MARCH 2020

From the Director

Georgians continue to cope with loss of income, access to medical care, and isolation brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fred Rogers said during times like this we “look for the helpers,” and Georgia is fortunate to have dedicated leaders who are helping our communities. Public and private partners from across the state have quickly stepped up to reduce stress and calm anxieties by providing resources to keep children and families safe, healthy, educated, and connected during this unprecedented time.

Check out for information about tracking COVID-19, school closures and cancellations, safety tips, guidance on meal and financial assistance, and free learning resources. I encourage you to visit this site often and share the link, because we’re constantly making updates.

Thank you to the helpers in every community who are putting our children and families first. We will share your stories, successes, and challenges as we navigate these troubled times together.

With gratitude,

#GetGAReading this Month

Please share these posts on your own social media platforms this month.

COVID-19 is having a big impact on our communities. This comprehensive list of resources and updates includes information about tracking COVID-19, school closures and cancellations, safety tips, guidance on meal and financial assistance, and free learning resources while school is out.

#COVID19 is having a big impact on our communities. Get all the latest resources and updates: tracking COVID-19, school closures and cancellations, safety tips, guidance on meal and financial assistance, and free learning resources. #coronavirus

DECAL Says Child Care Available During COVID-19

Searching for quality child care can be a daunting experience. Add a pandemic like COVID-19 and the search can be even more of a challenge. Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) says while many child care programs have temporarily closed as a result of the coronavirus crisis, many are still open and available to serve children and families. Search for open child care programs near you.

SNAP, Medicaid, or TANF Benefits Accessible on Student Tablets

In an effort to ensure that children have access to nutrition and medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) encourage families with school-age children to use district-issued student devices to access online SNAP, Medicaid, or TANF applications rather than visit local county offices. There are many self-service options.

Responding to the Signals Children are Sending

The “Signals: Social-Emotional and Mental Health Development for Children and Teens” webinar series and additional training materials are part of a broader effort to address the non-academic factors that affect children’s learning outcomes, including health barriers. An increased recognition of the impact of language development on children’s behavior is already having an effect on school systems in Georgia. Find out more about this whole-child approach.

The Consequences of the School to Prison Pipeline in Georgia

Wenona Clark Belton, associate court judge for the Juvenile Court of Fulton County, says the consequences of the school to prison pipeline are “real—and devastating.” Though the scales of justice are tilted toward mass incarceration, she offers solutions that will tilt them back in the opposite direction. Find out why improving childhood literacy plays a big role.
Watch Judge Belton's full remarks during the Beyond 2020 Get Georgia Reading Summit.
Visit for a full list of timely resources.

Keeping Children Healthy and Safe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer helpful tips to keep children healthy while school’s out. DECAL suggests ways to talk with children about COVID-19 and help them feel secure and happy during this uncertain time.

Meal Assistance While School’s Out

Food insecurity for students who rely on school meals is a major concern if extended school closures become necessary. GaDOE has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for alternate meal service flexibility in the case of extended closures. Many Georgia families will be able to pick up school meals for their children during state-mandated closures. This list details how each school district is handling meal pick-up procedures.

Georgia Home Classroom

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), in partnership with GaDOE, is offering broadcast programming and accompanying digital resources that adhere to Georgia’s state standards to provide continued at-home learning. Students in pre-K through 12th grade can access free, educational PBS daytime programming designated for each grade level weekdays on GPB-TV. Georgia students and educators can also access an online library of free educational resources from GPB Education, PBS LearningMedia, and Discovery Education, including videos, activities, and associated lesson plans for teachers that align with Georgia standards.

PBS KIDS Writers Contest

Submission Deadline Extended: Friday, April 10
GPB's PBS KIDS Writers Contest is open to Georgia students in grades K – 3. Children are encouraged to submit original, illustrated stories for great prizes and a chance to be featured on the GPB website. Learn More

GLR Learning Tuesdays Webinars

March 31; April 7, 14, and 21; 3 p.m.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s (GLR) series of online learning events for the GLR Network helps lift up the best science, ideas, and programs to inform local efforts. Upcoming topics include strategies for supporting the early learning workforce and improving reading instruction. Register Now

GLR Week (Virtual Event)

Monday - Friday, July 13 - 17
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is converting GLR Week 2020 into a virtual event. Dive into a week of content-rich virtual exchanges with leaders and funders lifting up parents, philanthropy, and innovation as fuel for the continued pursuit of early school success for children in low-income families. Registration information coming soon.

We Want to Hear From You

Our partners are the heroes in this work, and we want to help connect you with each other and with resources that can help you get even greater results. And we want to hear more stories. Please share yours with us so we can post it to Send your stories—or any questions about the Campaign—to Arianne Weldon at
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