Disclaimer:
This resource guide is provided as a service by Family Connection. All information published herein is gathered from sources thought to be reliable and is not a complete list of all resources available to Dawson County citizens. Inclusion in this guide does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by Family Connection. Requests for changes or inclusions in this guide are appreciated and should be sent to rbliss@DawsonFamilyConnection.org
Learning in a virtual world means relying on technology.
Here are some links & information that may help!
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Effective March 16, 2020, anyone who signs up for Internet Essentials will receive two free months of Internet service. Comcast is also increasing the speed of the program to 25 Mbps downloads and 3 Mbps uploads for all new and existing customers.
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This website features GaDOE's entire range of COVID-19 responses in one location. Parents, students, and educators can find information on distance learning, closures, graduation, testing, meals, and special education.
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While many public libraries across Georgia are closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, some are still offering limited services to help kids keep learning while schools are closed, provide wi-fi for local residents, and more.
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Jigsaw Interactive is providing access to virtual classroom software, at no cost, from now through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Any school interested can call 877-571-0004 (x2285) or email  customerassist@jigsawinteractive.com to be directed to someone who can discuss specific needs.
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Xfinity WiFi hotspots across Georgia are available to anyone who needs them for free-including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. The site includes a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots.


Please take a moment to review
The Dawson County School System's 
Student Support Services Newsletter
It offers support while sheltering in place. #1Dbettertogether
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Click HERE to read more
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Dawson County Kindergarten Online Registration
for the 2020-2021 school year will open on
Monday, 04/13/20.
The link can be found at  www.dawsoncountyschools.org
Click on the Parents tab
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Message from Dawson County 4-H:
If you are looking for fun, enriching activities for kids ages 5-18, Georgia 4-H has you covered! Sign up now to have a different educational newsletter sent to your inbox each day.
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It is a great time to get Plugged Into 4-H! All families and youth are welcome to sign-up, no matter where you are located.
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Sign up here:  http://bit.ly/PluggedIn4H

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Message from Dawson County Wee Books:
Wee Books Childhood Literacy Program has put over 90,000 age-appropriate books into the hands of Dawson County preschool children (ages 0-5 years) helping them to become learners for life. The books and an activity newsletter are mailed each month to the child's home address.
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TO REGISTER FOR YOUR CHILD'S FREE BOOK CLICK HERE
Resources presented by Georgia Family Connection Partnership
Parents Guide to Healthy Conversations  During the Coronavirus Outbreak
As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, schools are closed across the country leading to many parents and children having increased time at home together. So how can parents take advantage of this time with their kids? Is there an opportunity to engage kids in the home in meaningful ways? We think so and it is why we created  Home Chats as a resource for parents to help open up those opportunities for purposeful family discussions.
Our Home Chats discussion guides are one-page conversation guides to enable you and your kids to discuss and build relevant leadership and life skills. Each Home Chat guide uses a Habitude to teach leadership and build an applicable life skill by utilizing relevant visuals and activities to create a fun way for parents to engage their kids.
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Click HERE for 8 FREE Conversation Starters

Amid this scary time of quarantines, social distancing, and the spread of COVID-19, children (and adults!) need to see the good things that are happening - and all of the helpers as well.
Captain Corona takes a group of children on a journey to see 19 groups of brave people whose selfless efforts keep us all safe.
Coronavirus is scary for kids. But, if we look hard, we will see so much to admire in our world: medical staff who are treating sick people, custodians who are cleaning, truckers making sure to bring us the things we need, and teachers who are providing lessons online.
When we focus on the helpers, we may even decide to be a better helper ourselves.
We are all in this together. Captain Corona will help us find the way.
This eBook and all the resources below are yours for free. Please share these resources with others.
Be well, friends. We are all in this together.
Get a FREE COPY of FULL BOOK HERE
FREE VIRTUAL NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC !
As the coronavirus global pandemic has resulted in widespread school closures and stay-at-home mandates, National Geographic is responding to the needs of families and educators with  NatGeo@Home, a centralized digital resource for families looking to fill the gap with practical, educational, inspiring and entertaining content designed to keep families connected to the natural world and the science behind it.
NatGeo@Home, available for free during these trying times, combines the enriching educational resources of the National Geographic Society with the fun and informational offerings of  National Geographic Kids to create an online hub to help future explorers fill their time and their minds. From boredom busters and games, to videos and live daily talks with National Geographic Explorers,  NatGeo@Home aims to help inspire young people and support caregivers by offering a one-stop destination from a brand they know and trust.
Click HERE to visit NatGeo@Home
As we all adjust to our 'new normal', with children at home - many of whom are too young to understand much of what's happening - we all strive to find normalcy in our daily routine. We have compiled our  '101 Things To Do at Home' - a list of simple ideas for activities to enjoy at home with your family as we all try to survive this epidemic with the hopes of maintaining both our physical and just as importantly - our mental health.

Click HERE for 101 things to do in each room of your house!
FREE VIRTUAL MUSEUMS!
Many museums have put their collections online or created virtual tours that can help alleviate that boredom.  Google Arts & Culture  (which also has an app) has digitized the collections of numerous big museums, from the Van Gogh Museum to New York's MOMA. Not all of them will be totally appealing to kids, but some museums are ready with online entertainment for all ages. Whether you need a trip to the aquarium or want to check out some mummies, here are some virtual museum tours your kids will enjoy. (Plus, all of these visits can lead to further reading or Googling, which means even less boredom.)


