Blogs: Parents

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!

The coronavirus pandemic is challenging for everyone. For the community of children experiencing autism, it can be especially confusing. Here are some suggestions for help with navigating the crisis.

For fun

Enjoy the videos in Multnomah County Library's It's Storytime! collection, especially the Sensory Storytime playlist. Mix and match the short videos in this growing collection to create the perfect storytime for your child.

Spectrum Storytime with Ethan - fun books read by a very engaging young man who is on the spectrum.

Inclusive Storytime, Hillsboro Library & PSU - This collaborative storytime,  specifically designed for kids with varying learning styles and abilities, has moved online. Join the Facebook group and gain access to all of the parent guides and videos they have created. 

For information

Disability Rights Oregon - Know Your Rights: Education Rights During COVID-19 outlines a process for assessing and advocating for your child’s educational needs.

COVID-19 Resources for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs from the Oregon Health Authority provides a similar list of resources to this one.

DIY Ways to Meet a Child's Sensory Needs at Home from Edutopia. Occupational therapists and trauma-informed teachers weigh in on how to create sensory tools and spaces with what you have at home.

FACTOregon.com shares Additional COVID-19 Resources, a compilation of resources relating to COVID-19 and education. They have a series of Distance Learning Webinars (Sample: Special Education and the IEP: Distance Learning Edition) and the “Special Education and Distance Learning: What You Need to Know Toolkit” available in English and Spanish.

Autism Society of Oregon Resources for School Closure has created a page with links to a variety of homeschooling sites, activities, virtual tours, exercise and more.

Understood.com Coronavirus Latest Updates and Tips has a LOT of resources to help parents and atypical children cope with learning and supporting your child at home. Here’s one example: Stuck at Home? 20 Learning Activities to Keep Kids Busy

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) provides Emergencies and National Disasters: Helping Children and Families Cope, a collection of resources for parents of young children that include charts and a number of social stories to help your child understand what’s happening.

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 talk with your child.

Coronavirus: A book for children by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts, illustrated by Axel Scheffler and with Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling, serving as consultant. The book is aimed at elementary school children.

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.

COVID-19 Time Capsule. Created by artist Natalie Long to help families with children during this time. Children can record how they're spending this time as well as how they are feeling. 

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.

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.

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