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 Tres niños, enlace a el artículo Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés
¿Qué es la Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA)?

La ELPA mide el conocimiento del idioma inglés de los estudiantes en las áreas de lectura, escritura, expresión oral, comprensión auditiva y comprensión escrita. La ELPA se lleva a cabo en línea y está diseñada para ser interactiva e incluye preguntas que reflejan escenarios del mundo real. Su objetivo principal es calificar a los estudiantes para que reciban los servicios lingüísticos adecuados e informar y orientar a las escuelas para que apoyen mejor las necesidades de los estudiantes.

El estado de Oregón es miembro de la Evaluación de Dominio del Idioma Inglés para el siglo XXI (ELPA21), un grupo de estados comprometidos a apoyar a los educadores, administradores escolares y comunidades a medida que adoptan e implementan los nuevos Estándares de Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA, por sus siglas en inglés) y los estándares para la universidad y carreras profesionales.

¿Qué incluye la Evaluación del Dominio del Idioma Inglés (ELPA)?

Incluye elementos de escritura, comprensión auditiva, expresión oral y preguntas de respuesta abierta para que el alumno demuestre su conocimiento crítico sobre el tema que se le presente.

¿Quién toma la prueba ELPA?

Cualquier estudiante que califique para los servicios de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL por sus siglas en inglés) o que haya salido del programa de ESL en algún momento durante el año escolar. Hable con el maestro para saber si su estudiante toma esta prueba y para saber en qué nivel se encuentra. Las escuelas envían los resultados de la prueba de su estudiante una vez al año por correo postal.

¿Qué mide o evalúa esta prueba?

La evaluación sumativa de ELPA se basa en los nuevos estándares de Dominio del Idioma Inglés de Oregón y mide los cuatro dominios del lenguaje: lectura, escritura, comprensión auditiva y expresión oral. Estos dominios también se conocen como habilidades de comprensión lectora, producción escrita, comprensión auditiva y producción oral. Para obtener más información sobre lo que se incluye en esta prueba visite https://www.elpa21.org/about-us/

¿Cuándo se administra esta prueba?

Por lo regular, ELPA se administra a fines del invierno o en la primavera. Los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de tomarla una vez al año hasta que salgan del programa de ESL. Llame a la escuela de su estudiante para informarse de las fechas exactas en que tomará la prueba. 

¿Cómo se administra ELPA?

Las evaluaciones se administran a los estudiantes a través del Sistema de Evaluaciones del Estado de Oregón (OSAS, por sus siglas en inglés). Este es el mismo sistema en línea que se utiliza para otras pruebas que administra el Departamento de Educación del Estado de Oregón (ODE, por sus siglas en inglés), como las pruebas de ciencias y artes del lenguaje inglés y matemáticas.

Este es el tiempo estimado para realizar la prueba de acuerdo al grado en que se encuentre el estudiante:

K​​ y 1.º grados: 1 h

2.º y 3.º grados: 1.5 h

6.º y 8.º grados: 3.25 h

9.º y 12.º grados: 4 h

¿Cómo se usan los resultados de la prueba?

Los resultados de las pruebas se utilizan para medir el conocimiento del idioma inglés de los estudiantes y determinar si un estudiante está listo para salir del programa de ESL. Los resultados también se utilizan para cumplir con las responsabilidades estatales y federales del departamento de educación.

Los resultados se envían por correo a las familias una vez al año, a finales del verano o principios del otoño. Los maestros también pueden compartir los resultados con las familias durante las conferencias de padres y maestros y otras reuniones. Asegúrese de pedir los resultados de la prueba y conversar con el maestro de su estudiante acerca de cómo ayudarle a mejorar su proficiencia en el idioma inglés. 

¿Quién lo requiere?

El estado lo requiere. Los estudiantes desde el kínder hasta el 12.º grado, cuyo idioma materno no es el inglés, deben ser evaluados en el dominio del idioma inglés de acuerdo a la Ley Federal y Estatal de Oregón. En Oregón, se usa la prueba ELPA.

¿Tiene la evaluación ELPA componentes para apoyar a los estudiantes con discapacidades o necesidades especiales? 

