Blogs: Parents

You might be keeping safe at home but enjoy these live online performances from some amazing library children’s performers.

Bored? Tired of being home? Try a scavenger hunt to explore the library website and catalog. Discover some new resouces and learn a bit about the library. How many languages does TumbleBooks offer books in? What app can you use to learn a language? When did your neighborhood library open? Try all or some of the questions. Click here for the questions and, when you're ready, here are answers and how to find them.

Schools are closed, the library’s closed, and playdates are cancelled. How will you keep your children active, engaged and learning? How can you find a way among all the websites and social media ideas? Fortunately, Multnomah County Library has you covered with books, databases, and streaming audio and video available beyond our walls. Youth services staff also found and selected other resources  to help parents and students.

Learning resources

Connect to our learning resources list for links to access e-books, tutoring help, language learning, digital magazines, and educational videos available through Multnomah County Library. 

Activity ideas

Need activity ideas? Overdrive Kids has e-books for kitchen science, learning to knit, folding paper airplanes, Lego creations, and a few joke books to help you from hearing the same joke again and again.

Unlimited movies and shows

Visit Kanopy and click on Kanopy Kids on the right of the top bar for a curated collection of movies and shows for preschoolers to middle schoolers. Kanopy Kids provides unlimited plays so your kids are free to explore educational and entertaining content.

Comics and  graphic novels

For your comics and graphic novel reader, Hoopla has a kids mode with Garfield, Nate the Great, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, and graphic novel adaptions of titles such as Anne of Green Gables and The Graveyard Book. Hoopla also has music and movies for the whole family.

Home learning

For links to homeschooling information, virtual field trips, reading, art and science, check out our Home Learning & Engagement website suggestions. If you’re curious what Multnomah County educators are sharing, we put together a list with school district links

 

The library buildings may be closed, but your library is much more than a building and we are here to help.

The library may be closed and people are staying home, but it doesn't mean parents are alone in trying to keep their children feeling safe and keeping anxiety at bay. There are several resources to help parents navigate talking with their children about the coronavirus, school closures, and no playdates. The Child Mind Institute, a national nonprofit whose focus includes children and families struggling with mental health, has suggestions to help.

  • Don’t avoid talking about the coronavirus since most children will already have heard something about it.
  • Share developmentally appropriate information and take your cue from your child. What does your child know, what questions do they have, how are they feeling.
  • If you're anxious, it's not the right time to talk with your child. What can you do to alleviate your own worries?
  • Be reassuring.
  • Routine is important. 
  • Keep talking.

Visit Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus for more in depth suggestions as well as their Supporting Families during COVID-19 page with other tips such as how to make home feel safe and how to avoid passing anxiety on to your kids. Information is also available in Spanish.

Here are other resources to help you explain and share information with your child.

Talking to Children about the Coronavirus: A Parent Resource. From the National Association of School Psychologists; available in multiple languages

Coronavirus video from BrainPOP. An entertaining, basic explanation of COVID-19 and needed precautions for elementary age children and young teens.

Comic from NPR. Basic information for youth in a graphic format that can be read in the Blog or downloaded and folded into a zine.

Oregon YouthLine. Teens helping teens. Resources on their website as well as open daily from 4p-10p via text, chat, or call. 

Coronavirus: What Kids Can Do. Kids Health has information on COVID-19 for children in English and Spanish and available in audio.  Other sections of their website have information for parents.

Coronavirus Social Story. Little Puddins Blog has a nice, English language "Coronavirus Social Story."

Multnomah County Library has digital resources for you and your child. Below are stories about worrying and resources about practicing mindfulness that may help during this time. For more, check out our E-books and more page.

Although schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Multnomah County school districts and community resources are providing meal assistance. Here is district information followed by restaurants we know of that are helping the community. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food during COVID-19 closures.

Information has been updated as of 3/23/20. We will update again as needed.

Centennial 

Providing grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 during the extended closure except during Spring Break, March 23-27.

Breakfast 9:30am-10:30am and Lunch 11:30am-12:30pm at Centennial High School, near the auditorium, and Parklane. Food will be shared at a drive up or walk up.

Corbett 

Will be providing grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 during the extended closure starting after Spring Break [March 23-27].

