May 2020
Is it Over Yet?
One of the strangest things about practicing social distancing is that every day things which we took for granted now come with a great amount of effort and forethought. Running to the grocery story? Grab your mask and be careful to not touch your face! Have a kid in daycare or school? Not anymore, you get to navigate distance learning and the strain of new routines and missed friends.

While we shouldn’t pretend everything is “normal,” we can acknowledge that we're all working to adapt to this new way of living and, at times, can do it with humor (do a quick search of 'quarantine parent memes' for some laughs). For a sense of normalcy, we can lean on the following things that have not been canceled due to COVID-19:

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is held in recognition of the 20 million Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent who represent more than 30 different nationalities and ethnic groups. Learn about the accomplishments of and racism faced by Americans of Asian and Pacific Island decent in this list of children's books, ways to increase your appreciation of Asian-Pacific American culture , and enjoy a read-aloud from popular children's author Grace Lin .

Mother's Day - while ideally this day would involve some time with family and time alone to recharge, you may have to adjust your expectations for this day. These 20 Mother's Day ideas have some sweet and practical ideas, including planning a celebration for once social distancing rules have relaxed.

Food Allergy Awareness Week - May 10-16 is a week to build understanding of the impact that food allergies have on more than 32 million Americans, about 6 million of which are children. Visit the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) website and facebook to learn more.
Community Spotlight: Migrant Education Program
The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a Federal program that aims to reduce the barriers of students to successfully navigate the educational system and graduate from high school. The program benefits students between 3-22 years old whose families work in agriculture, forestry or fishing and have had to move due to their economic activity. MEP-Region 28 covers Lane County and Douglas County, providing support to around 800 students through different programs and activities.

Currently, our team consists of:

  • A School Readiness Specialist, who focuses in providing support to PreK students in the region through home visits and follow up of their developmental milestones.
  • A Family Engagement Specialist, who is in contact to the families providing resources in the community and other stakeholders.
  • A Graduation Specialist, who works with the high school and middle school students following up they are on track for graduation and provides tools and access to programs and activities designed to help them during the transition to post-secondary life.
  • And finally, an Online Resources Specialist, who accompanies students providing academic support.

Additionally, the program supports families and students by providing different benefits as Free Lunch (USDA), summer school, summer programs, online programs, accident insurance 24/7, leadership program, graduation support (GED, HEP, SAT, ACT), among others.

Have you or your family worked in agriculture, forestry or fishing?
Have you moved during the last three years?
Please, contact us!

Call (541) 461- 8382, email mep@lesd.k12.or.us, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and visit our websites mepregion28.org and lesd.k12.or.us/mep
Featured Blog
Tips For Parenting In Uncertain Times: Part 3

As parents, you may be feeling a range of uncomfortable emotions (including anxiety, anger, sadness); as well as uncertainty about what to do and how to cope. This week, we offer three more tips for parenting through these uncertain times.

Read more
www.lanekids.org
Wondering What to Read?
Podcast and Reading Resources
Podcasts: This list of podcasts has something for kids of all ages, The Kids Are All ... Home uses clips provided by little listeners to tell an engaging story, and for parents/caregivers here's one encouraging you to take time for self-care.

Libraries: Many libraries can get you signed up for a card through their website or over the phone. For families that live in a Eugene zip code but outside of the city limits, you can call to arrange free access during this time: 541-682-5450.

In addition to ebooks, audiobooks, and fun activities on your library's website, Siuslaw and Fern Ridge Youth Services Librarians are doing story times on their social media pages and the Creswell Youth Services Librarian has a Zoom story time. Eugene Public Library has virtual book groups for kids. Plus, the Springfield Public Library has a YouTube channel with story times and craft activities. Watch this video in Spanish to learn more.

Little Free Libraries: Feel comfortable venturing out? Little Free Libraries are small wooden structures outside homes and schools where you can "take a book, leave a book". View a map to find the closest one.
Get Ready for Kindergarten!
In nearly 4 months, we expect schools will be opening back up to students. This includes all incoming Kindergartners (children who will be 5 on or before September 1, 2020). Can't believe your little one will be roaming the halls of an elementary school and taking the bus on their own? It can be a bit overwhelming for parents and kids to make the jump. Here are a few resources for families to ease the move to elementary school:

KITS Program - For those of you looking to get your child a head start before fall, the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program will provide them a summer program where they can gain confidence and comfort with a school environment. Plus, parents/caregivers have the chance to participate in workshops where you learn ways to reduce parenting stress and create a positive relationship with your child's school. This fun, supportive program is free and available at a number of Lane County schools.