Sí, la prueba ELPA tiene varios componentes para ayudar a los estudiantes con discapacidades o necesidades específicas de aprendizaje. Hable con el maestro de su estudiante para mayor información.

 

¿En dónde puedo encontrar más información acerca de ELPA?
Contacte al Representante de la ELPA21 en Oregón: Ben Wolcott, 503-947-5835, ben.wolcott@ode.state.or.us. O llame al Departamento de Educación de Oregón, 503-947-5600. 

O en este volante de la ELPA21

 

También puede comunicarse con el maestro de su estudiante.

Young kids in line at school getting temperatures taken by a teacher
Dear families, we know you have been through the wringer for almost two years and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. As we start 2022, we find ourselves once again having to worry about school closures and remote learning. And we are still trying to figure out how to get tested for and vaccinated against Covid-19. Here are some resources to help support you and your family during this difficult time. 

Testing information

Vaccination information

Finding masks

School closure information

Remote Learning resources

And remember, the library is here to help. We can help you find something good to read, watch or listen to while you are isolating. And you should contact us if you have holds ready for pickup, but are not able to get to the library due to Covid. 

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

child brushing teeth in bathroom
Dental health is an important part of our overall health. Two of the best things we can do for our children’s dental health are regular dental checkups and helping them develop a daily toothbrushing habit. Learn more about children’s oral health at the CDC.

If you need dental insurance, Multnomah County can help you apply.

Ever wondered why dental insurance is separate from the rest of your health insurance? Find out why in this Sawbones podcast episode.

It is odd, right? Our teeth and our mouths are just as much part of our bodies as our arms or stomachs. They’re also part of our sensory systems, so children with sensory processing issues often have sensory problems with oral care. If your child has a poor tolerance for tooth brushing, see if any of these strategies help. Communicate with your child’s dentist about sensory processing issues ahead of time to talk about strategies to create a successful dental visit, such as mitigating noise, getting used to the reclining chair, or being sensitive to your child’s cues.  A social story, such as one from this list or from your dentist, explains the dental visit step by step so that your child knows what to expect.

Another good idea? Books of course! Here is a link to books for kids about the dentist and another about taking care of yout teeth

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

sad person covering head with sweatshirt hood
If you, or your child, feel a sense of fatigue and sadness when summer ends and the weather changes to a pattern of continuous cloudy or rainy days, it may be more than just a case of the ‘winter blues.’

Some people experience a regular low period when the seasons change. Doctors have a name for it - Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. It is more common in adults, and more so in women, but children and teens can sometimes be affected, as well. 

SAD is a type of depression that can appear when there is less sunlight. Unlike other types of depression, SAD symptoms seem to arrive as winter arrives and then fade away as spring approaches. Like other depressions, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be mild, or it can be more severe. 

Why does this happen? In most cases, SAD seems to be related to the loss of sunlight. Researchers have found that reduced sunlight can affect the body in ways that could contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder. These include: Circadian rhythm (biological clock) – the decrease in sunlight could disrupt your body’s natural rhythms. There may also be a drop in vitamin D levels and in the brain chemical, Serotonin, that affects our mood. These changes can lead to depression.

Symptoms of SAD may include:

  • change in appetite, especially craving sweet or starchy foods
  • fatigue
  • sleeping more than normal
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability and anxiety
  • increased sensitivity to rejection
  • avoidance of social situations
  • loss of interest in the activities you used to enjoy

If you or your child are experiencing some of these symptoms your doctor can help determine the best way to cope and feel better.

And here is an article written for teens about SAD from Nemours KidsHealth (also available in Spanish). 

This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community orgranizations we know of that are helping the community. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Para ver esta información en español, haga clic en Recursos de alimentos para familias. To see this information in Spanish, click Recursos de alimentos para familias.

Multnomah County School Districts

Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance during the summer. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

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

Centennial [updated 9/30/21]

Every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, there is a food pantry at Patrick Lynch Elementary School's cafeteria, 1546 SE 169th Pl, Portland. Bring your own bags and pick up 3-5 days' worth of free food for your family.