David Douglas 

Will be providing grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 through April 28 at these locations:

  • David Douglas High School
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary
  • Ron Russell Middle School
  • Ventura Park Elementary School

DDSD food pantries

Gresham-Barlow 

Providing grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 during the extended closure including spring break and through the month of April. Meals will be provided at specific school sites AND school buses will deliver meals to specific neighborhoods throughout the district.

Breakfast 8:30am-9am and Lunch 11:30am-12:30pm.  Grab and Go Meals from school locations

See Grab and Go Meals Distribution Routes to find out when and where buses will drop off “grab and go” meals.

Parkrose

Food for district students starting Monday, March 16th at Parkrose Middle School and Russell Elementary School from 11 am to 1 pm. These will be packaged meals that include food for breakfast and lunch. Please note, students must be present to get a meal. Our sites will be set up for students/families to pick up food only.

No breakfast/lunch provided during spring break

Food pantry will be open March 19 and 26. We will have the Food Pantry open 3:30-6:00 pm at Parkrose Middle School. This will be a simple pick up of prepared boxes at the cafeteria rolling doors turn-around area, no need to even leave your car. We are consolidating sites so the Food Pantry at Shaver will not be open.

Portland

March 17-20 and March 30-31

from the PPS website, 3/18/20 : "Work continues around the clock to provide academic and social emotional supports as well as meals to students during the statewide school closure, which per Governor Brown’s Executive Order, will extend through April 28." Their schedule continues to be the above dates, we will update when confirmed for food availability past March.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for children ages 1-18. Meals will be available for pickup outside the school from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary - 620 N Fremont Ave
  • César Chávez Elementary - 5103 N Willis Blvd
  • George Middle School - 10000 N Burr Ave
  • Grout Elementary - 3119 SE Holgate Blvd
  • Harrison Park School - 2225 SE 87th Ave
  • Lent School - 5105 SE 97th Ave
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary - 4906 NE 6th Ave
  • Rigler Elementary - 5401 NE Prescott St
  • Rosa Parks Elementary - 8960 N Woolsey Ave
  • Scott Elementary - 6700 NE Prescott St
  • Sitton Elementary - 9930 N Smith St
  • Woodmere Elementary - 7900 SE Duke St
  • Markham Elementary - 10531 SW Capitol Hwy
  • Madison at Marshall - 3905 SE 91st Ave
  • Franklin High School - 5405 SE Woodward St

Food pantry pickup dates March 16-20 on PPS campuses

Reynolds 

Providing meals to children 18 and under during the closure. As previously planned, we will not be delivering meals during Spring Break week (3/23-3/27/2020).  More information on where and when you can access meals after Spring Break week will be coming soon.

11:30am-1pm at H.B. Lee Middle School, Reynolds Middle School, Walt Morey Middle School, and Reynolds High School

Meals for all students and families 18 and under. Meals will be provided for curbside pick-up (in cars or on foot) at each location. Signage will be posted directing you where to pick up.

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

Northeast Emergency Food Program: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 1-4 pm

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. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit sunshinedivision.org or call  (971) 255-0834

William Temple House: offering food boxes, Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-12pm

Human Solutions and Central City Concern are picking up meals and delivering them to families in their apartment complexes.


For more information about access to food for families including the Oregon Food Bank, please call 211 or visit oregonfoodfinder.org.

Restaurants

There are many great local businesses stepping up to make sure students are fed. This list was correct as of 3/18/20. Please check their websites or call to confirm as restaurants have been mandated to do take-out only, but may close.

Laughing Planet, all locations are offering meals to students on meal assistance programs.

Pita Pit in Oregon City

Grain and Gristle : Bring your student to Grain and Gristle to order a school lunch special. This discreetly lets our staff know that your child is on a free or reduced lunch program. Your child can choose a kids cheese burger, kids burger or grilled cheese. Their order will come with carrot sticks and ranch dressing to dip their carrots in. Just 1 per student per day. Children must be present. As of 3/17/20, to-go orders only, available 12pm-8pm.

Bless Your Heart Burgers : A free kid’s menu option is available at each of our pickup locations for any child in need and we are offering sliding scale pay what can options for those inneed of food assistance.

