June 15th UPDATE:
Free meals, reading contests and learning activities
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 . You can reach all Coalition team members by phone during regular work hours, at 772-595-6363 for Family Services, which covers program enrollment for both VPK and School Readiness, eligibility questions and childcare referral services, or 772-595-6424 for the general line, or through email, or through our social media platforms (Twitter or Facebook). Leave a message and a team member will get back to you right away. 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. 
  • VPK enrollment is currently open for 2020-2021 School Year for children who will be 4 on or before September 1st

School Readiness (SR) Eligibility Program
  • Effective March 15, 2020 all terminations of School Readiness families’ eligibility have been suspended. Re-determinations of eligibility are extended an additional 60 days. No families shall be removed from the program.​
  • The parent waiting list re-validation notification has been extended by 60 days.​
  • As of April 1, 2020 Providers are no longer collecting parent co-payments until further notice.
  • Job search can be used as a purpose for care to establish eligibility and for families applying to the wait-list through August 1, 2020.
  • Parents on the wait-list 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.
New Website for all things concerning recovery in SLC
Do you find yourself in need of assistance as a result of COVID-19? St. Lucie County has created a website with resources for individuals and small businesses, in St. Lucie County. For info about COVID testing, loans, grants and many other important items, for either individuals or businesses, visit:  www.recoverstlucie.org.
You can visit links to resources for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on financial assistance and unemployment, gathered from both City of Port St Lucie and Fort Pierce, as well.
Free Access to Learning App NOGGIN
Summer is here and to support local families during the summer months, the  Children's Services Council of St. Lucie County  has some exciting news! Thanks to an exclusive partnership with  Nickelodeon  as a  Campaign for Grade-Level Reading  community, the Children's Services of St. Lucie County is pleased to announce that local families can now access  NOGGIN  - a highly trust, research-based learning service for children ages 2-6 - FREE for 90 days! 
Additionally, if you sign up before the end of June, your access will be free through the end of the year! To sign up for this exclusive NOGGIN offer, you must use the Children's Services Council's special link below. Find more information on the St. Lucie Reads website at  https://bit.ly/2Uu7QoP .

KIDS AT HOPE TRAINING FOR PARENTS
Time travel with us and take a visit to your child's future! Register for the FREE Kids at Hope virtual training held on June 16th at 6:00 PM! This one-hour training is a continued informational and interactive session for parents and primary caretakers of the value of adopting the Kids at Hope strategic framework at home! Please feel free to join us for Part Three of this Three-Part Series even if you were not able to attend Part One or Two! This training is open to all and registration is limited, sign up today:  https://roundtableslc.eventbrite.com.  This training is bought to you by the Roundtable of St. Lucie County!
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:
 
Watch the entire CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall on racism here:

CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill partnered with "Sesame Street" to present Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, a town hall for kids and families. Watch the entire town hall through clicking on the buttons here.
Part 1 : Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms takes questions along with CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill about how to combat racism, and shares a message with kids about how to make a change
Part 2: Sesame Street's Abby Cadabby shares a story about how her fellow Sesame Street friend Big Bird was a victim of prejudice, and how she stood up for him. A college professor defines white privilege.
Part 3 : T wo children from a heartwarming viral video catch up with each other over video. Former Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey shares a message to children of color.
SLC Library Summer Reading Program Goes Virtual
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The summer reading program for teens and children sponsored by the St Lucie County Library System is underway now through August 8th. Featuring Grab-and-Go Adventure bags, virtual content and the popular online Reading Challenge, there is something going on for preschoolers to teens.
This year, due to COVID-19, all programs will be held virtually. For the younger children, storytime continues with more than a dozen story hours available online. Kids can listen again and again to engaging stories read by familiar faces.
For K-5 youth, families can pick up a Grab-and-Go Summer Reading Adventure bag curbside at all six branches of the library. Inside the bags you will find everything you need for four DYI (do-it-yourself) experiences, links to virtual content and some surprises.
For all ages, the library brings back its popular Reading Challenge, an incentive-based challenge that makes reading fun and the free digital tool provided by the library will help you keep track of your child’s reading all summer long. Complete the challenges and become eligible for prizes. The reading challenge is sponsored by the  Friends of the Library  and the  Children’s Services Council . While supplies last, Grab-and-Go Summer Adventure bags are available at every branch location; www.stlucieco.gov/library  or call the library at 772-462-6873.


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.

St. Lucie Schools has also begun their summer feeding schedule, on Tuesdays and Thursday at various county-wide sites. Check here for times and places: https://www.facebook.com/stlucieschools
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.
Free Voluntary Pre-K (VPK)
For 2020/2021 Year
If your child is 4, or will be 4 before September 1, you qualify for Florida's free Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten, a free educational program that prepares 4-year-olds for success in kindergarten and beyond! Registration in now ongoing for up to 540 hours of VPK through the Florida VPK Program and the Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County. You can register on the FAMILY PORTAL on our website 24/7
or contact our office at 772-595-6363 EXT 119 during office hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 AM- 5 PM for step-by-step directions.
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
Staying at home with children this summer? 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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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.
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