Food For Families will have distribution events on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month (second Wednesday only in December and March) during the school year, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham. An Authorized Representative form is required (en español).

Corbett [updated 9/15/21]

CSD students on free and reduced lunch, and families who are struggling, lunch pick-up is on Mondays from 9:00 to 1:00 at the door by the kitchen in the MPB.   We are trying to limit the lunch pick-up days to once per week to decrease the exposure of staff.  If you need lunches delivered, or these times do not work for you, please contact Seth Tucker at stucker@corbett.k12.or.us

David Douglas [updated 9/15/21] 

There are food pantries located at the following David Douglas school buildings. These are for families to pick up free groceries, not grab-and-go meals. Check the link for a calendar that shows times and any closures.

  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • David Douglas High South Building: 1500 SE 130th Ave. Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Floyd Light Middle: 10800 SE Washington St. Mondays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary: 12839 SE Holgate Blvd. Fridays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Menlo Park Elementary: 12900 NE Glisan St. Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gresham-Barlow [updated 11/10/21]

Food pantries are located at the following schools:

  • East Gresham Elementary: 900 SE 5th St., Gresham. Tuesdays, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Highland Elementary: 295 NE 24th St., Gresham. 2nd Wednesday from 3:15 pm to 5:15 pm

Other community food box information can be found at The Sunshine Division and Snowcap Community Charities

Parkrose [updated 11/3/21]

There is a community pantry located at Shaver Elementary School, 3701 NE 131st Pl. Wednesdays, 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Portland 

Reynolds [updated 9/13/21]

    Public food pantries are being held at the locations listed below. It is recommended that you arrive early as supplies run out quickly. Masks are required. Click here for more information and closures.
    • Glenfair Elementary School: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, 3:45-5:15 pm
    • Reynolds High School: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd, Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 2:30 pm
    • Alder Elementary School: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays, 2:30-4:00 pm
    • Reynolds Middle School: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays, 4:00-5:30 pm
    • Wilkes Elementary School: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. First Friday of the month, 3:00-4:30 pm
    • Davis Elementary School: 19501 NE Davis St. Second Friday of the month, 3:30-5:00 pm
     

    Agencies, Community Organizations and Restaurants

    Information may change so please check their websites if a link is provided.

    C3 Pantry (NE): 6120 NE 57th Ave., Portland. Tuesdays, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

    Mainspring Food Pantry: Tuesday food pantry will "be popping up in different locations in the beginning of 2022", according to their site. The site suggests following them on social media to see locations.
     
    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 (NE): 4800 NE 72nd Ave., Portland. Open Thursday and Saturday, 12-3 pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
     
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.
     
    One Hope Food Pantry (NE): Located at 5425 NE 27th Ave., Portland 97211. Open for drive-through and pickup Saturdays, 11 am - 1 pm. Food boxes are available each week and a hot meal is served on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.
     
    Sunshine Division (SE):  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 (NW): 2023 NW Hoyt St., Portland. Offering a walk-in pantry, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm. A guide to the pantry can be found here.
     
    Lift Urban Portland (SW):  Located at 1838 SW Jefferson St., Portland 97201. Food pantry hours of operation are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A random number lottery takes place 5 minutes before opening to determine your place in line.
     
    Portland Open Bible food pantry (SE):  Located at 3223 SE 92nd Ave., Portland 97266. Pick-up food boxes, information can be found here. Pick-up times are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     
    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.
     
    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.
     
     
     

    Imagen de dinero y birrete

    Préstamos federales para estudiantes. El préstamo federal para estudiantes está solo a nombre del estudiante. Estos préstamos tienen cantidades limitadas, tasas de interés y tarifas de apertura generalmente razonables. Para una licenciatura de cuatro años, la cantidad máxima que el estudiante puede pedir prestada es de $27,000. Para calificar para el préstamo federal para estudiantes, el estudiante debe completar la FAFSA (Solicitud Gratuita de Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes) que está disponible a partir del 1.º de octubre. 

    Cómo completar la FAFSA paso a paso. Este video contiene información importante de cómo completar el formulario FAFSA. 