Register for school - Schools are still working through how to get families registered, which has usually meant dropping paperwork off to a school. Visit your local school district's or neighborhood school's website and Facebook page to stay updated on what parent's should know before September. If you are unsure what your neighborhood school is enter your address into this site to find your local elementary, middle and high school.

Activities to Prepare for Kindergarten - Download this Activity Calendar (available in English and Spanish) for easy and quick ways to get your child ready for Kindergarten.
Upcoming Events

May 8

Eugene Science Center brings you 7 activities you can try from home, as well as a special planetarium presentation! The Facebook livestream event is perfect for your curious, active toddler.

May 14 - 17

With marathons and races canceled this Spring, a virtual race/walk is a great way to get motivated to be active while still practicing social distancing, The Sloth Trot also benefits local nonprofits!

Saturdays, expected to open May 23

The Saturday Market is a weekly celebration of local arts, food and music. Over 250 artisans sell handcrafted goods – this is the perfect place to shop for unique gifts. Enjoy international food booths, live music and entertainment. The Saturday Market coincides with the Lane County Farmers Market. Parking is available on-street and at nearby garages. Do not miss this iconic Eugene experience!

Month of May

Needing a way to harness some creative energy? Each week visit the EUGfun website for a new fashion challenge where you use what you already have around the house to make a one of a kind creation. Post your creation to the social media platform of your choice, including #EUGfunRunwayAtHome, for a chance to win prizes!
Every Child Counts
Did you know about 2.2 million children under 5 were missed in the last U.S. Census?

The Census is the way our federal government determines how to distribute money to each state for important services like schools, fire departments and roads. When kids aren't counted that can result in lost funding for our families and communities.

The census is safe, private and is easier to complete than ever. Take 5 minutes to complete the census and make sure your kids are counted!
Youth Traffic Safety Month
As the weather gets better your child may be more interested in walking, riding their bike or scooter around the neighborhood. Seems like no coincidence that May is Youth Traffic Safety Month! With schools closed, Safe Routes to School , a program in Eugene and Springfield schools that encourages students to safely get to and from school, have made their materials available on-line for caregivers to access.

  • Remote Learning page with ways to teach children pedestrian and bike safety.
  • Tip Sheets including how to lock a bike and properly fit your helmet.
  • Plus maps for walking and biking in Eugene, Bethel and Springfield.
More Resources for Parents
Are you a caregiver of a child age 5 and under?

The RAPID-EC project is looking for families 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 will receive a $5 gift card!

The RAPID-EC team will collect and analyze data from this survey to share with organizations that are supporting caregivers and families, and the general public, with the goal of informing local, state and national decisions. Please lend your voice to this important survey!
Visit Local Museums from Home

Although our Lane County museums have temporarily shut their doors, they have made some of their content available online:


This is a time for all to reach out whenever you need help and information. You can call the warmline, 1-833-REACH-OR, for information about resources, or just to have someone listen to you, or to help you get connected to services and supports that you and your family need. We know that some of you have been hit harder through this crisis than others, and it’s hard to let others know when you need help. We want to urge you to let someone know – we are here for families!

1-833-REACH-OR (1-833-732-2467) is for everyone.
­­­­­­ Families are Eligible for Financial Support to Replace School Meals

To support families struggling to replace meals that would have usually been provided at school, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced that children eligible for free or reduced-price meals will get cash benefits for the meals they would have received at school. And, f amilies who have experienced significant income loss may have become eligible for free or reduced-price school meals , and there is still time to apply. Apply online or contact your local school.

Benefits will be retroactive to March 16, 2020 for students who received free and reduced price meals when schools closed. For newly eligible free or reduced-price meals or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, benefits will start at the beginning of the month they become eligible. Eligible families will receive the following for each child:
  • $69 for March
  • $126 in April
  • $120 in May
  • $69 in June

Eligible SNAP households will have their March, April and May benefits automatically deposited to their existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts in late May. Students who get free or reduced-price school meals but do not receive SNAP benefits will automatically receive an Oregon Trail Card in the mail.

Additionally, households can:
  • Use their EBT card to include online food purchases through Amazon and Walmart (delivery fees not included).
  • Take advantage of the double up food bucks program, which matches every $1 of EBT funds spent – up to $10 – on fresh fruit and vegetables at participating local farmers markets.
  • Learn more about food assistance: visit needfood.oregon.gov or call 2-1-1.
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: