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Stories from the Field: Week of May 11

“In the weeks since my preschool inside a public school has closed my team and I have developed a website, created interactive lesson plans to share with all families, individualized interactive home learning documents to share with our families with children with special needs. We’ve reached out to families in multiple languages, helped families navigate new technology and tools and access food and resources. We have waved from our front porches and windows at the children who live in our neighborhoods. We wish we could scoop them up in big hugs. But we keep a safe distance, doing unseen damage to fragile understandings of social cues. We check in with families in a personal way that we’ve never had to before. We’ve cried together over FaceTime, mourning the loss of a grandparent to COVID. We’ve cried together from happiness when a child logins to our virtual circle time for the first time in weeks. It won’t be enough and it is also so much. We have learned during this time and if we have to implement Home Learning in the fall we will be ready and stronger than ever.”
Julia Pfitzer, Cohort 11, Denver Metro

“Being a DACA recipient adds an additional layer of stress in this pandemic. DACA is a program that protects immigrant youth and professionals working in a variety of fields including ECE. The current administration has tried to remove these protections and it’s now up to the Supreme Court. They will decide the fate of thousands of professionals in the coming weeks. Living in uncertainty has been the reality for many DACA recipients and it’s frustrating knowing that you may not be able to return to work once things get better not because you don’t want to but because someone else decided your future.”  
Pedro Mendez, Cohort 8, Front Range/Denver Metro

“All throughout the state families are continuing to receive support from home visitors who engage the families in activities, work to identify challenges and make referrals, and support the critical relationships between parents and children. The national supports for home visiting have also been incredible – Parents as Teachers National Center is leading the way on virtual visiting by providing weekly training on various aspects of visit delivery so home visitors can implement assessments, participate in reflective supervision, and explore strategies to ensure all communities are supported, even when we can’t be in homes in-person.

These services are needed now more than ever. The economic impact created by the current pandemic means that families that were already teetering on the edge are falling off a cliff. Stress is high – which means abuse is more likely, families are focused on their immediate needs, and school readiness has fallen down the list of priorities. A friendly face on a computer screen providing a referral, a supportive word, and a celebration for every success can make a big difference. Colorado’s Parents as Teachers and HIPPY home visitors are that friendly face and their efforts are incredible!”
Heather Tritten, Cohort 7, Denver Metro