We sat down with Ela, a Cambridge parent who opened up about her worries about the future. In the story, Ela wonders about the long term development effects on children from being isolated from their community for a long period of time. Although many programs pivoted and tried their best to provide engaging programs online, there were still many activities and relationships that had dissolved as a result of isolation. While many are excited to return fully to in-person programming, we have to remember not to ignore the impacts of what social distancing during a long pandemic has had on all of us. Here is a link to a pdf of the new Parent Voices addendum to ourUPDATED Facilitator's Guide here!
How is your program supporting youth during the most recent transition to in person OST programs?
Has your staff noticed any development challenges as you see more youth in person?
What healing practices have you included in your programming to help alleviate the impacts of growing up during a pandemic.
Ask parents and caregivers what emotions/anxieties they and their children have felt about returning in person.
Take a step further and ask how they would like to partner to support our children as more of them return to in-person programs.
We might not know the psychological impacts of quarantining until years from now. It’s important to talk to staff about how to be vigilant of any signs and have a plan ready to care for our youth as we continue to navigate through these challenging times.