AARP Maryland Joins With Active and Retired School Personnel to Support Families With Distance Learning

Posted on 12/01/20 by Nancy Carr

::About the Series::

As the coronavirus pandemic shut schools across the state, AARP Maryland teamed up with the Maryland Retired School Personnel Association (MRSPA) and the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), to assist parents and caregivers juggling school distance learning and family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. From May 13 through June 17, a series of five interactive discussions featured best practices and advice to help families with school-aged children adjust to the virtual classroom. The final event, held on Facebook Live, introduced a Lunch & Learn program to help parents and caregivers through the summer and into the fall.

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“We know that parents and kinship caregivers are facing multiple challenges during this time,” said AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg. “Whether you are a single parent, grandparent, dual income, have one child in the home or multiple children of different ages, our guest experts will discuss tactics and resources for managing these challenges. We will also discuss how to cope with the stress and anxiety felt by you and your family.”

Happy child with books

“With schools closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, parents are in need of support concerning educating students at home,” said Al Campos, NRTA director. “Retired educators in Maryland and nationwide are enthusiastically giving back to their communities by offering much needed expert advice via virtual engagement with parents during these challenging times,” Campos said.

“We are seeing uncertainty all around us in the midst of the current COVID pandemic. Caregivers are being asked to fill roles they’ve never expected and are being challenged in ways like never before. I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk with Maryland caregivers about how to support themselves and their loved ones during these difficult times,” said Jennifer Leah Goetz, MD, assistant professor in The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, who will be a guest on each of the calls.

“Members of Maryland Retired School Personnel Association remain committed and connected to the students and communities of Maryland," said MRSPA Executive Director Wanda Twigg. "Participating in this tele-town hall series is yet another way we continue to share that commitment and connection.”


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TOWN HALL EVENTS
(Enjoy archived audio streams online at Vekeo.com/aarpmaryland)

May 13 at 7:00 p.m.: All Age Children Parents & Caregivers
Guest Experts
· Jennifer Goetz, MD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
· Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent, Talbot County Public Schools
· Joseph Manko, Principal, Liberty Elementary School (Baltimore City)
· Nancy Gordon, Reading Specialist, Maryland Retired School Personnel Association

May 20 at 6:50 p.m.: Early Childhood Parents & Caregivers
Guest Experts
· Jennifer Goetz, MD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
· Sharon Thorstensen, Retired Early Childhood Education Supervisor, Maryland Retired School Personnel Association
· John Riley, Retired Special Education Teacher, Policy Analyst and Advocate, National Education Association

May 27 at 7:00 p.m.: Elementary Childhood Parents & Caregivers
Guest Experts
· Jennifer Goetz, MD, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
· Kimberly Lewis, Special Education Teacher, Maryland Retired School Personnel Association
· Nancy Harrington, Math and Reading /Language Arts Educator, Maryland Retired School Personnel Association

June 10 at 7:00 p.m.: Middle & Secondary Parents & Caregivers
Guest Experts
· Jennifer Goetz, MD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
· Experienced Maryland School Administrator
· Nancy Lewis, Math Teacher, Maryland Retired School Personnel Association
· Alice Willingham, Reading and Langage Arts Teacher, Maryland Retired School Personnel Association

LUNCH & LEARN SERIES

In partnership with MRSPA, NRTA and AARP Foundation Experience Corps. this series brings together experts in education and childcare to help parents, grandparents and caregivers make the most of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 17 at 12 p.m.: Splash into Summer — All Age Children Parents & Caregivers.
· AARP Experience Corps Baltimore City Director Natasha Remberg

For continuing episodes of our Lunch & Learn series, visit AARP Maryland on Facebook.


RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

Backpack with school supplies

COVID-19 Physical Health
· U.S. Centers for Disease Control
· World Health Organization




For issues related to child mental health during COVID-19
· National Alliance on Mental Illness
· Nationwide Children’s Hospital
· American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

Educational Resources
· Maryland State Department of Education
· List of Maryland County School Systems
· Lesson Plans From the National Education Association
· Past Tele Town Hall recordings from the series are available at http://www.vekeo.com/aarpmaryland

Resources for Families With Children Age 3 to 5
· Stuck at Home Survival Guide Website
· Your Local Maryland Public Library
· Online Story Time With St. Mary’s County Library
· www.understood.org
· www.casel.org
· www.mindfullness.org



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This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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