Difficult conversations are happening in our country, states, cities and homes about race, racism, and anti-racism. These are not topics only for adults though. Talking with teens, tweens and younger children is important. Research has shown that children as young as six months notice race [Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race by Erin N. Winkler, Ph.D. University of Wisconsi-Milwaukee, PACE Vol. 3-No. 3, 2009 HighReach Learning Inc].
If you are unsure how to start and continue talking with your children as they grow, there are books to share and websites with resources to help. Several of these also discuss how you can be a model since actions often talk louder than words.
Teaching Young Children About Race is a guide for parents and teachers from Teaching for Change
EmbraceRace.org has articles, webinars and action guides about how kids learn about race, seeing and talking about differences, using picture books to have meaningful conversations, and more.
Talking about Race from the National Museum of African American History & Culture shares reflection questions, videos, and links to other resources.
Teaching Tolerance was created for educators, but parents may also find it useful to discuss race and ethnicity, and rights and activiism among other topics. The home page currently features articles about Black Lives Matter and Teaching about Race, Racism and Police Violence.
Talking to Children about Racial Bias from the American Academy of Pediatrics includes how parents can confront their own racial bias and a doctor's story of his encounter with racism as a 7-year-old.
Explaining the News to Our Kids from Common Sense Media offers tips by age.
If you're not sure which elementary school is your home school, each district has a school locator to check. If you need help identifying your district, find schools near you using your address or ZIP code, or call 2-1-1.
Centennial has registration packets available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali and Chinese. Student bus information is also available.
David Douglas has online registration available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese.
Gresham-Barlow asks that you register your child by June 1st. Select languages other than English at the top of the screen for Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Hmong, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Language assistance is available to help non-English speaking families with the enrollment process and other services.
Parkrose offers online registration for the first time this year. Information is on their website in English and Spanish.
Portland Public Schools' online registration process takes 20-30 minutes and school staff will follow up with you later in the summer. With schools closed, online registration is the easiest option. Paper registration packets are available at meal sites, May 28 through June 10. Packets will be located at the curriculum tables and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for easy mailing..
- You don’t need to register if your child attends a PPS Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten program.
- If a child has an approved transfer and the parent registers online, the parent must do so using their neighborhood school based on the home address. The Enrollment and Transfer Center will change the school location to the transfer school at a later date.
- Families with children who have IEPs will need to register using a paper form.
Reynolds information is available in English and Spanish. Staff will contact you to confirm your child's enrollment after you submit the registration. Families will be invited in August to a virtual or in-person Kindergarten Orientation (depending on state guidance).
Riverdale asks parents of new students to submit a New Resident Introduction Form as soon as possible. An enrollment packet will then be shared.
The library may be closed and people are staying home, but it doesn't mean parents and caregivers are alone in trying to help young children learn and develop. This collection of resources includes articles, videos, webinars, and activities to help parents and caregivers support their children's healthy development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Support Children (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The Center on the Developing Child offers three main activities that can help parents promote their young child’s healthy development and manage their own stress during the pandemic. PDFs are provided in both English and Spanish.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
From PBS Kids for Parents website. A parent shares how she talked with her children about the coronavirus. Includes “four ways we can help young kids build germ-busting habits.” The article is also available in Spanish.
A support guide for parents raising babies and toddlers through the coronavirus crisis
This article from Quartz offers reassurance to parents who are concerned that their child is missing out on opportunities for growth and development during these times of uncertainty and isolation. Included are resources to help keep young children engaged and learning, ideas for parental self-care, and links to sources of information about child development.
For childcare providers:
Trauma and Resilience: The Role of Child Care Providers
A webinar focused on the effect of trauma on children’s learning.It addresses the role of teachers and providers using resilience building strategies to support children across the age continuum.
For anyone interested in children’s development and well-being:
Being Black Is Not A Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child
This report from the National Black Child Development Institute includes articles such as “ The Black Family: Re-Imagining Family Support and Engagement” and highlights successful programs like Great Beginnings for Black Babies, Inc.
How to Teach Children to Stay 6 Feet Apart
Tips on how to teach social distancing to children from No Time for Flashcards.
Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Guidance, recommendations, and resources provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.
