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March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Caretakers

For the health and safety of 826CHI students, volunteers, and staff, the 826CHI office will be remote for the foreseeable future. Though from afar, we are working hard to support our greater Chicago community. Upcoming blogs will offer resources for sustaining the health and well-being of caretakers, freelancers, and artists & entertainment during this pandemic. 

School closures have suddenly transformed daily life for many of our community members. 826CHI recognizes the herculean efforts of parents and caretakers, particularly working parents and caretakers, who are doing their best to keep the young people in their life calm and engaged while in quarantine. In an effort to support our many community members who are at home with young people, we’ve compiled favorite resources about talking about COVID-19 with youth, engaging students in remote learning, and accessing food and supplies during this crisis. 


How do I talk to the young people in my life about COVID-19?

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring Coronavirus

This comic, illustrated by NPR’s Malaka Gharib, is an easy way to inform young people about staying safe, calm, and nondiscriminatory during this pandemic. There is a zine version available for you and your students to make together!

ATTN: Social Distancing Can Save Lives

For when your young ones have questions about why everyone is self-isolating, ATTN: provided this video example of how powerful it can be for one person to stay inside.

Parenting in the Age of Coronavirus

A small but growing Facebook group of parents who are sharing information about physical and social/emotional family health during this pandemic.

Teaching Through Coronavirus: What Educators Need Right Now

This article from Teaching Tolerance offers guidance for talking to young people about COVID-19, tools for managing COVID-19 anxiety in your family, and best practices for online and distance learning.


How do I engage my student(s) to learn while we are socially distancing?

826 Digital | Sparks Archive

For grades 1-12: Straight from the source! The 826Digital Sparks archive has 39 writing prompts to spark your student’s creative brain. Send us your favorite writing inspired by 826 Digital prompts at info@826chi.org or tag @826CHI on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

PreK-12 Comprehensive Resource Kit

Prek–12 Comprehensive Resource Packets Families, parents and caregivers, Below you will find educational resource packets organized by grade level. These packets include a range of activities that students can work on at home independently, with family members, or with other adults.

Teaching Remotely for Grades K - 12 | Free Resources and Strategies

For grades K-12: Scholastic is providing free cross-curricular learning journeys for elementary and middle school students. From fruit and veggie vocabulary to an exercise about the K-Pop boom, professionals have collected resources to support students and their families and make sure that school from home can still foster creativity and wonder. MI Teacher Lit News has also shared Online Educational Resources for Grades K-12, including a sample daily schedule for students learning remotely!

How Parents Can Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) in Quarantine

For grades K-12. This article from The Atlantic features suggestions on turning your home into a classroom from Michelle Martin, a professor at the University of Washington’s Information School and the founder of a youth literacy program, and Allyssa McCabe, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell who specializes in youth language development.


How do I access food and supplies during the crisis?

Chicago and Illinois COVID-19 Resources Page

A comprehensive list of Chicago relief resources.

Find Food | Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is amping up the services of their soup kitchens, pantries, and produce mobiles to ensure that all Chicagoans have access to fresh, healthy food. Enter your address to find a location near you!

Chicago Public School Food Assistance for Families

All CPS schools will serve as food pickup sites. CPS families can pick up three days of meals at a time, two meals per child.

Free WiFi at any Xfinity hotspot

Simply select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser. They are also offering free Internet Essentials for qualifying families. 



Do you have a coronavirus question that hasn’t been answered here? 
Tweet your question to
@ChiPublicHealth.