Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

We want to share our recent success from the challenges that we’ve experienced as we transitioned from large in-person gatherings to virtual gatherings and individualized support.

 

As a response to the coronavirus pandemic, we will be a critical resource for the most vulnerable in our community. We know that many of our families are essential workers that will have a challenging time in supporting their children during distance learning. We work hard to support these families overcome the inequity we see from access to technology, resources, education and healthcare so they may see a positive impact today and in future generations. We partner with the school district, principals, teachers, and family centers, if available, to provide a comprehensive course for the enrolled families. With the increase of education and awareness of the significant health needs, the families work together on common goals to create healthy lifestyles through an increase of exercise and making positive nutritious changes to their diets to prevent childhood obesity and diabetes. Also, parents will work on their mental health and well-being by the confidence they will receive by knowing how to improve their family and taking advantage of local resources.

 

We help parents learn how to support and help their children achieve success, focusing on the academic, social emotional, and physical aspects of a healthy life as they return to a new normal. This program fosters academic excellence in students’ households and in the classroom by integrating families within their homes and into the education and health system and will focus on social emotional needs as students return from distance learning. This comprehensive course helps families become well-rounded and empowers both parents and students academically, socially and emotionally. Our Familias Unidas program continues to drive richer participation in school and promotes the development of a healthy community.

We have invested a lot of time to teach parents how to connect with their phones and devices to our online classes and are happy that so many families have been able to participate in our virtual community. It is now more important to support the parents to be advocates for their children during distance learning. 

 

The community we serve are some of the most vulnerable within Redwood City. Many are newcomers and most, if not all, are facing additional challenges of seeking support for shelter, food and economic relief. Although we do not directly provide these services we have been helping connect them with these critical needs. Having direct contact with so many families who have lots of trust in our organization has put us in a unique situation to be able to serve the needs of the community on a case by case basis. We have been working around the clock to provide them help and even helping them work through forms for those who have limited access to a computer. As they face these challenges head on, they continue to invest time within their families and attending Familias Unidas workshop. 

 

Our sense of pride in our community remains. We see compassion from our families whether it is in sharing critical resources, making masks and adhering to social distancing.

 

We have much to learn and will continue to adapt to serve our community's greatest needs. At our core, we will always focus on the education of the whole family and help the community thrive. 

We have had an overwhelming positive response from the families who have completed the Familias Unidas program and want to share a few comments we received from our anonymous questionnaire given at the end of the workshop.  [quotes translated from Spanish]

 

“An excellent experience. Familias Unidas taught me to continue reading with my daughter.

It taught me not to stop our reading despite being tired from work because

I have the motivation that one day my daughter can be a professional.

Thank you very much for the opportunity and this experience.”

 

“I want to comment that for me this class was extraordinary.

It taught me a lot! I loved it and I would like to start [the class] again to never stop learning ...”

 

“Personally for me it was a very nice experience to dedicate time to these important projects for the whole family.

And the importance to teach our children to have good habits. I was not aware that I had access to a

program like Familias Unidas and I am happy that I was able to attend and have this experience.” 

 

“I learned a lot more than what I imagined and our family was able to work as a team.

My daughter enjoyed it very much, though we felt that our time went by very quickly.

I realized that instilling good reading habits is important to help my children to become someone in life.

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.”

“It is a group of great support for the entire community, since they keep us informed about all the resources

available for our children to reach their goals. And in these difficult times of COVID 19, they have been of

great support to the community, as they guide us and inform us. All the tools they provide help us stay strong for o

ur children during these very difficult times.”

“[We feel] pleased because without these classes we would not have been aware of all these helpful resources.

Thank you teachers who have always been with us.”

“The program helped me the most with my emotional well-being, having an open mind to different opportunities and resources. T

hank you very much for all the information and help for our community and families.”

 

“It was an incredible experience because my daughter wakes up every morning wanting to read books and s

he also tries to add large numbers. I am very grateful to the teachers for their unconditional support and dedication!”

 

“We were given important information about resources, support and advice. More than anything,

they motivated us throughout the pandemic and it helped knowing that we were not alone.

They answered a lot of questions to help our children with their studies.”

 

“They gave us a lot of necessary information on resources and help. They also taught us the necessary tools

for our children to be better prepared academically  and have good habits in life.”

 

“What helped me the most was how to manage the pandemic to make it less stressful. I enjoyed learning Information

about free food and my children liked the projects and crafts that we did as a family.  The teachers and Kim did a great job!”

 

“Interacting with other families helped us reduce stress caused by COVID-19.

The themes were appropriate for the whole family. I liked how the

students participated and we learned a lot.”

 

“I really liked how the teachers taught the program. They asked a lot of questions

which encouraged a lot of participation from the children.”

“I do not have the words to say how fortunate I feel to be part of this program. Thanks to all the people

who support and make these classes possible. I hope they continue to receive support

so many more families can also have the wisdom that my family has been given. Many thanks!”

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