    Si los padres del estudiante no cuentan con número de seguro social. La ciudadanía de los padres del estudiante no afecta la capacidad del estudiante para completar el formulario FAFSA. Si los padres del estudiante no tienen SSN (Número de Seguro Social), deben ingresar 000-00-0000 cuando el formulario FAFSA solicite sus SSN. Si los padres del estudiante no tienen SSN, no podrán crear una FSA ID (Identificación y contraseña en el sitio web para la Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes) y por lo tanto, no podrán firmar el formulario FAFSA electrónicamente. El estudiante o sus padres tendrán que imprimir la página de firma del formulario FAFSA en línea para que los padres puedan firmarlo y enviarlo por correo a la dirección indicada.

    Más respuestas a otras preguntas relacionadas con el tema.

    Solicitud de ayuda estatal de Oregón (ORSAA). Los estudiantes elegibles indocumentados o bajo el programa de DACA (Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia) en Oregón, pueden completar esta solicitud para recibir ayuda estatal incluyendo la Beca de Oportunidad de Oregón (Oregon Opportunity Grant) y la beca Promesa de Oregón (Oregon Promise).

    Esta beca también está disponible desde el 1.º de octubre. 

    Becas y ayuda que no tienen que reembolsar. El gobierno federal y los gobiernos estatales otorgan becas por varias razones, desde la necesidad financiera hasta el desempeño académico o deportivo. Con una sola solicitud, los estudiantes pueden postularse para la mayoría de estos programas de ayuda.

    Ayuda Financiera de Oregón. Un portal para varias solicitudes de ayuda financiera y becas. Los estudiantes pueden ver la descripción de cada una de las ayudas financieras y becas. 

    Becas Federales Pell. Estas subvenciones no son préstamos por lo que no es necesario pagarlas. Los estudiantes pueden recibir una Beca Federal Pell por 12 semestres o menos tiempo, pero no más.

    Becas para estudiantes hispanos o latinos. No existen leyes federales ni estatales que prohíban a mujeres y hombres indocumentados presentar solicitudes, inscribirse y graduarse de instituciones de enseñanza superior públicas o privadas. Sin embargo; al ser clasificados como extranjeros, los estudiantes indocumentados pierden la capacidad de ser elegibles para recibir asistencia financiera federal y tarifas de matrícula reducidas para residentes estatales. Este sitio tiene información sobre becas para estudiantes extranjeros.

    Becas para estudiantes mexicanos que viven en los Estados Unidos. El Gobierno de México, a través del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) y los Consulados de México en Estados Unidos de América, entrega recursos a las organizaciones e instituciones educativas que participan en la convocatoria y se comprometen a aportar fondos complementarios que al menos dupliquen los recibidos por parte del Gobierno de México, y así aumentar las becas disponibles para los estudiantes mexicanos. Los estudiantes tienen que pasar por el proceso de selección que tenga cada institución educativa para el otorgamiento de las becas.

     

    Mother and child in kitchen making a salad with letters, zucchini and peppers
    November is Diabetes Awareness Month and that got us thinking about how to support children with chronic illness.  

    Maybe you know a child with a chronic illness directly or maybe you just want to support them in spirit. Certainly you’ve seen fundraisers to help families with a sick child. We can’t tell you where to send your money, but a real, concrete action you can take is to get yourself vaccinated for Covid-19Medically fragile and immunocompromised children need herd immunity.  

    Also, get your healthy children all their regular immunizations! Children with chronic illness are more susceptible to diseases of all kinds. They often can’t get immunized themselves and need the rest of us to provide a line of defense against outbreaks of diseases like measles or whooping cough. If you don’t have insurance for regular well child check ups and vaccinations, you can get childhood vaccinations through the Multnomah County Primary Care Clinics at low or no cost, or get vaccines and other health care for K-12 students through the Student Health Center at your child’s school at no cost.  

    Cancer is awful and thinking about a child you know being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating. In this One Bad Mother podcast episode, the hosts talk with Jessica Phillips Lorenz, mother of a pediatric cancer survivor, about the experience of having a child diagnosed with cancer and how friends and family can help. Often, it’s by stepping up to help with really practical stuff like house cleaning, caring for siblings, and food delivery. She suggests doing these things without having to be asked and continuing to do these things over the long haul of the illness. 

