Blogs: Parents

Child in voting booth looking up at camera
Families can help children learn about the government through talking, reading and playing. And teaching children how the government works from an early age helps them become good citizens in the future, especially when it comes to voting.

Start with what your children know or have heard from the news, friends and family. Be sure to discuss the importance of respecting different points of view and seeking the truth. You can also read books, play games with younger and older kids, and show them your ballot and the pamphlet with the candidate's information. Take them with you when you drop off your ballot or put it in the mail. Maybe even hold your own elections at home!

And it doesn’t end with voting - your family can continue to learn throughout the year about the government system in America and what it means to be a good citizen. Below are some book lists for all ages that will help!

Multnomah County school districts will continue to provide meal assistance during comprehensive distance education this fall. Here is district information followed by community orgranizations and restaurants we know of that are helping the community. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food during COVID-19 closures.

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below.

Centennial [updated 10/2/20]

Beginning on Monday, October 5, 2020, the Centennial School District will distribute food on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. If there is no school on a Monday due to a holiday, food distribution will be held on Tuesday that week.
 
Food diistributions will continue throughout the time students are in Comprehensive Distance Learning. They will provide five breakfasts and five lunches. The walk up / drive up sites are:
  • Parklane Elementary – 15811 SE Main St, cafeteria door/parking 
  • Powell Butte Elementary – 3615 SE 174th – cafeteria door 
  • Meadows Elementary – 18009 SE Brooklyn St. – front door 
  • Patrick Lynch Elementary – 1546 SE 169th Pl. – by kitchen door.
  • Centennial High School – 3505 SE 182nd Ave. – auditorium  

In addition, two bus routes with four stops each will be running. Please check the website for locations and times. Information about other food and non-food assistance is also available.

Food for Families, a nonprofit  food pantry / mobile market created by Centennial High School  students, has distributions at Centennial High School, 4-6 pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays. You will need to complete an authorization form prior to pick up. Schedule and forms are available on their website.

Corbett [updated 9/15/20]

For students on free and reduced lunch or if your family is in need during these trying times, lunch pick-up will be once a week to decrease the exposure of staff. Pick-up will be on Mondays from 9 am to 1 pm.  Meal bags will have snacks and lunches for a four-day school week for each student in your family. The Food Service Manager will be recording pickup information to comply with requirements of the Free & Reduced Lunch program.

If you need lunches delivered, or if these times do not work for you, please email Seth Tucker at stucker@corbett.k12.or.us

David Douglas [updated 10/15/20] 

Grab and Go meal bags with breakfast and lunch are available Monday-Friday. Families can walk or drive to pick up bags at schools, 12-1 pm, or bus stops, 11:50 am-12:50 pm. Please check the following links for location information.

Food pantries in David Douglas buildings are also available. Please check their website for locations and times.

Gresham-Barlow [updated 10/21/20]

Información en español| Информация на русском языке

Grab and go meals will be available for curbside pickup, Monday - Friday, 11 am -12:30 pm.  

Meals will be one breakfast and one lunch per day.  Parents, guardians, or family members are permitted to pick up meals for students. Meals can be picked up in the front entrance of the schools listed below.
  • Gresham High School - 1200 N Main Street - Gresham, OR 97030
  • Sam Barlow High School - 5105 SE 302nd Avenue - Gresham, OR 97080-Site Closed due to Wildfires.
  • Clear Creek Middle School - 219 NE 219th Ave - Gresham, OR 97030
  • Gordon Russell Middle School - 3625 SE Powell Valley Rd - Gresham, OR 97080
  • East Gresham Elementary - 900 SE 5th St - Gresham, OR 97080
  • North Gresham Elementary - 1001 SE 217th Ave - Gresham, OR 97030
  • Hall Elementary - 2505 NE 23rd St - Gresham, OR 97030
  • Highland Elementary - 295 NE 24th St - Gresham, OR 97030
  • Hollydale Elementary - 505 SW Birdsdale Dr - Gresham, OR 97080
  • Hogan Cedars Elementary - 1770 SE Fleming Ave - Gresham, OR 97080

In addition to serving meals at the sites above, buses will be dropping off meals in neighborhoods and at various locations in the more rural part of our school district.

