We are, without a doubt, facing trying times as the effects of the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation ripple across nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Families and communities across the country are working together to overcome the anxiety and uncertainty brought on by the sudden and indefinite closure of schools and businesses. At AVANCE, our focus continues to be on supporting families and children with limited resources as they navigate the changes and challenges that are arising every day.
With school closures and social distancing requirements, many parents have to remain home with their children and are being asked to provide education and structured learning environments. While we wholeheartedly agree that children should continue to receive education and be engaged in quality learning environments, we also know that these demands can be challenging for parents. In line with our mission, we offer the following resources for parents with infants and toddlers so that they can continue to be their child’s first teacher and that the home is the first classroom. Here are a few helpful online resources offered in English and Spanish:
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
- Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic in English and Spanish
- PBS Daily Activities for Families
- Peep and the Big Wide World Videos y Actividades para los padres de familia
For a full list of resources for families, please visit our resources page.
Over the past week, many individuals and organizations have reached out asking how they can help during this time. One of the challenges we face is being able to implement a teleworking policy when we know that many of our staff do not have access to the equipment or internet in their homes to work from home. We are also concerned about our parents who often rely on AVANCE for socialization and connection. We know that we must continue to provide programming, especially during a time when our parents need the support and socialization more than ever.
We are committed to continuing to deliver our core programming, the Parent-Child Education Program, virtually over the next couple of months. However, we must ensure that all of our staff have the appropriate equipment and software to implement eLearning for our parents. Currently, we need to purchase 50-100 tablets/laptops and hotspots to equip our educators with the tools they need to continue to provide our quality parent education and early childhood education to our parents and their children who are only two short months away from graduating from our Parent-Child Education Program. Please consider donating to help us get the equipment and software we need to continue our programming, which will in turn create socialization and educational support during a time of widespread school closure and social distancing. Help us continue to AVANCE, click here to donate now!
Teresa Granillo, Ph.D., MSW
Chief Executive Officer | AVANCE National
While we cannot offer a helping hand (literally) or a give each other hugs of support during this time, it never hurts to pick up the phone and ask how others are doing. Go for a walk/run. Meditate. Commit to starting each day with a statement of gratitude. Whatever it is that you need to do to stay positive and moving forward during this time, do it; take time for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Always remember that we are not alone in this and that we can support one another during this time. Juntos es mejor! Together we can and will get through this.
AVANCE works closely with school districts across Texas to provide services to local families. As a result of the current pandemic, many school districts have extended spring break or closed indefinitely, pending guidance from public health officials. Below is a list of links to the school districts we work with. You can visit each for district-specific information and updates.