Mind Your Mind
In a time of uncertainty and crisis, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety. Changes to your normal schedule, or even a lack of financial stability, can cause added stress to an existing mental health condition. Many individuals will feel the effects of anxiety, even if they have never struggled with it before. And that is absolutely acceptable. Here are some tips to help cope with these feelings of uncertainty: 
Try using technology for therapy sessions: if you have already been seeing a therapist, ask them if they will be offering teletherapy as an option during the quarantine period. TalkSpace is one platform that offers completely online therapy sessions, and includes texting. Isolation activities: Try to limit your screen time and instead find fun, creative ways to stay entertained. Make a new recipe packed full of healthy fruits and veggies to prevent vitamin deficiencies, build a puzzle, read a new book, or play a board game with the family. Try this link for 10 recipes for better mental health!Emergency mental health assistance resources are available on our website. 
Our trauma-informed programming is on hold for the time being, but we look forward to resuming as soon as we are able, keeping all restrictions in mind. Sadly, we will need that training more than ever in the months ahead.
Literacy Activities & Tips
Building Blocks for Families: It’s as Easy as ABC…Parents and caregivers are being asked to educate and entertain their children during this time. Reading with your child will help create a calming environment and boost their language skills too!
Check out our ABC framework on our Building Blocks page. It will give purpose to your reading!
Here is a list of online resources that you and your children can benefit from!
Adaptive Reading Video– We are thrilled to partner with Marietta City Schools to make this resource available to the families of our special needs children. Have fun making your own books!
Ready4K – If you are not signed up for this free text messaging service, do so now!
Cobb County Public Library offers a robust range of online digital resources for all ages. With all library locations closed until further notice, please use the library from home – eBooks, eAudios, digital magazines, streaming videos, language courses and more for all ages. Access to the digital resources is free for Cobb library cardholders and through the Library PASS program which provides Cobb County and Marietta City students library accounts. Explore all the digital resources HERE
Storyline Online – When you’re ready for a break, let a celebrity take over! Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners
Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers – Resources, blogs, and more! Let Reading Rockets help you find the very best educational apps that provide practice with essential skills in print awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing.
Sesame Street in Communities – Customize activities based upon your child’s age, desired duration and type. Available in Spanish!
There are a ton of digital resources out there to help you engage in meaningful literacy activities with your children. These are only a few so as not to overwhelm. Start exploring!
Civic Engagement
Part of civic engagement is being connected to the community in which you live, work and play. Right now, there are many ways to be connected and support agencies who are on the front lines serving our Cobb neighbors and families. Many organizations had to suspend their signature fundraisers and/or direct development efforts to programming efforts. This list is not comprehensive, and is not an endorsement of any charitable organization. We encourage you to consider supporting one of the following, or the nonprofit or faith community of your choosing, with your time, talent and treasure:
Atlanta Community Food BankThe Center for Family ResourcesCommunities in Schools – Marietta/CobbFamily Life Restoration CenterliveSAFE ResourcesSer FamiliaMust MinistriesSouth Cobb Council of PTAsSweetwater MissionThe Salvation ArmyThe ZoneKSU Care Services
To assist local service providers, consider answering this questionnaire and forwarding your responses to Nicole Lawson (Georgia North West Regional Director at United Way).
What are you hearing from your networks about emergency & basic needs?  Community, business, government, civic groups? Where are there service gaps?What are the critical needs right now?What organizations are providing emergency assistance to families and individuals in need?  What services are they providing?
Marietta City Schools is prepared to continue instruction for students through its digital learning platform. They are launching a new program called “Connect-a-Kid.” This program will allow MCS to outfit school buses with mobile wi-fi “hot-spots” that will be placed in safe locations throughout our community. Additionally, donors can temporarily support a Marietta family who may need access to a computing device and internet access in their home. For just $35, you can provide one month of internet access for a Marietta student. If you would like to Connect-a-Kid and support such technology needs, please donate HERE.
Presidential Primaries
The March 24 presidential primary HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED to May 19. If you have already voted in the primary, YOUR VOTE STILL COUNTS. You will then vote only for the applicable local, state and other federal offices for which you are districted. “Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has represented that all votes already cast in person and all absentee ballots will be counted and every Georgia voter that has not yet had a chance to cast a ballot in the March 24 elections will be able to do so on May 19, along with the elections already scheduled for that date.” 
Voters are encouraged to submit an application for an absentee ballot for May 19 as soon as they become available. Our website contains information about how to register to vote. Note that the deadline to register to vote in the May primary is April 20. We see how important the role of elected officials is in times of emergency and crisis.
The 2020 Census is LIVE! The first wave of mailings from the Census Bureau were sent last week and some households have already received theirs. Our newsletter last week had a lot of information about responding to the Census. This time, there are 3 ways to respond.
Again, the current crisis is alerting us how important it is to know your population, allocate resources, fund schools and emergency services and more. NOW, MORE THAN EVER, A COMPLETE COUNT IS VITAL. Hear from Powder Springs City Council Member Patrick Bordelon in this video.
Stay up to date
With the wide-ranging impact the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is having on our communities, our partners have responded quickly and generously to help assemble a comprehensive list of resources and updates for our statewide network. 
Georgia Family Connection Partnership – Click Here
Voices for Children – Click Here
Cobb Collaborative – Click Here These pages includes information about tracking COVID-19, school closures and cancellations, safety tips, guidance on meal assistance, free learning resources while school is out, and other general updates. Please feel free to share with your networks and partners, and pages will be updated with further details.
As always, we are here to serve as a resource for you during these challenging times. Please reach out if you need any assistance, and be sure to check our website for regular updates.