Information and Ideas for Youth and Family Remote Learning

By Shayna M. RSS Wed, April 29, 2020

The Nourishing Literacy team is thinking of our school student friends, their loved ones, and the incredible community of Philadelphia teachers. We are sending wishes of health and peace during this unusual time in our world.

During this time when lots of learning and teaching has transitioned to a virtual format, programs designed to offer support to families in acquiring necessary tools are so important. Information about free and low-cost internet options and the free Chromebook program for students and families have been provided by the School District of Philadelphia. If interested in obtaining a Wi-Fi solution for your family, please note that Comcast’s application deadline for receiving two months of free internet is approaching very quickly on April 30. Application information can be found online, or by calling 1-855-8-INTERNET. For more on supportive internet and computer options, please check out the digital access resources outlined by Labonno Islam and Juliet Fink Yates from the Office of Innovation and Technology.

In addition to the School District's digital learning resources, paper copies of English Language Arts and math learning guides are avaialble at all of the District's grab-and-go meal distribution sites for students.

Students interact with produce while an Nourishing Literacy instructor speaks

Students engaged in a Nourishing Literacy program

Many of the Nourishing Literacy students who visited Parkway Central Library during the recent fall and winter months had the opportunity to visit a variety of subject departments. The students expressed interest in and enthusiasm for learning from librarians, educators, and professionals who are passionate about their work. Often students are surprised to get a sense of how many different resources the library has available for learners and community members.

Nourishing Literacy has been grateful to our inspiring colleagues for welcoming students and sharing their knowledge. Most recently, we are very appreciative to our coworkers for putting together helpful posts and information that can support and complement the online schooling process.

School Age & Teen Coordinator, Jennifer Estepp, has put together a comprehensive round-up of resources featuring tools within the library’s digital system and beyond. Jamie Bowers, Electronic Resources Coordinator, has listed a straightforward overview of the Free Library Digital Learning resources available for learners of every age as well as recommended reading resources for school-aged students. Brittanie Sterner, Director of One Book, One Philadelphia programming, has provided the curricula for the One Book selections for the past three years, to be used by high school students and adults. 

There is so much good information being shared by subject departments and Neighborhood Libraries for youth and families! The Free Library blog is a great place to start when looking for timely updates and specific support and ideas before focusing on a search for materials. If using a desktop computer, the bar on the right-hand side of this page has all of our tags, to help narrow your search. Otherwise, topics of interest can be typed into the search bar at top of page. 

The Children’s Department has been providing a variety of online storytimes, crafts, and wellness projects. These offerings can be found on our Virtual Programs page. For age-specific events, narrow your search by clicking on the age group of interest toward the top of the page. Nourishing Literacy is looking forward to collaborating with the Children’s Department, continuing to make links between our work in a remote learning context.

A hand writing in a notebook

Quiet writing can be a creative and calming outlet.

When possible, we enjoy incorporating writing time within our Nourishing Literacy programs. Quiet writing can be a creative and calming outlet for students, helping to keep minds engaged during transition times while reflecting on kitchen classroom observations and experiences. Journaling and writing can be helpful for people of different ages to express feelings, elaborate on learning concepts, draft new ideas, and let imaginations be free. If you do not have a notebook, a few pieces of paper can be clipped together to make a journal.

We have some writing prompts to offer, created by Nourishing Literacy teacher, Gabby Smith, during last year's summer camp, Summer Thyme Cooks.

  1. Imagine that the page is a time portal and write a letter to your future self. Document your present experience including sounds, tastes, and other sensations. You can keep this letter in a journal or you can put it in an envelope and address it to yourself to open on a date into the future!
  2. Bring an adjective to life! Pick an adjective, or a descriptor word, and give it human characteristics. What would the adjective say? What would it feel? How would it describe the world around it? What would it see? What would it eat?
  3. Record your favorite quotes, and/or record quotes that you hear throughout the day. Try putting the quotes together to write a story!

Gabby has a passion for poetry and finds that writing prompts can help to build imagination and ideas. For those who are interested in writing poetry, the Pulitzer Center Poetry Contest is currently open to K – 12 students, with a May 15 deadline for entries. For poetry inspiration, check out these digital poetry resources put together by colleague Tuesday Chalmers, McPherson Square Library's Adult & Teen Librarian. 

Please take good care, we are all wishing you the best during this time where we are at a further physical distance.

To learn more about the Culinary Literacy Center, please visit our website or connect with us on social media through Instagram and Facebook.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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