Parkrose [updated 9/15/20]

Grab & Go Meal Sites including Mobile Meal Sites will be open on school days, 11:30 am-1 pm. Any child 18 or under may pick up a meal at any one of the following sites:
  • Parkrose Middle School
  • Prescott Elementary
  • Russell Elementary
  • Sacramento Elementary
  • Shaver Elementary

Each meal bag will include breakfast and lunch. Students will be entered in our computer system, to allow for contact tracing. Any parent/guardian picking up meals for their student, will also need to give us their child’s name to be entered.

Mobile meal site information in Español | русский  | Tiếng Việt

Portland [updated 10/21/20]

Español | Tiếng Việt |  中文 | Русский | Soomaali

School meals for Fall 2020 will be available for pickup. Meal distribution will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 3 to 5 p.m.
 
Students will receive seven days’ worth of meals each week. On Monday, they will get breakfast and lunch for Tuesday and Wednesday; on Wednesday, they will get meals for Thursday and Friday; on Friday, they will get meals for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
 
Please visit  the PPS website for a lst of schools as well as a form to fill out if you need home delivery.
 

Reynolds [updated10/15/20]

 
Breakfast and lunch available for children up to age 18 and for curbside pickup (in cars or on foot) or in the partking lot. Monday-Friday, except on holidays (please check the Reynolds website for dates).
Elementary Schools:  (11:30am–12:30pm)
  • Alder Elementary School
  • Davis Elementary School
  • Fairview Elementary School
  • Glenfair Elementary School
  • Hartley Elementary School
  • Margaret Scott Elementary School
  • Salish Ponds Elementary School
  • Sweetbriar Elementary School
  • Troutdale Elementary School
  • Wilkes Elementary School
  • Woodland Elementary School
  • Rockwood Preparatory Academy
Secondary Schools:  (11:30am–1:00pm)
  • HB Lee Middle School
  • Reynolds Middle School
  • Walt Morey Middle School
  • Reynolds High School
 
Public food pantries are being held at the locations listed below. It is recommended that you arrive early as supplies run out quickly. 
  • Glenfair Elementary School: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 pm
  • Reynolds High School: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:30 pm
  • Alder Elementary School: Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00 pm (closed on September 9)
  • Reynolds Middle School: Fridays, 3:30-5:30 pm
Please check this post again later for more information about meal availability during comprehensive distance learning.

Agencies

Information may change so please check their websites.

C3 Pantry: Tuesdays and Saturday, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm

Mainspring Food Pantry continues to operate as an open air, farmers market, self select, walk/roll-in food pantry, Tuesdays thru Thursdays 9:30am-12:ishpm. They make every effort to serve everyone in line. Please bring bags for your food if you have access to them since they have a limited supply. You may access the food pantry once a month.

Meals 4 Kids: serves qualified children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete a request form.

Northeast Emergency Food Program: open Thursday and Saturday, 1-3 pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.

Partners for a Hunger-free Oregon

Portland Adventist Community Services: offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am.

Sunshine Division:  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit sunshinedivision.org or call  503.609.0285

William Temple House: offering food boxes, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm

Self Enhancement Inc also has a list of community food resources that includes sites in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washingon and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Vancouver, WA area schools.

For more information about access to food for families including the Oregon Food Bank, please call 211, or  text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for Meals locations. or visit oregonfoodfinder.org.

Restaurants

There are many great local businesses stepping up to make sure students are fed. Please check their websites or call to confirm. Meals are available while supplies last and restaurants may also have limited hours or may close. 

831 SE Salmon St.
Registration required. Food pickup is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12-1 pm

Lionheart Coffee (Beaverton)
FREE brown bag lunches available for anyone who needs them at both locations. 
4590 SW Watson Ave.
11421 SW Scholls Ferry Rd
 
Pita Pit in Oregon City
1430 SE Water Street
Free lunches for children and families in need. Please call 503-234-7085
 

Physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing. Staying in touch with family and friends is important. Games can be a way to connect with the kids in your life or to connect your kids with their friends and family while at home. Whether one, two or multi-player, there are some good options for free apps and online games for preschoolers to tweens to teens.

photo of iPad with children's app icons

The Association for Library Service to Children creates an annual Notable Children's Digital Media list that has web-based and app-based games for pre-k up through middle school (some free, some for a small fee) and the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award has suggestions for younger children.