    If you have a child with a chronic illness, the diagnosis definitely requires you to level up on your parenting skills. Children’s Hospital of Colorado offers advice on parenting a child with a chronic illness. The Swindells Resource Center at Providence offers resources to families with children experiencing many sorts of disabilities and chronic illnesses. They have a lending library and offer many events and webinars available to anyone, not just Providence members. Take care of your own mental health with a support group or counseling. All health insurance plans will cover mental health care - it’s the law! Call 211 if you need low or no cost suggestions or referrals.

    If your child is coming back to school after a long illness with conditions they need to manage, these tips from The Mighty will be helpful. You’ll develop a plan with your school to provide your child with the support they need to get through their day. This is called a 504 plan. Understood.org is a great website with extensive information for parents to guide you through the process of getting a 504 plan and working with schools.  

    And here are a couple more resources, if you'd like to investigate further:

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up. You can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.
     

    For folks who choose to go to college, university or trade school, we know it's stressful and expensive. Here are some resources to help you with planning and paying for college. 

    Oregon Goes to College
    Information for families with high school students and the steps to take toward college, including how to pay for university studies, links to more than 100 colleges, universities and trade schools in the state of Oregon and resources for undocumented students.

    Oregon’s Office of Student Access and Completion
    This website helps Oregon students plan and pay for college. It is a portal for various financial aid and scholarship applications. You can see the description of each and also directly apply. Be sure to check out the Oregon Opportunity Grant, Oregon's largest state-funded, need-based grant program for college students. As well as Oregon Promise, a state grant that helps to cover tuition costs at any Oregon community college for recent high school graduates and GED test graduates. Complete multiple applications to get money for college here. 

    FAFSA or ORSAA?
    Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans. ORSAA is an alternative to the FAFSA for Oregon residents who are undocumented, including students who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status. Both the FAFSA and the ORSAA open on October 1 each year. If you are not sure where to start, use this filter tool to find out which one is appropriate for you.

    The Ford Family Foundation 
    A foundation that helps high-need individuals in Oregon better their lives and the lives of their families through education beyond high school. They have scholarships available including the Ford Scholars, to assist students who otherwise would find it impossible, or at least very difficult, to obtain a college degree. 

    CollegeBoard CSS Profile
    Some colleges also require students to fill out the CSS Profile to receive financial aid. In Oregon, Lewis & Clark College and Reed College require it. Check with out-of-state schools to see their requirements.

    More information from the library:

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    Babies and toddlers have mental health needs, too. How do they let us know they are hurting?

    We have heard much about the increase in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues in adults, teens and school-age children during times of illness and uncertainty. And thankfully, many professionals have shared practical advice on how to cope and to gradually recover our feelings of safety and hope as we find our bearings in this new-normal world. The library has even written a few posts to help, including:

    But how do our youngest family members, our babies and young toddlers, let us know that they have also been affected by stress and by changing family dynamics? They don’t have the words, yet, to express their confusion and insecurity. Just like adults and older children, babies have different levels of resiliency - some will roll with the changes and thrive, while others may be more anxious and clingy. What is infant and early childhood mental health? And how do they let us know they are hurting? 
     
    What is Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
    According to the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH), “an infant, toddler and young child’s mental health is every part as important as their physical health. Mental health matters for the growth and maturity of the brain and body and for the social and emotional development of a person — now and for the whole lifetime.” But how do you know if your infant is struggling? Especially when they are not talking yet? The following is a list of behaviors you might notice and want to report to your child’s healthcare provider, from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC):

    • A decrease in appetite, changes in bowel movements, and/or changes in sleep patterns
    • A marked change in activity level (less curious or engaged; more lethargic and disinterested; unable to sit still; full of unfocused energy)
    • A marked change in level of engagement (reduced ability to pay attention, turning or looking away; more listless, roaming attention)
    • A reduced tolerance for frustration, which may present as fussiness, whining, or irritability
    • More aggression or anger in a toddler with little or no provoking; a response that is out of proportion to any apparent trigger
    • An increase in seeking comfort and attention from a parent or trusted caregiver, such as wanting to be held more than usual
    • An increase in self-soothing behaviors, such as thumb-sucking or rocking
    • Developmental regression, such as a 2-year-old who was successfully using the toilet for several months but has recently had several accidents, or an 18-month-old who was adding new words to their vocabulary daily but is talking less and using gestures instead

