas, and more within an interactive 360º video environment.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)– Manage anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ten Percent Happier LIVE– 4 pm CT, daily, offering a free live sanity break, featuring host, Dan Harris, and some of the world’s best meditation teachers, streaming from their homes to yours. They start with a five minute meditation, and then take questions from the audience.

Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus– Here are tips from the Child Mind Institute’s clinicians to help calm fears, manage stress and keep the peace.

Family Voices of MN– All parent groups have gone virtual. 

Zoom– Offers a full-featured Basic Plan for free with unlimited meetings. Try Zoom for as long as you like – there is no trial period. Your Basic plan has a 40 minutes time limit on meetings with three or more total participants.

Google Duo–  Works on Android and iOS smartphones, tablets, computers, and Smart Displays, so you’ll never miss another moment with any of your friends and family.

Caribu App– Family video-calling app integrating children’s books and activities – a truly engaging experience for kids and their families – a “virtual playdate.” *To help keep families connected during this uncertain time, AT&T is funding 60 days of free access and unlimited usage of Caribu. Offer valid March 24-May 24, 2020.

Disability Advocacy and COVID-19 The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) covers resources and actions advocates can take to support people with disabilities’ needs and concerns so they are adequately addressed in COVID-19 efforts. Note that these efforts are in collaboration with hundreds of advocacy organizations around the United States!

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Part 1 of a 3 part COVID-19 series by Family Voices National (pdf). Spanish Version.

Telehealth Tips: Part 2 of 3 part COVID-19 series by Family Voices National (pdf). Spanish Version.

Telehealth Tips: Part 2 of 3 part COVID-19 series by Family Voices National (pdf). Spanish Version.

Connecting with Children and Adolescents via Telehealth During COVID-19:  Advice for child and adolescent psychologists by the American Psychological Association (APA). 

State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit– Released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with a focus on pediatric considerations, including the impact of HIPAA, FERPA, IDEA, and age-of-consent laws. The Toolkit includes a checklist of policy questions intended to serve as a tool for states to assess telehealth in their state. More about the toolkit: CMS Releases Telehealth Toolkit with Special Emphasis on Pediatrics (Georgetown Center for Children and Families blog, 4/23/2020).

Disaster Distress Helpline– SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline– 1-800-273-8255 or Chat The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-Being During the Pandemic (Child Trends, 3/19/2020)

Mental Health Support and COVID-19– National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota webpage. 

COVID-19 Resources– From Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH)

Parent / Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)– The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides information that will help parents and caregivers think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect their family-both physically and emotionally-and what they can do to help their family cope. (English, Spanish and Chinese versions available)