Expanding our Kid’s World (EOKW) Stays Connected During COVID-19
The team from Expanding Our Kid’s World (EOKW) in Smyrna, Del. sprang into action in anticipation of COVID-19 closures. Director Marlena George and her staff quickly created and implemented a plan that facilitated the center connecting and supporting its community -even while closed.
The center created a private Facebook group to provide an easy channel to communicate with parents and families with the most updated information on operations and to stay connected.
Teachers posted resources in the Facebook group for families to keep their children engaged at home. The resources includedCOVID-related topics such as art projects to try, sight word activities, and different ways to work on fine motor skills.
Staff from all classrooms read books for children to hear a story from a familiar voice. Each week a different staff member shared a story that was a classroom favorite.
At EOKW, it also is a tradition to celebrate National Scribble Day to support the value in all artwork. Ms. Marlena recorded herself reading the book “I’m Not Just a Scribble” and discussed the importance of creativity, and encouraged students to create their own scribbles and share them.
The center also participated in the Week of the Young Child, virtually. During the week, each day had a theme supported by a book reading and families and staff dressing up.
For the Community……
Ninety percent of the staff participated in a parade to see families and drop off the center’s famous cereal bars. Some teachers also delivered small goodie bags to their students with stickers, bubbles, and a positive note.
The center held an outdoor drive-in graduation ceremony for their preschool classes. Families sat outside their vehicles with face coverings on while their children sat six-feet apart. The graduates sang a few songs, received their awards, and families honked, beeped, and cheered for the future Kindergarten students.
EOKW is now open and taking all necessary precautions to help ensure that everyone that enters the building is safe. “We truly believe that our attitudes and behaviors impact our students’ attitudes and behaviors. We try to be as positive and optimistic as possible so that our students can feed off of our positive energy,” Ms. Marlena said. She also adds that staff is always so energetic and excited to wear masks and they praise proper hygiene practices. To help convey the positivity, each staff member wears a badge with a smiling photo so the children know the same face is under the face covering.