June 2020
Let's Talk About Race
You have seen on the local and national news the public outrage and protests over the brutal acts of violence and discrimination perpetuated against Black men and women across our country. As a parent, you may feel concerned about the future and wonder how to talk to your children about race  and racism .

If you are White, you may have never seen or felt the persistent sting and trauma of racist acts, thus leaving you with the false impression that it doesn't exist here in Lane County. You may say, "I don't see color" or "race doesn't matter." Yet, it’s critical you accept that it does matter. Take collectively the experiences of students of color in our county. They often attend schools where there are no or few teachers that look like them. They may find that the only time school curriculum teaches about people of their race or ethnicity is during a special month celebration. And the history lessons they do get white wash the past racist actions of white historical figures.

All of these acts together can leave our young students of color with the sense that white is normal and good, and on the flip-side white youth may perceive that non-white students are abnormal and outsiders. When these values are ingrained from a young age we can’t be shocked that racism still exists.
We need to look to employers to change their hiring practices, schools to update their curricula, law makers to dismantle racist systems, and for all of White America to use their voice to advocate for change. But right now, all you can do is start with your own understanding of the history of racism in our country. Educate yourself through books, podcasts, article and documentaries . Question your privilege. If people of color tell you their experiences, listen with an open-mind and don't let your guilt become the center of the conversation.

You can no longer choose to sit this out, your silence equals complicity. Even if it seems difficult, it's time to do what's right.

Important Resources for Parents and Kids:
  • Books: Author Ibram X. Kendi has books for adults, young adults and babies to move us to being antiracist - How to be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You; and Antiracist Baby.
  • Distance learning activities: Colorful Pages activities on #BlackLivesMatter: K-8 Distance Learning Activities for Justice for George Floyd
  • Talking About Race: a website filled with tools for parents on how to talk, learn and think about race with their children.
  • "13th" - critical documentary on Netflix providing a history lesson on the US's criminalization and imprisonment of African Americans from the slave trade through modern times. Age appropriate for teenagers+.
  • CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism
  • Lane County chapter of the NAACP
  • Black Lives Matter website
Community Spotlight: Food for Lane County
For more than 20 years, FOOD for Lane County’s Summer Food Program has picked up where schools meals have left off -- filling a critical meal gap during the summer for families with children. But this summer is like no other and is likely to be even harder for families because of COVID-19. Because of job losses and disruptions in the economy more people are seeking food assistance. When Lane County schools closed in March, school districts began providing free “grab and go” meals weekdays for children and youth ages 18 and younger. With the likelihood of parks and playgrounds closed this summer, FOOD for Lane County will take over serving grab-and-go meals starting June 29 at schools in Eugene, Creswell, Cottage Grove, Junction City, Veneta and Walterville .

Based on the number of meals schools were serving since the closure, we anticipate serving weekday meals to 3,300 children a day. That’s double the meals we served last summer. We’ll be hiring part-time staff and recruiting volunteers to prepare and serve meals, direct traffic and ensure social distancing. We will continue to follow state and local guidelines. We will provide materials in English and Spanish.  Our number one concern is the safety of your child . During these uncertain times, knowing when and where to get a nutritious meal for your child is one less thing to worry about.

Links to resources:
FOOD for Lane County and School District Food Program:  foodforlanecounty.org/school-district-meals
FOOD for Lane County additional help:  foodforlanecounty.org/covid-19  or (541) 343-2822
Summer Food Service Program FAQs:  fns.usda.gov/sfsp/frequently-asked-questions
Featured Blog
Self-Care Is Possible During A Pandemic

You'll hear Parenting Educators focus again and again the importance of taking care of yourself as a parent-and it's with good reason. You can't be on top of your parenting game when your own needs aren't being met. But even under the best...

Read more
Pride Month
June is Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQ community often times expressed through color-filled parades and festivals. Unfortunately, due to social distancing requirements Eugene/Springfield's PRIDE Festival, planned for August 8th, has at this time been cancelled.

Pride events have been a public way to continue to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community. With schools and campuses closed, youth and young adults that identify as LGBTQ may be back home in an intolerant and abusive environment. If you know a LGBTQ youth in need of support, please reach out to them and consider helping them to connect with one of the agencies included in this list of resources for young adults .

As parents, caregivers and educators, we can develop the next generation of tolerant youth. Starting with books is a great way to paint a complex and varied look at the lives of LGBTQ individuals: 9 Great LGBTQ Books and Great LGBTQ Inclusive Picture & Middle Grade Books . You can also bring some fun rainbow themed crafting ideas home to do with your kids!
Wondering What to Read?
Summer Reading Plan
Encouraging children to read during the summer helps them to keep their reading skills strong. Local libraries may not be able to offer all of the fun in-person activities and prizes from years past, so try these tips to create your own homegrown summer reading program:

  • Make reading a fun challenge. Set up a challenge to see how many books your child can read or minutes they can read over the summer. Tracking their progress will help them to feel successful!