Click HERE to visit website with links to 12 VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOURS
including:  The Louvre, The British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Van Gogh Museum, Boston Children's Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, The National Gallery of Art, Uffizi Gallery, Easter Island, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, & NASA Glenn Research Center
Are your kids turning to goo right before your very eyes? Are they sinking further and further into the couch?  According to the e-mail sent by Planet Fitness, "Exercise can reduce stress, help you stay healthy, and keep you feeling great. So, Planet Fitness is offering
FREE In-Home Workouts (7pm EST),
live-streamed daily, for all Planet Fitness members and non-members alike. Workouts will be led by trainers and surprise celebrity guests. If you miss the live class, you can come back and watch it later. NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED * CLASSES 20 MINUTES OR LESS."
Visit Planet Fitness on FACEBOOK or YOUTUBE
There is also this cool place kids can explore called OUTSIDE!*
(*please continue to follow social distancing guidelines!)
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Recent studies have exposed the benefit-even necessity-of  spending time outdoors,  both for kids and adults. Some argue that it can be any outdoor environment. Some claim it has to be a "green" environment-one with trees and leaves. Others still have shown that just a picture of greenery can benefit mental health. These nuances aside, most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. While it's unclear how exactly the cognitive functioning and mood improvements occur, there are a few things we do know about why nature is good for kids' minds.
  • It builds confidence
  • It promotes creativity and imagination
  • It teaches responsibility
  • It provides different stimulation.
  • It gets kids moving
  • It makes them think
  • It reduces stress and fatigue!!!
Set up a space outside to do school work!
Backyard camping can be fun! Smores make EVERYONE Happy!
Let kids help you in the yard!



Design your own STAINED GLASS WINDOW with tape, have kids use colored chalk, when finished peel the tape, and you have a masterpiece!





Having teenagers confined to home during the coronavirus crisis may not be as labor-intensive as being holed up with small children, but it definitely has its challenges!
While younger children may be thrilled at the prospect of having parental attention 24/7, adolescents are likely to feel differently.
Here are some tips for parenting teenagers (and young adults suddenly home from college) during this time:
  • Emphasize social distancing-he first challenge with teens and young adults may be getting them to comply with the guidelines for social distancing.Teenagers tend to feel invincible, and parents are reporting a lot of push-back when teens are told they can't go out and get together with friends.For teenagers and young adults, friends are hugely important, and they are supposed to be - bonding with peers is one of the essential developmental tasks of adolescents. If your teen is sulking about being stuck at home with parents and siblings, a direct conversation might be helpful. Acknowledge that you know it's frustrating for them to be cut off from friends. Listen to what they're feeling, validate those feelings and then be direct about how you can work together to make this situation bearable. Loosening rules about time spent on social media, for instance, will help compensate for the socializing time lost with school closings. Encourage them to be creative about new ways to interact with their friends socially.
  • Support remote schooling-Parents are reporting feeling pressured and confused about how to help kids with remote learning. With younger children, notes Dr. Anderson, it's more a matter of finding fun activities that can be educational. But with older students, keeping up with expectations from school can be challenging. You can help teenagers create a realistic schedule for getting work done in defined periods, building in breaks and times for socializing, exercising and entertainment. The key principle: do a session of work first, then reward yourself with something relaxing. Keep in mind that it's not going to be as effective as school, but it may get to be more effective over time as everyone on the school front, as well as the home front, works to improve remote learning.
  • Encourage healthy habits-Teenagers and young adults will do better during this stressful time if they get adequate sleep, eat healthy meals and exercise regularly. Keeping -a consistent sleep schedule, with predictable times to wake up and go to bed, is especially important to maintaining a positive mood and their ability to fulfill academic expectations. Healthy habits are particularly important for young people who may be struggling with anxiety or depression. Losing the routines you've come to rely on can be a big source of stress, so it is  recommended to establish new routines which include eating properly, sleeping regularly, being social, being active and having down time.
  • Validate their disappointment-For many the most painful part of the coronavirus crisis will be losing important experiences: high school sports seasons, proms, theater productions, high school and college graduations. Give teens room to share their feelings and listen without judgment (or without reassuring them that everything will be fine) and then express confidence in your child's ability to rebound!
  • Help them practice mindfulness-Mindfulness teaches us to tune into our emotions in any given moment and experience them without judgment. In what's called "radical acceptance," we let ourselves sit with our emotions rather than fighting them. You tell yourself it's okay to feel anxious right now. It's okay to feel scared. It's okay to feel angry. You're accepting the feelings you have and validating them because we're all having those feelings. It's really important that you accept them as they are rather than fighting them."In other words, "We say to ourselves: 'This sucks, and I'm going to be sad about it, and I'm going to be angry about it, and I'm going to feel anxious about it,' or whatever it is. This then allows us to move on and say, 'Okay, so now what needs to be done?' 
Link to full article HERE

Encourage healthy habits and maintain a schedule
Validate your teens disappointment & reassure them of their ability to rebound
Help teens accept their emotions & move forward



 

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