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We’ve put together a list of answers to many of the most pressing questions Club families are facing as we all try our best to adapt to these challenging circumstances.   

Coronavirus has created a variety of new challenges for Club families. Whether you are at home with your kids or still going to work each day, there is a lot to juggle. You might be thinking, “what is the best way to talk to my child about coronavirus?  What resources are available to me?  What are fun and educational activities that my kids can be doing throughout the day? 

We’ve put together a list of answers to many of the most pressing questions Club families are facing as we all try our best to adapt to these challenging circumstances.  

What is the best way to talk to my child about coronavirus?  

Outbreaks of infectious diseases are intimidating for everyone, but especially for children. There is a lot of information, both accurate and inaccurate, that can spread among their groups of friends, and it’s easy for them to start worrying excessively about the health of their friends, family, and themselves.  

Try to Make Yourself Available  

During times of uncertainty like now, your child will have questions. We know you are juggling a lot, but it is worthwhile to try your best to answer those questions as they come up. This is the quickest, simplest way to alleviate your child’s concerns and help them adapt to the challenging new circumstances.  

Shift Their Focus to What They Can Control  

This situation is constantly changing, and it seems like scary new developments are unfolding every day.  Another tactic you can use is shifting the focus away from things   beyond your child’s control, and toward the things we can all do to help minimize the spread of the disease.  

Rather than worry about what’s happening  in surrounding communities and other countries, you can assure your child that they have the ability to help keep others safe by making sure that they cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. You can also  also teach them how to thoroughly wash their hands every time they re-enter the home (remember to sing “Happy Birthday” twice!). 

Check In With Them Often  

Being proactive is a good way to keep your child’s outlook positive and upbeat. There is a flurry of information coming from a variety of sources, and you have the opportunity to cut through all of the noise with a steady drum beat of reassurance.  

What resources are available to me?  

The community of Boston has come together to offer families a variety of resources to help manage the these incredibly challenging circumstances. 

Resources for Financial Support 

United Way has established the COVID-19 Family Support Fund, a dedicated resource for working families affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.It is designed to provide a flexible source of cash assistance to help families weather the COVID-19 crisis. 

Click here to learn more about the United Way Family Fund>>  

Union Capital Boston is offering an opportunity for any Bostonian in need of support to apply for Visa Gift Cards. 

Click here to apply for a gift card>>   

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund is providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive.   

Click here to fill out a One Fair Wage Emergency Fund intake form>> 

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by coronavirus. 

Click here to apply for Boston Artist Relief Fund Grant>> 

Resources for Meals 

Project Bread, an organization committed to ending hunger in Massachusetts, maintains the FoodSource Hotline, which will refer callers to food resources near them. The Hotline will also help callers with SNAP applications to provide as many food resources as possible. Call 1-800-645-8333 toll-free Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Hotline can assist in 160 languages. Those who are hearing impaired can call TTY: 1-800-377-1292. In addition to the FoodSource Hotline, the organization has published a comprehensive list of locations across Massachusetts offering meals during school closures.  

Even with schools closed, Boston Public Schools is still working with partners throughout the community to provide free breakfast and lunch meals to youth age 18 and younger. The pickup sites for these meals are spread across the city, and can be viewed here.  

Click here to view map of meal sites>>   

 A few important details to keep in mind:   

– All pick-up sites are set up to be “grab and go” 
– Practice social distancing (keeping six feet between yourself and others)  –
– Stay home if you are sick   

Also, all of these sites and meal times are subject to change. Make sure you refer back to the map before each trip to confirm your closest location.  

Resources for Internet 

Comcast is offering an internet service plan for qualifying low-income households, which includes two free months of internet access for new Internet Essentials customers. After two months, the plan is $9.95 per month plus tax. Individuals can apply through April 30, 2020. As Internet Essentials customers, individuals can also apply for low-cost computers. 

Click here to apply for free Comcast internet>>    

Starry is offering free service until the end of May to all current Starry Connect subscribers, as well as anyone who signs up for Starry Connect before the end of May. To qualify, you must live in a building that is currently served by the Starry Connect program.   

Click here to join Starry Connect>>   

Additionally, PCs for People is offering low-cost Wi-Fi hotspots and computers to qualifying households. 

A detailed list of other helpful resources for caregivers can be found here. It includes resources for food access, financial relief funds, neighborhood support and more. 

What are fun and educational activities that my child can do during the day?  

There is an abundance of options for activities that your child can do at home. First and foremost, starting on Monday, March 23, we will be sharing ideas of our own on our blog as part of our new series, “Club at Home.”  These posts will make it easy for you to bring the same fun and educational Club activities into your home for the coming weeks. We will digitally send these ideas to parents and guardians of members each week, but also make them available to kids through our website and social media channels. We are designing these activities to be easy for Club members to do on their own, but also easy to do as a family. And tell your kids to look out for content from some of the Club staff they know and love!   

There are also several free sites offering  activities your child might enjoy: 

Best Ideas for Kids’ Indoor Activities for Kids
Hello Wonderful’s 50+ Easy Indoor Activities for Kids
What Moms Love: 87 Energy-Busting Indoor Games & Activities For Kids 
Tipspoke Magic Tricks to Do at Home
Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents

Additionally, you can sign up for the PBS Kids daily newsletter for activities and tips you can use to help your kids play and learn at home. 

Keep up with all the latest updates, including fun interactive content for members to do at home, on our “Club at Home” series starting next week on our blog.