Common Sense Media posts reviews and rates based on developmental criteria and factors such as ease of play, positive messages, violence, and consumerism. Reviews from parents and kids are also available.Their site has lists of suggestions for free online games and free apps that can be sorted by age. 

Check out Online Games for Families to Play Together, an article from Parents magazine. It includes some classics and some new ones, and it’s a good starting point for multi-generational game ideas. Another article shares 15 free online learning games.

Board Game Arena has thousands of games for all ages--Connect Four, Battleship, Can't Stop, King Domino, and Carcassonne to name a few. Games can be played by inviting friends or joining tables. You can also change the language for the site and play.

If branded games are okay, many networks have kids gaming sites that tie in with their characters. Some of those are PBS Kids, Disney Jr., Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr

Toca Boca has a lot of different games that are great for creative, open-ended play. They offer a good amount of gameplay for free, but you can purchase additional content. 

Loteria is a traditional Latin American bingo game you can play on Google Doodle Loteria. Begin by clicking the red play button for the video at the top of your screen. You can play with friends by sharing the link it gives you.

And if you ask kids, they will say Minecraft! Minecraft Classic can be played for free online although players can't save their progress.

The 14-year-old gamer son of one of our librarians suggested Forza for middle schoolers and older. Forza is a series of car racing games that is available from Microsoft Games to play on different devices.

Whatever the gaming choice, talking with your children about going online is always a good idea. SafeKids.com, Connect Safely and the Federal Trade Commission have resources for parents and children.

Have fun and game on!

photo of children at Wizard Camp library program
For the past several years, the Hollywood Teen Council has hosted a Hogwarts Camp for 1st-3rd graders during the winter break from school. As many camps and summer programs aren’t happening this summer, they want to share some ideas so that you can create your own wizard camp at home.
 
Usually the teen council would make the gathering of supplies a big part of the first day of camp, and you can pick and choose which supplies you will want to make. During camp, they would try to expose burgeoning witches and wizards to a variety of wizard school subjects such as Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Charms and more. At home, with more time, there are many possibilities. You can also find ideas for games and activities as well as some magical treats to make. Imagination is the key ingredient for all of these. Here is a list of supplies and activities for your DIY Wizard's Camp.

Difficult conversations are happening in our country, states, cities and homes about race, racism, and anti-racism. These are not topics only for adults though. Talking with teens, tweens and younger children is important. Research has shown that children as young as six months notice race [Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race by Erin N. Winkler, Ph.D. University of Wisconsi-Milwaukee, PACE Vol. 3-No. 3,  2009 HighReach Learning Inc]. 

If you are unsure how to start and continue talking with your children as they grow, there are books to share and websites with resources to help. Several of these also discuss how you can be a model since actions often talk louder than words.

Teaching Young Children About Race is a guide for parents and teachers from Teaching for Change

EmbraceRace.org has articles, webinars and action guides about how kids learn about race, seeing and talking about differences, using picture books to have meaningful conversations, and more.

Talking about Race from the National Museum of African American History & Culture shares reflection questions, videos, and links to other resources.

Teaching Tolerance was created for educators, but parents may also find it useful to discuss race and ethnicity, and rights and activiism among other topics. The home page currently features articles about Black Lives Matter and Teaching about Race, Racism and Police Violence.

Talking to Children about Racial Bias from the American Academy of Pediatrics includes how parents can confront their own racial bias and a doctor's story of his encounter with racism as a 7-year-old.

Explaining the News to Our Kids from Common Sense Media offers tips by age.

 

en Español


letters
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old on or by September 1st? It's time to register them for kindergarten! Below are links to all Multnomah County School Districts and their kindergarten registration information.

If you're not sure which elementary school is your home school, each district has a school locator to check. If you need help identifying your district, find schools near you using your address or ZIP code, or call 2-1-1.

 

 

Centennial has registration packets available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali and Chinese. Student bus information is also available.

Corbett has a Google form available in English and Spanish to determine interest. Formal registration will follow.

David Douglas has online registration available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese. 

Gresham-Barlow asks that you register your child by June 1st. Select languages other than English at the top of the screen for Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Hmong, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Language assistance is available to help non-English speaking families with the enrollment process and other services. 

Parkrose offers online registration for the first time this year. Information is on their website in English and Spanish.

