Students of all ages, from many parts of the globe, are continuing their education from home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Youngsters enrolled in Picatinny Arsenal’s Child and Youth Services (CYS) are also experiencing many of the same hardships, which is why local educators are springing into action to help keep the children learning.
All four CYS Childcare facilities are closed, leaving approximately 200 children without full day, part day, and before- and after-care, according to Cindy Hafstad, one of the facility directors.
“CYS is continuing online learning for our Full Day Kindergarten program,” Hafstad said. “Prior to closure, Shannon Lee (another CYCS educator), reached out to all parents. She was diligent in emailing and printing out packets to provide continued education from home.”
On Friday, some of the CYS classrooms sent out videos as a way to reach out to the homebound children.
“We want to make sure the parents and children know that we are thinking of them every day and miss them very much,” Halfstad said. “After speaking with my staff, we felt that a short video from their teachers would lift the spirits of the children and families. The videos contained activities that the staff were doing at home with their children, a teacher reading a story, or just a heartfelt ‘hello’ would provide much needed teacher-student contact during this time for our younger students.”
The children partake in daily routines, including spelling their name phonetically.
Other lessons for children include reviewing shapes and colors, counting 1-20, writing or tracing their name, fine motor (playdough, Legos, puzzles) and gross motor (walking, running, jumping, hopping, climbing) skills, but most of all, just having fun.
“It is vital during a time of social distancing that were main connected in a safe way,” Hafstad said. “These videos allowed a little bit of normal during a time of uncertainty. The children are an important part of our Picatinny Community, and we cannot forget how much they are also affected by this pandemic. During this time, we felt it was essential to provide a warm message to the foundation of CYS, the children.”
Video links below: