09/22/20: At this point in the year 2020, we’re all still adjusting to new ways of doing things. The Cooperative Extension programming world is adjusting as well. Normally at this point during the year we would be gathering materials, hiring childcare professionals, planning menus, and doing everything possible to prepare for in-person programming. This year’s planning process is looking a bit different.
After many months of brainstorming, rearranging, and planning, we have developed a way to continue with our Empowering Youth and Families Program this fall. Under normal circumstances, our families would meet up once a week at 5:30 to enjoy a meal together, split off into their individual youth and caregiver sessions, and then come back together for a family session – all while having childcare professionals look after the siblings that are too young to participate. This fall we will be shifting from face-to-face meetings to a virtual version of the program that will be accessible through the Zoom platform. To make the transition as smooth as possible, we will still provide meals to participating families and supplies for all activities. Thanks to a special grant from the Yancey Fund to support parent education in Yancey County, we will also be able to provide age-appropriate activity boxes to keep younger siblings entertained while others in the household are in their sessions. We are excited to be able to provide these as an additional support to our families since we aren’t able to provide in-person childcare.
Even though our fall cohort will look and feel a bit different than what we’re used to, we are looking forward to meeting new families and working with them each week. I’m excited about seeing all of this work come together!