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A Message from Raising A Reader about COVID-19
March 13, 2020

Dear Raising A Reader Network,  

 Raising A Reader understands there are many concerns about the evolving Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.  As information and news about the Novel 2019 Coronavirus continues to become available it brings up many questions for local agencies and the parents and children they serve. Information about the virus and its spread is still developing, but there are preparations everyone can start to make now.  RAR encourages all Affiliates to: 

  • Review their own agency plans and policies for responding to illnesses, making sure they align with the CDC recommendations as well as state and local public health departments.  
  • Stay informed and monitor information as it becomes available. 

In following the guidelines set forth by the state of Maryland to reduce events and maintain social distancing, Raising A Reader will postpone the Coordinator training in Glen Burnie, Maryland, April 21-22. Dates for this rescheduled training will be announced in the April Bookmark e-newsletter.  

We recognize that there may be concerns about continuing the Red Book Bag rotation and parent workshops. Because the RAR network spans to over 3,000 local communities across the country, we trust that you will make the best decision for your children and families based on your local community’s public health recommendations. The decision to continue or pause the Book Bag rotation is your own, and the Raising A Reader team will continue to be available to provide technical assistancewhichever you choose.  

Below are resources to support you with your Raising A Reader program as well as the children and families you serve.  Should you have any questions, please contact your trusted Raising A Reader portfolio manager, or send a message to our programs team at rarinquiry@raisingareader.org  

We will be back in touch as information about the pandemic continues to unfold. 

Kindest regards,  

Michelle Torgerson and the Raising A Reader team 


Raising A Reader Resources 


To support you during this time, Raising A Reader has identified resources on the Online Affiliate Network that illustrate best practices for caring for your RAR materials: 


Book Bag Handling and Care for Bags Purchased 2017-2020 
Book Bag Handling and Care for Bags Purchased before 2017 


Should your community need digital resources for families to continue to share books and develop a love of reading, we recommend: 

Families can download a free app from RAR Partner, Khan Academy Kids! Khan Academy Kids is a free, fun, educational program designed to inspire young children to become learners for life. The robust Khan Academy Kids curriculum and original content make learning engaging and fun for young children.  Visit https://learn.khanacademy.org/khan-academy-kids/ for more details. 



CDC Resources  


The following are the CDC’s most recent recommendations for early childhood and K-12 settings: 




Additional Resources  


Below are some current resources that you can use to help your families prepare for, talk about and understand the Coronavirus Disease 2019 during this uncertain time: 


NYT Parenting's How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus by Jessica Grose recommends "Keeping your own anxiety in check is key." 
Heard on Morning Edition: NPR's Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus by Malaka Gharib offers a comic to help kids understand. 
This article written by Vivian Manning-Schaffel is pretty simple and to the point: How to Talk to Your Kids about the Coronavirus (and Ease their Fears). 
This New York Times article focuses on Talking to Teens and Tweens about Coronavirus by Donna De La Cruz. 
Sesame Street in Communities has many videos and activities to help teach children about being healthy and kind. 
CDC Activities and Resources for Teaching Handwashing and staying healthy 


List of websites that offer activities for older kids and teens -  Websites for Kids and Teens 
The parenting Assistance Line has resources for parents (and other adults), here is one called Teaching Your Child About Germs. 


*Resources compiled by the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network 

 Reader team