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Helpful resources to support students during COVID-19

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Supporting our communities during COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, educators and organizations have been innovating and sharing the best of what they know about how to support distance learning and student well-being.

There are so many resources out there, though, it can be overwhelming for teachers and families who are now in the role of facilitating or navigating online classes and assignments with their students and children.

City Year has been drawing on research, what we have learned through our partnership with teachers and principals in 300+ public schools across the U.S., and the on-the-ground experience of thousands of AmeriCorps members who help create learning environments where students can build on their strengths and fully engage in their learning.

Our team has been leveraging our experience in social-emotional development and the power of relationships to provide additional intensive supports to students as they make sense of this experience and navigate our new, remote learning “normal.”   AmeriCorps members are supporting individual and small group instruction for students; helping teachers, parents and students with technology questions and needs ; creating encouraging and instructional videos for students and teachers; and helping schools figure out and execute safety protocols for in person or hybrid learning models, such as getting students on and off buses; setting up washing stations; and delivering meals to classrooms while cafeterias are closed.

City Year’s tips for virtual learning

Our teams have created new tools to match the need for online resources and mined high-quality external resources—from Khan Academy to CASEL, from Search Institute to Brain Pop. These include academic resources for English Language Arts, mathematics, science, art and other subjects as well as social-emotional strategies to help students feel a sense of security, connection and continuity during a disruptive time.


Check out City Year’s Virtual Learning and COVID-19: Resources for Teachers and Families, a free online document with tips for diving into distance learning and how to vet online resources; communicating with kids about the pandemic and helping them through it; guidance for using texts online; and subject area resources for students K-12.


“We know that for students to learn and develop, paying attention to their social-emotional well-being is as important as keeping up with math and English Language Arts,” said Sheryl Boris-Schacter, City Year’s vice president of national program design and a former school principal.

“We wanted to make sure that the resources we created and gathered for this document offered concrete strategies and tips for teachers and families that will help them address the holistic needs of the children in their care at an extraordinary time that is uniquely stressful for everyone.”

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Learn more about City Year’s holistic approach to student success.

The resource also includes links to short meditation breaks, fun dance parties and virtual field trips to museums and cultural landmarks to help students focus, reduce stress, get some exercise and explore a wide array of content.

We’ve also created a Virtual Facilitator Playbook to help adults effectively lead online meetings and learning spaces and a series of seasonal change packages for schools that want to innovate during COVID-19 by strengthening their social-emotional programming and supports.

All of these free materials, and more, are on the City Year publication page.

We hope these resource are helpful to teachers, parents, guardians and City Year AmeriCorps members as they work together to support their students during this challenging time.

Feel free to share Virtual Learning and COVID-19: Resources for Teachers and Families with educators and parents/guardians who may find it useful.

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