Portland Public Schools' online registration process takes 20-30 minutes and school staff will follow up with you later in the summer. With schools closed, online registration is the easiest option. Paper registration packets are available at meal sites, May 28 through June 10.  Packets will be located at the curriculum tables and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for easy mailing..

  • You don’t need to register if your child attends a PPS Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten program.
  • If a child has an approved transfer and the parent registers online, the parent must do so using their neighborhood school based on the home address. The Enrollment and Transfer Center will change the school location to the transfer school at a later date. 
  • Families with children who have IEPs will need to register using a paper form.

Reynolds information is available in English and Spanish. Staff will contact you to confirm your child's enrollment after you submit the registration. Families will be invited in August to a virtual or in-person Kindergarten Orientation (depending on state guidance). 

Riverdale asks parents of new students to submit a New Resident Introduction Form as soon as possible. An enrollment packet will then be shared.

The library may be closed and people are staying home, but it doesn't mean parents and caregivers are alone in trying to help young children learn and develop.  This collection of resources includes articles, videos, webinars, and activities to help parents and caregivers support their children's healthy development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

For parents:

How to Support Children (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The Center on the Developing Child offers three main activities that can help parents promote their young child’s healthy development and manage their own stress during the pandemic. PDFs are provided in both English and Spanish.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
From PBS Kids for Parents website. A parent shares how she talked with her children about the coronavirus. Includes “four ways we can help young kids build germ-busting habits.” The article is also available in Spanish.

A support guide for parents raising babies and toddlers through the coronavirus crisis
This article from Quartz offers reassurance to parents who are concerned that their child is missing out on opportunities for growth and development during these times of uncertainty and isolation. Included are resources to help keep young children engaged and learning, ideas for parental self-care, and links to sources of information about child development.

For childcare providers:

5 ways early care and education providers can support children’s remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
From Child Trends.

Trauma and Resilience: The Role of Child Care Providers
A webinar focused on the effect of trauma on children’s learning.It addresses the role of teachers and providers using resilience building strategies to support children across the age continuum.

For anyone interested in children’s development and well-being:

Being Black Is Not A Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child
This report from the National Black Child Development Institute includes articles such as “ The Black Family: Re-Imagining Family Support and Engagement” and highlights successful programs like Great Beginnings for Black Babies, Inc.

How to Teach Children to Stay 6 Feet Apart
Tips on how to teach social distancing to children from No Time for Flashcards.

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Guidance, recommendations, and resources provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.

Resilience
A short video and an article about how children build resilience from the Center on the Developing Child.

What Is COVID-19? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?
From the Center on the Developing Child: “An infographic that explains the basics of what COVID-19 is, and what it can mean for stress levels in both children and adults… it explains how all of us can work to ensure the wellbeing of the community now and in the future”. PDFs are available in English and Spanish.

More information:

2 Ways COVID-19 is Creating Even Greater Inequities in Early Childhood Education
A brief article from The Education Trust, a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Creating Communities of Opportunity
Dr. David Williams discusses ways in which the coronavirus pandemic is particularly affecting people of color in the U.S., and what that can mean for early childhood development. 

Thinking About Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts Through a Science-Informed, Early Childhood Lens
An article from the Center for the Developing Child.

Distance learning can be challenging.  If you are looking for help with schooling, here are some free tutoring resources  to consider.

Tutor.com

Who is eligible :  K-college students
Registration required : yes for some features, no for live help
Who are the tutors :  college and graduate students, teachers, working professionals
Which languages is tutoring available in : English, Spanish, Vietnamese

Other Tutor.com information : 
available with a library card
live tutoring 2-10 pm daily
essay help
worksheets
suggested websites
learning videos

Learn to Be

Who is eligible : K-12 students with a focus on underserved students
Registration required : yes
Who are the tutors : high school and college students, adults
Which languages is tutoring available in : English

Interns for Good

Who is eligible : Elementary and middle school students
Registration required : yes
Who are the tutors : high school students
Which languages is tutoring available in : English

Teens Tutor Teens

Who is eligible : Teens 13-18
Registration required : yes
Who are the tutors : high school students
Which languages is tutoring available in : English
 
Other Teens Tutor Teens information :
group tutoring
test prep tutoring
on-demand videos
worksheets
essay editing
 

If you are looking for extra academic support instead of live tutoring, consider these free resources:

Learning Resource Express Library has academic support resources for upper elementary school through high school. Available with your Multnomah County Library card.

