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COVID-19 Update

Florence Crittenton staff and teen families continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic in innovative ways our campus remains closed. Like many families, our young moms work to maintain a routine while staying at home. FloCrit teen moms are juggling their…

April 21, 2020
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Julia Goodman
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Around Campus
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Florence Crittenton staff and teen families continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic in innovative ways our campus remains closed. Like many families, our young moms work to maintain a routine while staying at home. FloCrit teen moms are juggling their own education and coursework in addition to keeping their children learning and engaged with activities facilitated by FloCrit Early Childhood Education Center teachers. Student and Family Support staff conduct weekly check-ins with moms and continue to provide resources from basic needs items to options for remote mental healthcare. The FloCrit development and administrative staff continue to raise funds, engage the community, and keep FloCrit operational. Hear from members of the FloCrit community about what their current reality looks and feels like.

Chalaya D., Senior, and her almost 2-year-old daughter Jia

Chalaya and Jia at a Family Engagement event.

I feel scared but I’m hopeful. It’s been really hard, honestly, but we are hanging in there.

My baby misses her friends. I miss going to school. I’ve never wanted to go to school so much in my life. We’ve kept the same routine. Every morning, Jia still wakes up for her school schedule at the regular time. I let her play on ABCmouse, play outside with chalk, and keep her still learning while she’s not at school. She’s been learning how to write her name with chalk. She learned how to sing her ABC’s. When she takes a nap, I clean, I read, I catch up on stuff. I’m in GED so there’s not much I can do for school. I have one test left.

My partner, his dad, and his cousin are essential workers. We stay in separate areas of our place all day. We are social distancing.

Family Advocate Kimble dropped off my first bag of supplies. Joyce, the English teacher, dropped off my second bag and computer. The supplies are helpful. We are stocked up on diapers so we don’t have to go to the store to fight people. The gift cards I use to buy food and stuff like that.

Donica Snyder, Florence Crittenton Services Family Advocate Manager

Donica, who also teaches art therapy, and teen mom Marlene work on Marlene’s art-o-biography book.

While we’ve been gone, we want to make sure our families have what they need. We’ve been sending packages with diapers and wipes and gift cards for food. Our family advocates have been available to talk, whether that’s around a difficult and challenging conversation or the new latest TV show. Our Early Childhood Education Center has been putting virtual content together for our little ones to keep them engaged.

Michelle Wright, Florence Crittenton High School Principal

Michelle reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar to children in the ECE Center.

After our first week of remote learning, it was so uplifting to hear about girls who right away have been in touch with staff members and who are logging on to complete tasks, or even just to say hello. As mentioned so many times before, we know at FloCrit that connection is first and is a priority. We want to use this time to make sure we are connecting with our students and, as our trauma-informed staff always does, to make sure they feel supported and safe to continue learning as they can. To accomplish that, we need to maintain flexibility with our scholars. Knowing and understanding that so many of them have loads of additional challenges at home, we anticipate that girls will be able to engage only as they are able. We will continue to dialogue about girls who are not engaging so that above all else, we can check in on them to make sure they and their families and babies are doing ok.

This school year, we started a pilot of our Blended Learning model, which sets up more self-paced structure for student learning. Teachers who are a part of the pilot were tasked with creating a course with all materials, tasks, and assessments in the online program Schoology so that they could be accessed at any time by our moms. Teachers have learned to incorporate a variety of technology tools to support our young moms as they learn the material. This also supports moms where they are in learning, especially if they are unable to physically attend school on a regular basis; students who have been absent can access work from home or, even if they have not accessed learning at home during the absence, can pick up where they left off when they return to school because the course and all materials are easily accessible. The pilot this year has really given our teachers a head start with remote learning they are facing during school closures this quarter.

MonaLisa Martinez, Early Childhood Education Center Director

MonaLisa reads a book during Literacy in the Living Room

 

Each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., staff and volunteers share stories with our moms and their children via livestream on our Facebook page during Literacy in the Living Room. “Story time has brought some familiarization to our children by seeing us and hearing us as we read to them,” says Martinez. “It keeps them engaged in literacy while keeping the connection between us.” You can be a Story Leader and share your favorite story. Email Development Associate, Casey Short, at cshort@flocritco.org to sign up.

 

Support our teen families and staff by signing up to volunteer virtually, leaving a message of support and more.