  • Set up incentives for reading. These don’t have to be expensive to be rewards. And since you want the rewards to be motivating for your child, ask them what they’d like to earn. 

  • Have your child pick the books they read. See if your local library is offering patrons the chance to put books on hold for curbside pick-up or explore the free eBook options online. Remember that you want your child to read materials that are on their level or slightly challenging. You can use the five finger rule to help determine if a book might be too hard. Your child can also explore other types of print materials like magazines and graphic novels.

  • Join your child in the challenge! One of the best ways to get your child to read is to let them see YOU reading. So set a summer reading goal for yourself and see what you can accomplish! Talk to your child about what you are reading and how you are doing at meeting your goal. And don’t forget to reward yourself as well!

A summer reading program does not have to be difficult to set up. It can also be great way to spend time with your child, talking about what both of you have read and want to read. So while you are out enjoying the sun, take along a book (or two)!

This is a summary of an article brought to you by Kids In Transition To School (KITS) developer Dr. Katherine Pears. KITS is an evidence-based school readiness program developed at the Oregon Social Learning Center. For more information about KITS, please visit their website kidsintransitiontoschool.org.
More Resources for Parents
Survey for families with children 0-5
The RAPID-EC project is looking for families with children 0-5 to complete a short, online survey. Questions are about the needs and well-being of children and caregivers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The first 1000 caregivers that complete the survey each week receive a $10 Amazon gift card!
Child Care and Summer Camps
For parents who are still working, finding child care or summer camps may feel daunting. Child care providers that have remained open often times have capacity to enroll more families and may be able to serve school-aged children. Summer camps are working to open up, visit Oregon Family Magazine's Summer Camp guide .

For child care questions contact Quality Care Connections at 541-463-3300 and leave a message. Or receive a customized child care referral from 211info :
  • Call 211.
  • Text the keyword “children” or “niños” to 898211 (TXT211).
  • Email children@211info.org.

How to Summer, Safely
As the temperatures heat up and families eagerly take to the outdoors, a reminder for parents to keep in mind how to prevent drowning and ways to childproof the outdoors . Oregon State Parks are asking us to " Take Care, Out There " with tips on how to enjoy our shared parks, safely. And Tinkergarten has advice for those wondering how to ease into social distance gatherings and how to get their kid to wear a mask

Father's Day Ideas
Find inspiration for how to celebrate the dad in your life with these 10 Quarantine Father's Day Ideas . Or, needing an excuse to join the nation in making your own Coronavirus piñata? Watch this step by step kid friendly video of how to make your own paper mâché piñata .

South Lane Resource Guide
The City of Cottage Grove is proud to publish the 2020 South Lane County Resource Guide . This guide is an attempt to list all the social service resources that are available within the community. 
Kindness Kits
Little Hands Can have been providing opportunities for local kids to volunteer as a way to learn about and give back to their community. With their in-person events canceled at this time, they have made downloadable Kindness Kits . Each of the 8 kits has a different theme, such as "Celebrating Differences and Teaching Tolerance" and "Caring for Animals" and provide a lesson plan that is accessible and age appropriate for young kids.
Upcoming Events

June 14

Weekly live DJ parade will roll through Eugene neighborhoods and share uplifting music outside your doorstep. We hope to spark joy, offer fun surprises and share in some collective happiness. We encourage “distanced dancing” from your yard. You can also join the fun via live stream on Cultural Services Instagram and Facebook pages.

month of June

Drive-through and walk-up mobile pantry for low-income families provided by Food for Lane County. Locations in Cottage Grove, Eugene, Oakridge, and Springfield.

Tuesday and Saturdays through November

The popular market features an amazing array of vendors selling local food. The first hour of market is reserved for seniors and high-risk individuals

Lane County Children's Librarians are bringing story time straight to your home. Creswell Library invites you on Monday's and Wednesday's to Nick Reads and story time for elementary aged kids, then Tuesdays it's Baby Time . On Tuesday watch Florence Library's Storytime with Miss Gayle . End your week with Fern Ridge's Friday Story Time with Ms. Caitlin .

Also - every week day until July 10th you can read a fresh chapter from J.K. Rowling's newest book The Ickabog .
Contact Us
We love to hear your questions, feedback on the content of our newsletter, or recommendations on what you would like to read about next time! You can reach us at Info@LaneKids.org .

Also, you can forward this email to a friend, sign up to receive this newsletter in English and Spanish , and read last month's newsletter in English and Spanish.
LaneKids is Lane County’s parenting education hub.
Our mission is to ensure all parents in Lane County have the knowledge, tools, and support to nurture their child’s optimal development for success in school and life.
LaneKids is made possible with support from: