Recently, NAA asked afterschool leaders for their best tips for family communication during the pandemic:
"Family communication was a critical part of our program planning for virtual school day programs. Now that we are serving children in a new model, we are finding new ways to stay connected with parents. Since parents cannot come into our program spaces, we are making time for our staff to make weekly phone calls to families to check in. It's important that we are partnering with parents to meet their child's social emotional and academic needs. When the weather permits, we are aiming to get our kids out on the playground during pick up hours to create opportunities for parents to connect with their child's individual program leader in a safe social distance environment. We've also increased the number of email newsletters going out to our families to keep everyone up to date on program happenings."
– Ashley Rose, After School Program Director, Wisconsin Youth Company
"I have been doing a weekly email newsletter ... S'mores. It even tracks who is using it, how many times they look at it, etc. They have great templates and it is super easy to use."
– Erica Kreisler, Out of School Coordinator, Kansas City Parks & Recreation
"From March through August, we sent out weekly updates using S'more. Now that school is back in session and we are in seated school five days a week, our updates have moved to monthly and are sent out via Constant Contact. We have added a COVID Tracker that shows the number of cases we have had throughout the month and the number of students quarantined and we highlight our cleaning and physical distancing protocols. Anything we find that will help parents feel more comfortable about sending their students to our program gets included."
– Ashlee Liska, Program Director, Republic R-III School District
NAA Executive members can join the Reopening Afterschool Facebook group to ask questions, brainstorm solutions, share resources, and learn from each other as our field takes on the challenge of meeting the needs of kids, families, and communities facing a very different back to school season. For more information and access,