LA School

LA’s Public Schools Are Closed. Here’s How to Help Your Kids.

Last week, LA Unified School District officials announced that public schools would close to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. COVID-19 is a serious threat that still isn’t quite understood. While the closures are necessary to protect public health, there are now hundreds of thousands of parents unsure of what to do with their kids unexpectedly out of school.  These tips will help you give your kids the support they need to do their best so we can all get through this together.


Talk to Your Children About What’s Happening

Section 1You can be a voice of strength and reliability when your kids need it most. They’ve already heard about the COVID-19 outbreak, and they’ve probably seen people wearing masks and gloves. Have an honest conversation with them.

If you’re feeling anxious or scared, wait to address their concerns until you can show them you’re calm. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Be honest. Let them ask questions and do your best to provide them with truthful answers. Keep it age-appropriate but don’t sugarcoat it. 
  • Emphasize what we can do to stay safe. Talk about the importance of handwashing (and how to do it right – remember, 20 seconds) and explain why everyone is being asked to stay in their homes (social distancing).
  • Remind them that this is temporary. Let them know that things will go back to normal. Until then, they’re always welcome to ask you questions if something is worrying them.

 

Stick to a Routine

Section 2Creating, and then sticking to, structure can comfort children, especially in uncertain times. Whenever schools reopen, your kids will be ready to go back if they have a good routine now. 

  • Have your child get up at the same time as they would normally.
  • Even if it seems cozier to work in pajamas, insist that your child shower, groom properly, and put on real clothes. You should set a good example for them and follow these tips yourself.
  • Set up an area of your house especially for schoolwork and homework – in fact, you may want to create a couple of different areas, similar to the school experience. Keep these areas comfortable but free of distractions. 
  • Structure lessons and homework similar to a school day, with time for working on specific subjects, breaks, and lunch. 

 

Get Some Help from Public Television

Section 3Ideally, your children’s schools have provided some learning opportunities and lesson plans. Southern California’s public television channels are also stepping in to provide educational programming that meets California standards. According to Deadline, KCET and SoCal PBS will be rolling out scholastic programming to help fill the gaps:

  • PBS SoCal will run programming for pre-K through 2nd grade. 
  • KLCS will run programming for grades 3 to 8.
  • KCET will run programming for grades 9 to 12. 
  • PBS SoCal and KCET will air their normally scheduled programming in primetime. 
  • KLCS will continue to air a mix of pre-K through grade 12 content throughout the evening and overnight.

All of the stations’ websites and social media channels will feature additional educational programming, so make sure to tune in and log on to take advantage of it.

All of the stations’ websites and social media channels will feature additional educational programming, so make sure to tune in and log on to take advantage of it.

 

Don’t Throw Out Your Healthy Eating Habits

During times of uncertainty, it’s natural to want comfort – and reach for comfort foods like tamales, macaroni and cheese, and pizza. Even though these foods are tasty and sometimes feel like a hug from the inside out, now is the time to double-down on healthy eating! A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains can help keep us well, support our immune systems, and help maintain a healthy weight. 

  • Serve a wide variety of foods to help kids get the nutrients they need.
  • Sugary and fatty foods can also make you feel down or anxious, so keep treats to a minimum.
  • Provide healthy snacks, but remember, you’re the gatekeeper: just because they’re home, they can’t go to the fridge whenever they want.
  • Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that ‘superfoods’ like garlic can treat COVID-19. Natural foods may have good general health benefits, but there’s no miracle food that will prevent or cure the disease.


Help is Available if You Need It

 


woman on phoneAs a parent, you’re supposed to be strong for your kids, but we know it isn’t always easy, especially during these uncertain times. AltaMed is here for you – and so are many additional community resources. 

If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or find yourself turning to alcohol or drugs to cope, contact AltaMed Behavioral Health Services. Call us at (855) 425-1777

LAUSD is opening 60 centers that will be stocked with ‘grab and go’ meals. Hours are from 7am to 10am, but please check the website and the maps before you go.

Many retailers and organizations in our community are stepping up to help out. This includes El Torito restaurants, offering free meals to children 12 and under; as well as Everytable, offering free food to everyone who needs it, including home delivery for seniors. To learn more, call Everytable Helpline at 323-458-6487, or follow their Instagram for updates.

And finally, one piece of good news: for now, your SNAP benefits are safe. Mayor Eric Garcetti has assured us all that grocery stores will continue to be open and stocked with necessities, so use your benefits wisely. 

We know it’s a lot to deal with, but if we all stick together and help each other, there’s nothing we can’t overcome!