The world looks very different today—children are learning at home, many people are unable to work, and a network of services is more important than ever. To meet the increased needs of our families and still keep everyone safe and healthy, on March 16 Way to Grow moved to virtual home visits for our families. Family Educators are now staying in contact with the families they serve through whatever virtual platforms the family can access. Through their screens, our staff continues to provide valuable home visits to families—connecting them to critical resources, teaching activities to families, and answering important questions during a frightening time.
Our Program Manager Patricia, tells us that although this change happened quickly, families are so grateful to make connections despite isolation and still receive the services of Way to Grow. “They are just so joyful that they are still able to communicate with their Family Educators by FaceTime!” she said. “The kids get such a kick out of it and we didn’t miss a beat with any of our activities.” Usually staff bring materials with them to the home, so they have had to get creative. “We started to send everything to the families through email and the mail the second all of this started,” Patricia explained. “We got the materials and curriculum right out to the parents so that we could continue to work with our families.”
Even our preschool has turned into a virtual classroom. Closed along with other schools in Minnesota, our teachers have had to improvise with daily videos to maintain the rhythm of classroom life, as well as reading stories and posting activities. The best part is that families are still engaged—posting photos and videos of their kids doing the activities, commenting with answers to recorded “lessons,” and forming an online community at the same time.
Things might look different right now, but we continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our parents and children each and every day. Despite being physically distant, we are still providing stability in the midst of change and uncertainty. It is because of your generous support that Way to Grow is able to continue our work. We couldn’t do this without you!