Editors note: This story was last updated on May 11.
Southern Arizona families with kids at home are dealing with the difficult situation of trying to work from home or losing work hours as kids' schools, before- and after-care and free meals are put on hold.
Check out our Southern Arizona parent network on Facebook, where we'll post more updates about schools and you can ask questions and interact with other parents.
This list will be updated as we know more. If you are a social service or organization offering help to local families, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to this list.
• Arizona schools will be closed for the rest of the school year.
• Many local districts are feeding children up to age 18 at school sites around the city. Find that giant list here.
• Grab-and-go snacks can be picked up from 10 different library branches for anyone under age 18. The program runs Monday through Friday until May 29. Snacks are shelf-stable and will be pre-packaged, except for whole fruits. Pick up will be contact-free and social distancing measures will be in place. Distribution is from 9 -10 a.m. at Nanini, Martha Cooper, Valencia, Mission and El Rio libraries; and from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Woods Memorial, Eckstrom-Columbus, El Pueblo, Southwest and Quincie Douglas libraries.
• Several childcare providers, school districts and community organizations are offering childcare for essential workers.
• Workers in these essential functions can register may qualify for priority childcare and may be eligible for a scholarship for child care at Arizona Enrichment Centers, a collection of licensed childcare providers, school district facilities and other community organizations offering childcare. Go here for more information.
• Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium has put together a collection of science resources for parents and teachers to use for children learning at home. The page includes arts and crafts activities, educational videos, NASA's learning resources and videos produced by Flandrau staff to teach kids about space.
• The University of Arizona Community and School Garden program has lists of activities that can be done from home with minimal supplies that teach kids about ecology and gardening. The page includes links to videos, activities and book read alouds.
• Tucson Village Farm is offering fun activities you can do at home. Choose from take-and-make seed packets, color your own TVF buttons or the #QuaranCarrot Social Media Challenge. Just email email@example.com for templates and questions.
• Free produce is being offered to the community from the school gardens at Manzo, Borton, Miles elementary schools and Tucson High Magnet School, which are all part of the University of Arizona School and Community Garden Program.
• We put together a huge list of resources for Tucson women giving birth during the pandemic.
• Coronavirus is influencing Tucson artists' creative process.
• Tucsonans can explore the world of art from home.
• The Arizona Water Festival, a program that's part of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension has gone virtual. The program is hosted annually and typically includes hands-on activities for youth to learn about water issues including groundwater, watersheds, the water cycle and conservation. The water festival has put together a website with videos to teach kids about these different topics and included associated activities they can do from home.
• The Pima County Community Action Agency has set up a new hotline to help answer questions about the COVID-19 Rental Eviction Assistance Program funded by the Arizona Department of Housing. Information about the program and an application for rental assistance can be found here. The hotline number is 520-724-2505.
• The Arizona Department of Transportation is sharing transportation and engineering themed activities and virtual resources for kids. These include coloring pages, videos of ADOT's projects and heavy machinery and Zoom backgrounds.
• Although the libraries may be physically closed, the Pima County Public Library's Infoline is available to help you get answers about electronic library resources, recommended education tools for kids, small business help, community resources, authoritative health information and more. Infoline can be reached at 520-791-4010 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Educators across Tucson still don't know when, or how school will reopen. Some are trying to plan for what the start of a new school year like no other.
• The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is sharing weekly lessons that teachers and parents can use for children learning from home. The lessons introduce children to a new piece of music each week and provide discussion questions and other activities related to the piece. You can find this week's lesson here.
• Starting on Friday, April 17, the Pima County Public Library will be offering its popular Ready, Set, School program online. The program will happen weekly on Fridays from 10-10:45 a.m. and is meant to help children ages 4-5 prepare for school by learning skills through stories, interactive activities and songs with their parents and caregivers. The program will be available on the library's Facebook page.
• A local nonprofit — Make Way for Books — has launched a bilingual app for families to access books and activities and to tune in to storytime online while following stay-at-home orders.
• TUSD students can use grades earned in the third quarter of the school year, before schools were closed, as their final grades. And high school seniors on track to graduate before schools were ordered closed will get their diploma, TUSD says.
• Arizona Public Media, launched a new program to provide learning resources connected to PBS programming for children in preschool through 12th grade. The At Home learning website has weekly television schedules for PBS 6 grouped by age and related resource pages for each show that includes games, activities and videos aligned with Arizona education standards to further explore the concepts and ideas from each episode. AZPM says the resources are "meant to engage, inspire and extend the learning experience," for children during school closures.
• A University of Arizona psychiatry professor gave us some tips for helping kids through these uncertain times.
• Tucson Unified School District launched a "Learn at Home" resource website with a sample daily schedule and links to grade-appropriate tools for English language arts, math, science and visual arts that kids can use during school closures. The district is working on its framework for remote learning.
• The YMCA of Southern Arizona is providing emergency childcare for military, health professionals and anyone who works in vital community services and cannot work from home. Learn more here.
• A team of faculty, staff and students from the University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health put together an online toolkit for parents, teachers and school staff to use with children in kindergarten to fifth grade to explain COVID-19; understand what's happening; and stay safe and healthy.
• Local businesses are offering take-home crafts and activities. Go here to see the offerings.
• Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona is moving its scouting adventures online. Starting March 18, our local council has launched a Virtual Girl Scouts resource page where girls at every level can continue earning badges and fun patches from home by completing different outdoor, STEM and art activities. New activities will be added every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Go here to see all the options.
• Arizona Public Media, our local PBS and NPR stations, has a free digital collection of learning resources that are aligned to state standards for children in pre-k through 12th grade called PBS Learning Media. The site has PBS videos, interactive activities and lesson plans that educators and parents can access. Go here to learn more.
• A local counselor, CC White, has put together and is regularly updating a big resource list of ideas and links to keep kids engaged and to learn new things. The list includes links to hear books read aloud by authors, actors and astronauts (!), virtual field trips and art activities. See the resources here.
• Scholastic has put together a day-by-day collection of learning resources online, called Learn at Home, for children in preschool through middle school to keep kids engaged in educational activities while schools are closed. Each day's activities have a different theme and kids can watch or read a story online and then complete activities related to the books. Go here to try it out.
• The Pima County Public Library has a collection of digital audiobooks for kids that you can access for free if you have a library card. The kids are home, so we are here for this. You can also access several streaming services with your library card, including Kanopy, where you can find thousands of films. You can watch 10 movies per month, and the collection includes foreign language films, indie and film festival favorites and documentaries. There is also a Kanopy Kids collection.
• With kids trying to do school from home (or let's be real, streaming Netflix) and many parents trying to work from home at the same time, internet connectivity has become a requirement. Cox customers who qualify for low-cost service can now get a free month of its "Connect2Compete" service starting Monday, March 16. The service is $9.95/month after the first month. More info here. Comcast is opening all its Xfinity WiFi hotspots for free, go here for a map of hotspots. Comcast has also expanded its "Internet Essentials" low-income internet package. More info on that here.
• Tucson Medical Center has a virtual doctor app that will connect you to a licensed, Arizona physician 24/7. It's called TMC Now, and currently you can use the code Spring20 to reduce the cost of your virtual visit to $20. Go here for more information.
• Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all city of Tucson recreation centers and aquatics facilities will be closed through March. Aquatics, youth programs (SchoolzOut Camps, InBetweeners Club and KIDCO) and senior programming will also be canceled during this time.
• The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is offering online learning. Sign up for a course via Zoom, and learn from educators and scientists who will teach you about the beauties of the desert. Go here for more information.