This summer, ECEAP teachers quickly shifted to a different way of delivering instruction and maintaining relationships with children and families. Many ECEAP classrooms closed down and teachers were expected to maintain communication, engagement, and interactions with children and families. This included developing online teaching and staying in touch with their students and parents. Teachers implemented new ways of teaching including zoom classroom meetings, creating learning packets and at home activities, and finding learning apps that encourage children to keep learning. Many parents enjoyed the weekly check-ins and teachers stated that they were able to build stronger relationships with the parents because of constant communication they were having with parents and children.
As a result of the federal CARES Act, ECEAP received funding to maintain services and support over the summer in an effort to reduce family isolation, support children’s growth and progress, and help families access much-needed resources. The Family Support Specialists spent this summer supporting families in a variety of ways, including social emotional and mental health supports and access to community resources. Teachers created Home Learning Packets for children in both English and Spanish. These packets helped children develop their skills and allowed parents and children to interact in new ways.
In preparation for the fall and the likelihood of a return to virtual instruction, teachers also worked together to develop resources to strengthen virtual learning, including how to build relationships with new children and families online. Teachers also created lesson plans that their peers could access for additional ideas while they are developing their own schedules and routines for the new year.
Family Support Specialists play a key role in helping families navigate our educational systems and access programs that best meet their needs. For some, this meant building connections with the local elementary school principals and staff, and for others, it meant finding an appropriate preschool program for the fall. This year, there was a focus on supporting families with adhering to the new immunization law, “No shot, No School”.
As we continue to progress into fall, staff are excited to continue to create the meaningful connections with children and families.
ECEAP is enrolling now!
If you know a family that may benefit from these supports, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-952-3466.