Matta (Vietnamese Soul Food Truck)
Free meals for kids and service industry workers.
1533 NE Alberta St
971-258-2849

PDX Sliders
Free kids meals, just mention "school is out."
1605 SE Bybee Blvd
(971) 717-5271
3111 SE Division St
(503) 719-5464

Stella Taco
All children who qualify for Meal Assistance Programs. Call and ask for "school lunch".
3060 SE Division
503-206-5446

Lionheart Coffee (Beaverton)
FREE brown bag lunches available for anyone who needs them.
4590 SW Watson Ave.
11421 SW Scholls Ferry Rd
503-521-7051

P’s and Q’s Market
Free meals to anyone in need. Call and ask for a “feed it forward” meal, then pickup meal within 15-30 min (server will tell you how long).
1301 NE Dekum St.
(503) 894-8979

Find Out What's Available

Trinity college
It's never too early to start looking for scholarships. The best time of year to start looking is in the summer or early fall. This lets you find programs before their deadlines have passed, and gives you enough time to complete a well-planned application. Many scholarship programs require an essay and recommendations from teachers or other adults who know you, and these take time to prepare.  

There are many scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships and work-study jobs available. You'll likely encounter some common eligibility criteria. These include which state you live in, if you've performed military service, whether you have minority status or a particular nationality or ethnic background, a religious affiliation, or if any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. If you fit the eligibility criteria, be sure to consider applying! 

Researching

The library is a great place to get started as you research scholarships. Whether you are looking for a scholarship in the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, or sports, we can help you discover ways to find scholarship awards for higher education. 

The Scholarship Handbook is organized by common eligibility criteria. It lists scholarships based on which state you live in, whether you have performed military service, if you have minority status or come from a particular nationality or ethnic background, if you have a religious affliation, and whether any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. Each scholarship program is described by eligibility, basis for selection, application requirements, amount awarded, application deadline, and contact information.

 

"Billions of dollars in scholarships, grants and prizes." The Ultimate Scholarship Book organizes awards into categories such as humanities, social science, science and general. You don't need a perfect GPA or financial need to win a scholarship. There are plenty of awards that have none of these requirements.

 

 

College help for teens: More resources for financial aid, admissions, guides, and Study Abroad.

From Albina to Kenton to Troutdale, each of our 19 neighborhood libraries has a social story to help prepare for a visit. A social story uses photos and simple text to show children on the autism spectrum what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar social settings. Knowing what to expect can help children with autism cope but the stories can be helpful for others too. Maybe you’re new to Multnomah County and unfamiliar with our libraries. Maybe you haven’t visited a library for a while and want to bring your child, but don’t know what your neighborhood library is like. Perhaps you’re a teacher helping your class prepare for their first visit to a library. Whoever you are, Multnomah County Library social stories walk you through the door, share what you can find in different areas, introduce the storytime presenters, and show where you can get a library card and check out materials.

social story page showing the Sensory Accommodation Kit available at each library
You can find your neighborhood library's story on the website by going to "Locations," clicking on the location from the list of libraries and looking for "My Library social story." The stories are pdfs on the website and ready for printing.

Also for children on the autism spectrum, our libraries each have a Sensory Accommodation Kit with tools to use during your visit to help with noise and distractions, and to help calm. Preschool Sensory Storytimes at the Fairview-Columbia, Hollywood and Woodstock libraries are especially welcoming storytimes for children on the spectrum and families who are looking for a smaller, more adaptive library experience.

ChIldren sitting on floor

Will your child be 5 years old by September 1? If so, sign up for kindergarten now so they can start school this fall. Sign up at your neighborhood school by June 1 to give your child a good start, connect to summer activities, and get access to free resources. School offices close for the summer, so don’t wait! 

To identify your school, call 2-1-1 or email health@211info.org. Help is available in many languages.

Mother and child reading together
It can be hard to find the right book for a beginning reader. But the library makes it easy. We divide all beginning reader books into four categories, and they are color-coded.

Starting Out (Yellow Reader)

Building Skills (Blue Reader)

Reading More (Red Reader)

On My Own (Green Reader)

To make it even easier, we put together Welcome to Reading bags. Each bag has five books in one of these categories. Getting books that are at the right reading level will help your child love reading and want to read more! Check out a bag from your local library.

Made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.

In the face of tragedy and violence, it can be hard to know what to say to kids. How do you answer your child’s questions while reassuring them that you will keep them safe? The American Psychological Association says, "It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what age your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults."

Here are three resources that can help parents and caregivers:

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. From the American Psychological Association.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has several resources about mass violence available on their website including Talking to Children about the Shooting and Tips on Media Coverage

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