This crisis has been challenging for all of us.
For our Para Los Niños families, it has been particularly trying.
Many of our parents and caregivers, even in the best of times, are living paycheck to paycheck and struggle to meet basic needs of food and housing. For our students, who are now learning from home, having a quiet place to study and access to a reliable internet connection is a luxury that many do not have.
To address these challenges, our staff of nearly 450 have collaborated and adapted to ensure students and families stay on track and continue to thrive.
- Early Childhood Education staff and teachers have been connecting with families to help them access resources for learning and keep their children fed, and their supplies such as diapers, wipes, and formula stocked.
- Our Charter Schools teams have been sharing educational resources, hosting virtual daily learning for students to not fall behind, and this week began distributing Chromebooks to those without technology access at home.
- Our Student and Community Services team has been continuing home visitations in a way that is safe for all, individual and couples therapy (virtually, when possible), and clinicians are reaching out to those who are particularly vulnerable during this “safer at home” ordinance.
Helping Families Thrive.
Early Education staff at our Vine Street location learned that one of our parents was living in a hotel with her four-year-old son. The staff connected Mom with one of our Family Service Specialists, who were able help her apply with the SOS Healthy Housing Foundation, and obtain a $100 gift card for food. Thankfully, the family was accepted and today they have a home, and a laptop on loan from PLN to continue little Darren’s schooling.
A few of our Best Start families reached out for support when they experienced extreme hardships in accessing food as a result of testing positive with COVID-19, for fear of exposing their vulnerable family members to the virus in dense community settings. Our teams were able to purchase groceries and provide them with diapers, wipes and clothing to keep our families safe and secure.
One of our case managers learned, on their weekly calls to connect with families, that a mom who is a part of our Domestic Violence Support Services was struggling during this crisis to obtain a new glucose monitoring system. The increased stress of the pandemic made her concerned for her sugar levels, but her medical provider would not cover a replacement device. PLN was able to coordinate to find her a new machine and keep her safe.
Our family support services continues to connect families to resources to ensure those being most impacted have necessities. “When we showed up to the Para Los Niños warehouse, the people came out and asked what size diapers we needed and they gave us a big box of size 3 diapers and a small box of size 4s. They also blessed us with wipes, toys and booties. We are so thankful that they did not look down on us. They treated us with great customer service,” said one grateful mom.
Our charter schools staff found that many students only had access to cell phones for technology so they coordinated to distribute all the iPads and Chromebooks we had on hand. Our Afterschool staff took it a step further and included supply kits for our students most in need to have the tools to succeed from home.
Early Education teachers and staff collaborated to find and order a five-week supply of a very specific formula for a baby at our Vine Street location to be food secure during this crisis.
A family whose twins attend our Caruso Early Education Center have regular speech therapy with an outside referral, so their classroom teacher reached out to connect them and make sure they met virtually. The children were thrilled to see their therapist on the screen, and mom was so grateful to have her sons continue with their therapy.
Our Charter Middle School Teachers are taking the classroom online with daily lessons via Zoom, office hours, and “study hall” so students have support 24/7. According to 7th grade teacher Ms. Alexander, “Seeing the kids’ faces on the screen makes us feel so much more connected than just posting assignments.”
Thank you to all our generous donors and partners
who have helped during this crisis!
Anonymous (x7) | Danya Alsaady-Nazer | Tom Aronson
Baby2Baby |Caruso Family Foundation | John Castro
Kelley and Eric Coleman | Cotton On USA, Inc. | John and Ann Daly Gustafson Katie Dealy | The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation | Judi Dickerson
Cristina and Gilbert Dominguez | The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation
Ford Motor Company Fund & Community Services
Gisela and Jeff Friedman | Judi and Neil Gader
GoGo squeeZ | Materne North America, a MOM Group company
Jacqueline Gonzalez | Marianne Gray | Alexandra Hager
HP | Beatriz Jacinto | Marjorie Kassel
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank | Samantha Lenz
Nickelodeon | Northrop Grumman | Arlen Ohara | One Family LA
Beverly and Fredric Reichel | Ritz Carlton | Helen Christine Russo
Ernesto Sanchez | An Shamie | Sara Smith
Mary Jane Wagle | Wells Fargo