A short video and an article about how children build resilience from the Center on the Developing Child.
What Is COVID-19? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?
From the Center on the Developing Child: “An infographic that explains the basics of what COVID-19 is, and what it can mean for stress levels in both children and adults… it explains how all of us can work to ensure the wellbeing of the community now and in the future”. PDFs are available in English and Spanish.
2 Ways COVID-19 is Creating Even Greater Inequities in Early Childhood Education
A brief article from The Education Trust, a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.
The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Creating Communities of Opportunity
Dr. David Williams discusses ways in which the coronavirus pandemic is particularly affecting people of color in the U.S., and what that can mean for early childhood development.
Thinking About Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts Through a Science-Informed, Early Childhood Lens
An article from the Center for the Developing Child.
Distance learning can be challenging. If you are looking for help with schooling, here are some free tutoring resources to consider.
Other Tutor.com information :
test prep tutoring
If you are looking for extra academic support instead of live tutoring, consider these free resources:
Learning Resource Express Library has academic support resources for upper elementary school through high school. Available with your Multnomah County Library card.
Khan Academy has free video-based lessons and practice for K-12 students.
Smart Tutor offers free resources for K-8 students and support for high school math.
With the rapid changes in response to COVID-19, teens are under a great deal of stress. They are struggling with adapting to online school, being isolated from their friends, and losing out on important milestones and opportunities. As parents and caregivers are working through their own stresses and difficulties, it can be difficult to know how to support teens during this time. Here are some resources to help.
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
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.
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.
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.
It may be summer, but Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance. Here is district information followed by community orgranizations and restaurants we know of that are helping the community. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food during COVID-19 closures.
Information is current as of June 25, 2020. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below.
We welcome youth ages 18 and younger to enjoy our annual summer lunch program at Gresham, Midland, and Rockwood libraries.
Providing grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 through the school year.
Walk up/drive up food services at Powell Butte, Meadows, Parklane/Oliver, and Patrick Lynch Elementary schools as well as Centennial High School – back by the auditorium. Distribution times will be 10:30 am-12:30 pm, Mondays. A week worth's of breakfast and lunch will be available.
There are also two bus routes with four stops each. Please check their website for food delivery bus routes and times.
Food for Families, nonprofit food pantry/ mobile market created by Centennial High School students, has distributions at Centennial High School, 4-6 pm on Wednesdays, July 8, July 22, August 12 and August 26. You will need to complete an authorization form prior to pick up.
For students on free and reduced lunch or your family is in need during these trying times, lunch pick-up will be once a week to decrease the exposure of staff. Pick-up will be on Mondays from 9 am to 1 pm. If you need lunches delivered, or if these times do not work for you, please email Seth Tucker at email@example.com
David Douglas [updated 7/9/20]
Grab and Go breakfasts and lunches are avilable at four DDSD sites, Monday-Friday, 9:00 – 11:00 am, through August 28. Families can walk or drive to pick up bags that contain both breakfast and lunch to go at these locations. Extra meals will be provided on Thursdays. See their website for information about food pantries located in DDSD building.
- David Douglas High School, South Campus - 1500 SE 130th Ave
- Gilbert Heights Elementary - 12839 SE Holgate Blvd
- Ron Russell Middle School -3955 SE 112th Ave
- Ventura Park Elementary School - 145 SE 117th Ave
Gresham-Barlow [updated 6/11/20]
Providing grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 from Grab and Go Meals from school locations. No meals June 12-21.
Summer Meal Sites are scheduled June 22-August 14 (except July 3), 11:30 am - 12:30 pm, Monday-Friday. Grab and go lunches and the next day's breakfast will be handed out at the same time.
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.
Food pantry is open Thursdays, 3:30-6 pm, at Parkrose Middle School with a simple pick up of prepared boxes at the cafeteria rolling doors turn-around area, no need to leave your car.
Portland [updated 6/12/20]
Breakfast and lunch will be provided to children in the community ages 1-18, Monday through Thursday. Meals for Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be provided on Thursdays. Meals will be available for pickup outside the school from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the following locations:
- Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary - 620 N Fremont Ave
- César Chávez Elementary - 5103 N Willis Blvd
- Faubion School - 2930 NE Dekum
- George Middle School - 10000 N Burr Ave
- Grout Elementary - 3119 SE Holgate Blvd
- Lent School - 5105 SE 97th Ave
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary - 4906 NE 6th Ave
- 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
PPS is partnering to provide meals at 13 parks, starting June 22.
- Kenton Park,12-2 pm
- Peninsula Park, 12-2 pm
- St. Johns Park, 12:30-1:30 pm
- Columbia Park, 12:30-2:30 pm
- Alberta Park, 12-2 pm
- Cully Park, 12-2 pm
- Irving Park, 12:30-1:30 pm
- Khunamokwst Park, 12:30-2:30 pm
- Montavilla Park, 12-2 pm
- Essex Park, 12-1 pm
- Harrison Park, 12:30-2:30 pm
- Lents Park, 12-2 pm
- Mt. Scott Park, 12-2 pm
Reynolds [updated 7/9/20]
You can drive up or walk up to receive meals for students and their families, ages 18 and under. They will have social distancing measures in place to protect you, your children, and staff during meal distributions.
Monday-Thursday , 11:30am-1:00pm for June - August
- Alder Elementary School
- Davis Elementary School
- Fairview Elementary School
- Glenfair Elementary School
- HB Lee Middle School
- Reynolds High School
- Reynolds Middle School
- Rockwood Preparatory Academy
- Wilkes Elementary School
Food pantries are also open
- Glenfair Elementary School: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 pm
- Reynolds High School: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:30 pm
- Alder Elementary School: Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00 pm
- Reynolds Middle School: Fridays, 3:30-5:30 pm
Information may change so please check their websites.
C3 Pantry: Tuesdays and Saturday, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm
Free Lunch + Play from Portland Parks and Recreation: free meals and grab ‘n’ go activities for kids at a number of parks. A few also have free food markets once a week.
Mainspring Food Pantry: Monday-Thursday, 9:30 am to 12 pm. Families may access the 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: June 25-September 26, they will be open Thursday and Saturday, 1-4 pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
Portland Adventist Community Services: offering prepacked food boxes for pick up, Monday – Friday 9am– 11am.
Summer Meals site provides statewide information.
Sunshine Division: free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit sunshinedivision.org or call 503.609.0285
William Temple House: offering food boxes, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-1 pm
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.
Portland Parks & Recreation will be providing Free Lunch + Play programs this summer.
There are many great local businesses stepping up to make sure students are fed. Please check their websites or call to confirm. Meals are available while supplies last and restaurants may also have limited hours or may close.
FREE brown bag lunches available for anyone who needs them at both locations.
4590 SW Watson Ave.
11421 SW Scholls Ferry Rd
Free meals for kids and service industry workers.
1533 NE Alberta St
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.
Free kids meals, just mention "school is out."
1605 SE Bybee Blvd
3111 SE Division St
Toro Bravo Feed it Forward: sliding scale menus, free kids meals, free food bags at various restaurant locations.
You might be keeping safe at home but enjoy these live online performances from some amazing library children’s performers.
- Musician and scientist Mikey Mike the Rad Scientist is broadcasting live from Facebook Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11am.
- Red Yarn, a local and beloved children’s musician, will be live on Facebook Mondays & Wednesdays at 10am PT, and Thursdays at 4pm PT.
- Join one of Portland’s amazing children’s musicians, Micah and Me, for a live ukelele party on Facebook Live Saturdays at 11am and Mondays at 4:30pm.
- Mr. Lizard’s Mobile Zoo, located at Shrink Ray farms, is livestreaming on Tuesdays at 2pm. Check it out to see his lizards, reptiles and more!
- Not live, but local Takohachi Ensemble has their music and storytelling performances on YouTube!
- There are new Penny’s puppet shows on YouTube every several days.
- Portland favorite Mo Phillips has been updating his Facebook page with new performance videos
- Missing the library’s Read to the Dogs program? You can join Dove Lewis live on Facebook for their virtual Read to the Dogs weekdays 1-2pm.
- Dolly Parton shares bedtime stories on "Goodnight with Dolly," at 4 p.m. our time, starting April 2.