Khan Academy has free video-based lessons and practice for K-12 students.

Smart Tutor offers free resources for K-8 students and support for high school math.

With the rapid changes in response to COVID-19, teens are under a great deal of stress. They are struggling with adapting to online school, being isolated from their friends, and losing out on important milestones and opportunities. As parents and caregivers are working through their own stresses and difficulties, it can be difficult to know how to support teens during this time. Here are some resources to help.

Library resources

If you don't already have a library card, you can sign up for a temporary card online.

Find great young adult audio and e-books on Overdrive Teens.

Stream movies and music, and find graphic novels and comics on Hoopla.

Even though the library isn’t recruiting Summer Reading volunteers this year, we will still have the Summer Reading Program. It starts June 15 and participants can play online or with a paper game board. The grand prize is the choice of a Technology Package or an Experience Portland Family Fun Package.

Check out more resources highlighted on our teen page.

Mental and emotional health

Teens can get peer support from YouthLine. No problem is too big or too small. Call 877.968.8491 or text 83986. YouthLine has also created a list of support resources specifically for COVID-19.

UNICEF has six strategies for how teens can cope with COVID-19.

John Krasinski of The Office launched a YouTube Channel called Some Good News to help lift spirits during quarantine.

With nearly 7.5 million followers, Yoga with Adriene is a very high quality YouTube channel. She has videos on meditation, physical fitness, and using yoga to process emotions.

Teens can help combat the spread COVID-19 in their communities by donating homemade masks to Multnomah County Joint Response. The CDC has instructions on how to make and properly use cloth face masks.

Resources for parents and caregivers

For up-to-date information and resources, check the Multnomah County page on COVID-19.

The Education Development Center has tips for Parenting an Older Teen in a COVID-19 World.

The Search Institute has a Relationships Checkup tool for parents, other caregivers and educators.

Quaranteengers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters, a New York Times article, offers advice on how parents and caregivers can support teens during quarantine.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has created a helpful fact sheet for parents and caregivers. It contains a table broken down by age group that lists some common reactions children and teens might have to stress as well as ways that parents and caregivers can support youth. 

It’s also important to take care of yourself while taking care of others. Here are some resources for self-care for parents and caregivers.

National Parent Helpline, 1.855.427.2736

Mental Health and Coping with Stress from the CDC

Why Parents Need Self-Compassion During the Coronavirus Pandemic from the Chidlren's Hospital of Philadelphia

Parenting During Coronavirus: You Are Enough from PBS Parents

 

As we are continuing to shelter in place through the end of the school year, here are some of our favorite authors and illustrators bringing their work directly to your kids and teens at home.

Jason Reynolds’ Write. Right. Rite. series. Create an award for yourself. Write a letter to a 15-year-old loved one. Design a book cover. Jason Reynolds, the seventh National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, brings weekly lessons and writing prompts about learning the ritual of “authentic”—not to be confused with “correct” or “exact”—expression. Throughout the series, he will share his passion for storytelling while discussing topics like creativity, connection, and imagination.  

Thank You Thursdays! With Mo Willems. Mo Willems and Yo-Yo Ma created a special play list of songs just for you. Get lost in the songs as you listen and doodle! If you haven't already joined in, check out the archive of Thank You Thursday and Lunch Doodles for more doodle sessions with Mo. 

The Guinness Book of World Records Weekly Challenge. The Guinness Book of World Records has created an at-home platform for kids to explore the stories of people who have set world records, and try breaking some of their own. Join each weekly challenge with ##gwrchallenge

Reading Rockets - video Interviews. Want to learn more about one of your favorite authors? Watch one of these videos! 

Storyline Online. Join celebrated actors like Rashida Jones, Betty White, and Rami Malek reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. 

#Operation Read Aloud. This Facebook page has links to all kinds of folks - famous people, authors and others, reading books out loud. 

Kids Ask Authors. Kids Ask Authors (subscribe here!) is  a weekly 5-10 minute podcast where children’s book author/illustrator Grace Lin and a guest author answer a question from a child reader. You can read their answers on this website.  Most episodes end with a book review, poem, short story or a joke by kids! Submit a question HERE! Submit a kid book review, poem, short story or joke HERE!

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