    What can we do as caregivers?
    Here are a few suggestions for ways to support everyone’s mental health when stress levels are rising from NAEYC:

    • Focus on joy. One of the best antidotes to anxiety and stress is doing something that brings you delight, makes you smile or laugh, and gets the endorphins flowing. 
    • Really tune in to your little one. Practice ‘serve and return’ by repeating back their facial expressions and sounds. 
    • Talk often with babies and toddlers even if they can’t answer back. Talk about feelings and sing comforting songs. Hold little ones close and sway and dance.
    • Be honest. There’s no point in pretending everything is normal and we’re all fine. It’s not, and we’re not. Commit with family and friends to practice managing your own mental health and to touch base with each other when you need a wellness check.
    • Be gracious. When everyone is feeling stressed and anxious, we find ourselves more irritable, less patient, more forgetful, and less kind and charitable. Remind yourself often that everyone is doing the best they can.
    • Ask for help. As Mr. Rogers once said, “Look for the helpers.” Commit to building a mental health safety net for yourself and your extended family. That means knowing who you can call on for informal as well as professional support.

    Get more information. 
    Several online sites offer support and suggestions for combating stress. These include:

    This Mental Health Moment article was written for our Family Newsletter brought to you by Learning Support and available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.
     

    closeup on the face of a young child with mask on
    Going back to school has always made kids anxious — and their caregivers too! What will they wear? Will their friends be nice to them? Will they make new friends? Who will they sit with at lunch? Will a school bully be in class with them? And so on … .

    This year’s return to school has an added layer of anxiety due to the pandemic. And as this article from the Child Mind Institute notes, “children who are heading back to the classroom this fall are facing unusual challenges, and one of them is an overall feeling of anxiety about what to expect.”

    The article goes on to give some tips on how to address this anxiety:

    • Validate your child’s feelings
    • Set the tone by being calm and confident
    • Help your child focus on positive things
    • Make sure your child has a predictable routine
    • Emphasize safety and encourage flexibility
    • Know when to seek further help

    Please see the full article for more detailed tips and ideas to help your child gain confidence and independence for a smooth school transition. It is also available in Spanish. Plus the Child Mind Institute has Back to School Tips for Parents.

    And if you have a teenager heading back to school, you might be seeing a lot of turmoil. As with younger kids, it’s important to accept that these feelings are valid. And it’s also important to realize that teens may process these feelings differently than younger folks. A recent New York Times article (PDF linked below*) gives tips on how to support teens as they head back to school, with specific ideas on how to get their feelings out and flowing, without them turning into a flood. Some of the ideas mentioned are:

    • Rather than trying to “fix” your teen’s problems, “listening intently and offering genuine compassion may be all that’s needed.” 
    • “Adolescents looking for psychological relief may need a good cry to release their frustration ...Others might temper their emotions by engaging in intense physical activity. So long as it’s safe, don’t be put off by how young people discharge psychological tension.”
    • Teens might take a needed break “from worrying about the Delta variant by getting lost in a book or TikTok videos.”
    • Getting outside and moving around can also help.
    • Some may want to talk via text, rather than face-to-face.
    • As with younger kids, caregivers who are calm and confident can act like a sandbag during a flood.
    • And sometimes distraction is the best remedy. 
    • They also discuss when it’s important to be concerned and look for more help. 

    We also wrote a previous post on teen mental health that we invite you to read. And again, we are here to support you, so let us know what we can do (contact email below). 

    This Mental Health Moment article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    *If you do not subscribe to the New York Times you can get full access to their articles through the library’s databases. Here is a PDF of the article mentioned from our database: Damour, L. (2021). How to support teenagers as they head back to school, as well as a direct link into the database. Contact us for more information.

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