A Message from National PTA President Leslie Boggs
The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has reached a critical point. Yesterday we learned that we have lost our first known PTA leader to the virus. Our utmost priority during this crisis is the health and safety of all of our members and all students, educators, staff and families. We are also committed to supporting and making sure all PTAs, children, families, schools and communities have what they need during this challenging time.
COVID-19 has and will continue to have significant impacts and implications on K-12 education and student populations. Please know that National PTA is engaging regularly with congressional staff and fellow education partners on critical issues related to COVID-19 such as state testing requirements, access and support for online learning and school meals. We’re also advocating for Congress to take swift, bipartisan action to provide fiscal and policy relief to state and local education agencies.
Today, we issued a statement calling for the federal government to provide clear and robust guidance for families and schools struggling amid the pandemic. We’ve also compiled resources and will continue to add more for our community to use to help navigate the crisis. We are working every day to provide information to support families and students and advocating on behalf of our nation’s youth.
As you and your PTA have questions regarding COVID-19, we urge you to reach out to your state and local health and education departments. Additionally, you can support efforts to assist the most vulnerable children and families by engaging with local school districts and departments of health to determine high-need areas and collaborate with community groups—such as food pantries and other non-profits—to provide essential services and support.
Please continue to follow National PTA on social media, read our newsletters and check out resources and information on COVID-19 at www.PTA.org/COVID-19.
Thank you for everything you are doing to support families, students and schools in your states and communities during this time. We remain committed to advocating for and helping you and our nation’s families, schools and communities navigate the challenges that have arisen in this time of crisis.
MEALS AND FOOD RESOURCESAs school districts across Colorado announce school closures to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Colorado Department of Education is working to mitigate food insecurity among youth. Colorado received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allows students to take meals away from meal sites to be consumed elsewhere, allowing for social distancing. ∗ Here is a link to the Colorado Dept. of Education (CDE) resources, including school districts’ meals and locations that will be regularly updated as information is received from the school districts.
∗ Households that qualify can receive USDA Food packages through USDA Foods household programs.
∗ View Hunger Free Colorado’s COVID-19 site for additional resources.
REMOTE LEARNINGMajor internet providers, including Comcast and CenturyLink, have pledged not to cut service to homes and small businesses that contact them about not being able pay their bills because of disruptions related to the coronavirus. Comcast will also make their Wi-Fi hotspots available to anyone who needs them, even if they are not a subscriber. Comcast is offering to help connect low-income families to the Internet at home. New Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service, which is available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month plus tax. Many educational websites are offering free subscriptions during school closures. The Facebook group Amazing Educational Resources gathered them into a public spreadsheet.
Running your PTA virtually here.
- CDC, Center for Disease Control
- WHO, World Health Organization (added a myth busters page)
- US Food and Drug Administration
Colorado Public Health Resources
Mental Health Support for Kids and Families
Colorado Crisis Center provides free, confidential, professional and immediate support for any mental health, substance use or emotional concern, 24/7/365. Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.
A new website provides comprehensive information for talking with teens about COVID-19 and mental health information.
The Johnson Depression Center provides free educational community programs across Colorado. They are offering parent support webinars, every Thursday 8-9:15 p.m., and webinar recordings are available if the live webinar was missed. They address issues in parenting infants through early 20s during these difficult times.
Anxiety and Coping with the Coronavirus: Managing worry – your kids’ and your own. READ MORE
What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious: How to respect feelings without empowering fear. READ MORE
How Mindfulness Can Help During COVID-19. Tips for calming anxiety during a difficult time. READ MORE
Tobacco-Free Kids “ Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes” campaign has developed a robust set of free, online parent resources because of concern that behaviors such as vaping that weaken the lungs may put kids at greater risk of more symptomatic infection with COVID-19.
NATIONAL PTA COVID-19 TAKE ADVOCACY ACTION
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