Countless operations and programs have had to switch gears and go digital over the past couple of months due to COVID-19, and education programs have perhaps come up with some of the innovative solutions yet. ESD 112 is no exception and has piloted numerous online versions of its many programs, including a free virtual early learning playgroup session for anyone with children ages birth through five years old. The playgroup, called 1-2-3 Grow and Learn, is run by ESD 112’s Early Care and Education department and is usually offered in person at local schools across Southwest Washington.

When schools were ordered closed in mid-March, the 1-2-3 Grow and Learn program had to work quickly to adapt to an online model. Within a couple of weeks, the virtual playgroup was up and running and being offered to all families, not just those in local school districts. There are well over 100 kids joining the online sessions most days, proving this is a meaningful early learning option for many families.

Families attend the virtual sessions at 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, via an emailed Zoom link. Early learning teachers take turns leading the young attendees in a variety of themed activities, including story time and alphabet and number practice, as well as singing and dancing. Parents have the opportunity to submit their children’s responses to various questions and teachers read them aloud for all to hear.

Parent feedback

For many families who are being required to adapt to new normal when it comes to school, work and play these days, those with young children can still have a daily lighthearted activity to look forward to, keeping them engaged in something that is at least a little familiar during an otherwise very strange time. Check out some of the great feedback we’ve received from parents of children who’ve attended the virtual sessions so far:

“It’s upbeat and a great way to keep our family in a learning state of mind.”

“The pacing is just right and it’s engaging.”

“We love the teachers and are so thankful to have this to look forward to!”

Join us!

If you’re stuck at home with young kiddos and need something to add to your weekday morning quarantine routine, head on over to the virtual 1-2-3 Grow and Learn. We look forward to seeing you there!