May 29 UPDATE:
Free Meals, COVID Tests & Rent Assistance inside
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Free COVID Testing June 1- June 5
St. Lucie County will offer free COVID-19 testing June 1-5 at Clover Park, the spring training facility for the New York Mets and the home of the St. Lucie Mets. For more information, visit this site:
Update on School Readiness & VPK Services for parents!
We know things are crazy, but we are here to help your family with childcare needs. Although our building is closed to the public, you can still apply for school readiness and/or VPK services on our Family Portal 24 hours a day .

All Coalition team members can also be reached by phone during regular work hours, at 772-595-6363 for Family Services, which covers enrollment, eligibility and childcare referral services, or 772-595-6424 for the general line, or through email, or through our social media platforms (Twitter or Facebook). Please leave a message and a team member will get back to you right away.

If you need more information on COVID-19 at the state level, visit the  Florida Department of Health  website . You can also visit our Childcare Locator on our website here to see which childcare centers are currently open. Here is the latest update from the state regarding:

Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program
  • If you have not used your VPK certificate for a school year program and are considering a Summer VPK program for your child, please contact the coalition. 

School Readiness (SR) Eligibility Program
  • Effective March 15, 2020 all terminations of School Readiness families’ eligibility have been suspended. Redeterminations of eligibility are extended an additional 60 days. No families shall be removed from the program.​
  • The parent waiting list revalidation notification has been extended by 60 days.​
  • As of April 1, 2020 Providers are no longer collecting parent copayments until further notice.
  • Job search can be used as a purpose for care to establish eligibility and for families applying to the waitlist through August 1, 2020.
  • Parents on the waitlist have 60 calendar days to submit the required documentation through September 30, 2020.
  • The 20 hours per week of work/education requirements for initial eligibility are suspended through August 1, 2020.
Need Rent or Mortgage assistance?
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St. Lucie County and Port St. Lucie officials are accepting applications for rent and mortgage assistance from anyone suffering an economic hardship from COVID-19.
Starting 8 a.m. Monday, Port St. Lucie residents can submit an online pre-qualification questionnaire at www.cityofpsl.com/communityservices .
 Applicants whose questionnaires are approved will be emailed a link to the official application. For help completing the online questionnaire, call 772-871-1775 or email COVIDGRANT@cityofpsl.com.
St. Lucie Parents: We need your feedback!
We are living in uncharted times and want to help our childcare providers gather all the information they need, in order to remain open, or re-open, to take care of the youngest of our children in St. Lucie County. We need your input to guide us.
Please take just 3-minutes of your time to complete this short survey and help us gather the data needed to keep your children learning, growing and safe. Thanks for your participation. If you have already taken this survey, there's no need to take it again.
Free Meals from SLC Schools: new days
pick up multi-meal packages on Tuesdays & Thursdays
St. Lucie Public Schools Child Nutrition Services Department continues to serve free meals to children in St. Lucie County from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., now on Tuesdays and Thursdays .  The multi-day meal packages include breakfast and lunch. Breakfasts and lunches will be bagged and handed out to families in the bus loop. Parents and guardians can drive, bike, or walk to these locations.

Kids don't have to be with you to receive a meal, but parents must have one of the following for children who are not present: School ID (any school - SLSD-operated school, charter or private); Library Card, Birth Certificate/passport/religious record; Progress Report/Report Card or Daycare record


Sarah's Kitchen is still serving hot, nutritious meals from their five soup kitchens, but, instead of coming in and sitting down for fellowship and socialization, guests drive up to receive their meals and bags of food items. 
Sarah’s Kitchen provides meals at these locations:
Monday – First United Methodist Church, 260 SW Prima Vista Blvd., Port St. Lucie; 5-6:30 p.m.
Tuesday — St. Paul AME Church,1405 N 27th St., Fort Pierce; 4:30-6 p.m.
Wednesday – 1st Congregational Church, 2401 SE Sidonia St., Port St. Lucie; 5-6:30 p.m.
Thursday – 1st Bethel Baptist Church, Eleventh & Avenue D, Fort Pierce; 4:30-6 p.m.

Treasure Coast Food Bank & BOYS & GIRLS CLUB MEALS
 Volunteers are handing out free meals each evening prepared by the Treasure Coast Food Bank every day at four of the Boys & Girls Clubhouse locations from 4-7, including Ken Pruitt Unit, Chuck Hill Unit, in Port St. Lucie; and Infinity Clubhouse and Garden Terrace Clubhouse, in Fort Pierce. Distribution is by car or walk-up.
Sesame Street presents:
ABCs of COVID
Join everyone’s favorite furry friends for a new edition of The ABCs of Covid-19: A #CNNSesameStreet Town Hall for Kids and Parents. Tune-in this Saturday , May 30th at 10 am on @CNN .
Learn more & preview at: https://m.sesame.org/2X66lPo
Don't Forget! Count Kids on the Census
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If you haven't filled out your census form online or on paper, what are you waiting for? Children under 5 were one of the biggest groups of under-counted people during the last census, so don't forget to count the children, even babies.

Help St. Lucie County get our fair share of federal funding for educational programs that benefit our children, like after-school activities, meal programs and Head Start. Check out our video and share on your own social media:
READ TO WIN BOOKS
Are your children participating in Scholastic #ReadAPalooza ?! Learn more about how kids can get involved to keep their reading skills sharp AND unlock book donations for communities in need: Scholastic Summer Reading Program
The Office of Early Learning knows many families are staying at home with their children to keep them safe from COVID-19. To help it easier, OEL offers families additional activities and resources to help support your children’s learning at home, and provide some activities for entertainment. Please click the buttons below to see the helpful activities and resources.
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FINAL DAYS FOR FLORIDA PRE-PAID PLANS
Only a few more days to take advantage of the Florida Prepaid OE extension and waived application fee! Use promo code VPK1920 to start saving now for future college fees; plus no payments due until July. Florida Prepaid offers college savings plans, with college tuition funding options including 529 savings plans. Visit them at: myfloridaprepaid.com
Swimming in pools & Water Parks this summer?
Here's the latest guidelines from the CDC for your children, for swimming in pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds.
Is your child heading to Kindergarten this fall?
Parents whose children are headed to kindergarten this year may be asked to sign for permission to share your child’s successes and areas of development with St. Lucie Schools. This form will help the public schools get ready for your kindergartener and is very helpful to the teachers. All information is confidential and will only be shared with your permission. Here's a list of skills they should know:
 
I LOVE Macaroni Kids! Here's more good stuff from our friends at the online magazine. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for the latest updates & activities! https://portstlucie.macaronikid.com/
Sincerely,
Sue-Ellen @Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County
www.elcslc.org
772-595-6424