Editors note: This story was last updated on March 30.
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.
• 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.
• Make Way for Books is postponing its programming for children and families through March 27. Families are encouraged to download the free Make Way for Books app to find digital books and literacy activities for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Learn more here.
• 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.