博客: Parents

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 (NE): 3500 NE 82nd Ave., Portland. An open air, farmers market, self select, walk/roll-in food pantry every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 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 (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.

    Did you know the library is more than books? 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.

    If you are looking for help with schooling, here are some free tutoring resources to consider.

    Virtual K-12 Tutoring / Tutoría Virtual

    Tuesdays, 4,6 pm throughout the year
    Who is eligible : K-12 students who need support in language arts, math, science, and/or social studies.
    Registration required : yes, spots are limited
    Who are the tutors : Multnomah County Library volunteers
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English and Spanish

    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 : K-8 students
    Registration required : yes
    Who are the tutors : high school students
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English

    ConnectOregonStudents

    Who is eligible : K-12 students in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and Northern California
    Registration required : yes
    Who are the tutors : Oregon high school students 
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English (but includes language learning tutoring for other languages)
    Other : they also offer peer support

    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.

    HippoCampus.org is a free web site that delivers content on general education subjects to middle-school and high-school students.

    Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government is a service of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), and designed to inform studentsvabout the Federal Government.

    Typing.com is a free resource to help students build their typing skills. Available in English and Spanish.

    Mathlearningcenter.org is a nonprofit organization serving the education community and include activities for students K-5 in math. Available in English and Spanish.

    Two women and a young girl blow bubbles outside in a field

    “I routinely prescribe nature to children and families.  Nature has the power to heal."  

    -Dr. Nooshin Razani, pediatrician, presenter of the TED Talk "Presribing Nature for Health"

    Research suggests that taking a walk, visiting a park, or getting out in nature can relieve stress, encourage social bonds, and support physical activity.  Less stress means less depression, anxiety, and isolation...not just for kids, but for adults, too!  

    Portland Parks and Recreation offers plenty of opportunities for adventure!  Search for your next destination through the Find a Park feature, and be sure to check out their list of Inclusive Playgrounds, which is growing!  Gresham also offers an array of parks and trails to explore. Troutdale, with its proximity to the Sandy and Columbia rivers, offers plenty of fun options as well, and Fairview is home to many others, including our favorite, Salish Pond Wetlands Park.

    Wait, there’s more! Metro Parks and Natural Areas offer 17,000 acres of outdoor exploration!  Try out the Interactive Park Finder, and while you’re there, check out their Parks and Nature News section for the latest on the ways our community enjoys nature.  

    We love keeping up with Metro’s Our Big Backyard magazine and exploring back issues for beautiful photographs. The latest (Fall 2020) issue features two articles written by members of our community.  

    While you're outside, you can take advantage of the learning opportunities it offers.  Portland Parks has created an at-home nature activities page, with links to videos and other activities that tap into kids’ sense of curiosity.  You can find a Flower Scavenger Hunt, a Birds of Portland guide, and a map of Tree Museums that are open for viewing right in your neighborhood.  

    There’s so much to see and do out there, so take Dr. Razani’s prescription and get outside!   Even just a little bit can do wonders for your health - mental, physical, emotional, and overall!


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

    three preschool age kids - two girls and one boy - sit on the carpet.  The boy has the facial characteristics of Downs Syndrome.  One girl has her hand raised.

    Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They notice differences in people, because there are differences.  

    Visible differences, like how we look, skin color, how we dress, and how we get around.  

    And less visible differences, like how we learn, how we interact with one another, and how we experience the world.

    Responding to kids’ observations about people with disabilities and visible illnesses can be hard for parents and caregivers who are not sure how, or are afraid they will say something wrong.   

    Let’s remember that some of us are different, and experience the world differently, than others. And that’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s important!  

    My kids' cousin has autism. I tell my kids about how his brain works differently and experiences the world differently than our brains do.  We read books with characters who have autism and talk about them together. Their cousin's mother, my sister-in-law, shared a post on Facebook written by staff at the EDAM Center for Special Education in the Philippines.  This part really stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you, too.

    For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of all people.

    Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface.

    Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted!!

    At the library, we strive to celebrate differences and find common ground in kindness and acceptance.  We want to support you in being comfortable talking to your kids about differences from an early age, and to keep up the conversations as they get older. Below are some resources that may help.  

    This post is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly Family Newsletter.  Reach out to us at learning@multcolib.org if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!


     

    Pages

    Subscribe to