Updated: Mar 19, 2020
As an organization that works closely with thousands of families in New York City, we recognize the vital importance of communicating openly with staff and parents about the current COVID-19 virus. We want our community to remain safe and healthy, but also well informed about the situation - which means finding ways to speak directly and truthfully to the students in our programs.
We understand that many parents, like us, are seeking out tools to assist them in having more direct conversations with the young people in their lives. That is why our team has pulled together a few resources that we wanted to share with the Mission family.
1. The New York Times published an article about How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus. The article details a few helpful tips, including assessing what your child already knows about the virus, not dismissing their fears, and emphasizing the importance of good hygiene. There are also recommendations for additional resources to teach children about germs, ideas for making hand washing more fun, and why it is important to maintain routines in the event of school closures.
2. Malaka Gharib created a comic for NPR using a radio story from their education reporter, Cory Turner, who asked experts what kids might want to know about COVID-19. Included in the colorful panels are useful facts about what the virus is and who children can consider turning to if they feel afraid or want more information. The comic is also downloadable so you can share with other parents or in your classrooms.
We hope that both of these resources are helpful in opening up important discussions with your families about COVID-19. To stay well informed about current news surrounding the virus, we recommend frequently-updated and reliable sources like the CDC.