Preview - Early Intervention Month Continues ... And Much More in the September Edition of TCA's E-News
Early Intervention (EI) Month Continues
A special thank you to all who joined us for the kickoff event for Early Intervention (EI) Awareness Month; it was a blast!
Our next event will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at the Rochester Public Library from 10am-12:30pm. Please join us for a playdate and an opportunity to have your child get a developmental screening with referrals for follow-up supports if needed. This event is being brought to you by Nazareth College, Get Ready to Grow, and the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. Please come out and let's "Go and GROW" at the Central Library. For more information, please call the Library’s Children’s Center: 585-428-8150.
Check this calendar for all the Early Intervention Awareness Month events happening in the Rochester area.
The challenge of just getting to school, both nationally and locally, has dominated headlines as children returned to the classroom this month. But busing is not the only challenge students face in returning to a normal school day experience.
“Some children experienced disruptions in routine vaccinations or preventive care appointments and difficulty accessing care, particularly dental and specialized care. Use of telemedicine has increased but not enough to offset declines in service utilization overall.”
With service utilization in decline, feelings of depression, anxiety, and psychological stress have been increasing.
“Black, Hispanic, and other people of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s economic effects.”
An estimated 43,000 children nationwide have lost a parent due to COVID-19, with Black children being disproportionately impacted by a parent’s death.
These physical and mental health challenges are just part of what a growing body of evidence shows students have missed without the daily interactions of a normal school day.
Locally, ROC the Future has published an overview entitled “Emotional and Educational Recovery” which quantifies the education losses of RCSD students during the pandemic. Some of their key findings were:
Pre-K enrollment in 2020-2021 was down by about 1,000 children. Additionally, 500 - 700 5-year olds who would have normally been enrolled in and attending kindergarten went unaccounted for.
For grades 3-8:
Learning loss varies across grade levels;
Gaps in math are more severe than reading; and
Economically disadvantaged students have been hit the hardest.
The estimated losses are staggering. Losses in reading may equal 2-7 months of school and losses in math may equal between 4 and 22 months of school.
There is troubling data that indicates far fewer students may be enrolling in college or training programs this fall.
Clearly, the stunning education losses children have felt and the losses in health and mental health supports are palpable consequences of the lingering pandemic. We’re even starting to see studies showing the pandemic’s deleterious impact on the cognitive abilities of infants and toddlers.
ROC the Future’s overview responds to all of this by stating, “Simply ‘going back to normal’ will not be sufficient.”
The Children’s Agenda wholeheartedly agrees. Without acknowledging the staggering losses children have felt during their time away from the classroom, their teachers, their providers, and their friends…. Without identifying the individual needs of students through comprehensive assessments in each class and each school…. And without developing clear, culturally relevant and sensitive plans to address these needs…. We risk a broken future ahead, not just a difficult time behind us.
Raising Rochester - New Episodes Available Now
The “Raising Rochester” podcast focuses on key issues affecting children and families in Rochester and throughout New York State.
In September, we released two episodes. The first features an interview with Dr. Jack Peltz, a clinical psychologist and researcher who specializes in sleep issues. This episode - especially relevant for back to school - explored the basics of sleep from a developmental perspective, the importance of positive sleep routines, and the challenge that early school start times present to teenagers.
The second episode of September was a conversation with Carmen Torres, our Parent Advocacy Coordinator, exploring the rise of violence in Rochester since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the consequences of violence on child well-being, and the need for RCSD and community partners to address mental health needs as children transition back into the classroom.
Give both episodes a listen, subscribe on your favorite podcast service, and share with your friends and colleagues.
Subscribe to Raising Rochester on your favorite podcast platform!
Reminder - Register for the
Violence Hurts our Children’s Mental Health March
We invite you to our parent-led Violence Hurts our Children's Mental Health march starting at 5:30pm on Thursday, September 23, 2021. We will meet at City Hall, 30 Church Street, Rochester NY 14614 then proceed to the RCSD Central Office. Click here to register.
Join in the 2021 Children’s Interfaith Weekend on October 15th, 16th, or 17th (or an alternate weekend in October)! This year The Children’s Agenda’s Interfaith Collaborative is once again offering resources to congregations and organizations of all faiths to pray, learn and take action for children. Resources are available on TCA’s website to help plan how to acknowledge the moral imperative to care for all our children, either in a regular weekly service or a special event. Resources include children’s activities and worship ideas for different faith traditions developed by the national Children’s Defense Fund Sabbath Celebrations. To make a change our children need, we will be collecting online signatures for a letter to Rochester City School District (RCSD) leaders urging them to use federal COVID-relief funds to increase mental health and social-emotional supports for students.
The pandemic left tens of thousands of students with inadequate academic, nutritional, and social-emotional support for months. Now that schools are once again a consistent support for children, there must be services and programs to help them recover from the trauma caused by COVID-19 and the social, racial and economic turmoil from the past almost two years. The letter echoes specific recommendations that were developed by a coalition of students, parents, advocates, education experts and community leaders. Register for the Children’s Interfaith Weekend here. For more information, contact Brigit Hurley at email@example.com or (585) 256-2620 ext. 2602
MARK YOUR CALENDARS/SAVE THE DATE: In recognition of the Children’s Interfaith Weekend, on Sunday, October 17, an interfaith prayer service will be held in front of the Rochester City School District Central Office building. Faith leaders, members of congregations and the public are invited to attend. We will peacefully lift up our concerns for the health and well-being of Rochester students.
The Children’s Agenda and Healthi Kids, co-chairs of the Greater Rochester After School and Summer Alliance (GRASSA) Advocacy Committee, were pleased to learn that before- and after-school and summer programs will be reimbursed for their critical work with students during the pandemic. When Rochester schools transitioned to remote learning, these programs quickly adapted their offerings to support children academically and socially in both in-person and virtual settings, and also connected families with nutrition, transportation and other assistance.
Mrs. Catherine Albin - Ms. Jen Cathy - ESL Charitable Foundation - Dr. Ann Lenane - Mr. Larry Marx & Ms. Deb Rosen - Partnership for America's Children - Mr. Reinhold Samson - Mr. Paul Tremblay and Dr. Jennifer West
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The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.