The spread of COVID-19 has triggered states of emergency in our city, county, state, and nation. The health and safety of our children, families, staff, and community is of paramount importance to FFCDC.
As such, FFCDC complied with the mandate by the State of Florida to close our doors until further notice. However, our mission to build better futures through the power of education for our community’s most vulnerable children and families continues, in good times and in bad, regardless of whether our facilities are open.
Together, our children and families can thrive even in this uncertain time. Will you be their reason for hope?
HOW FFCDC IS RESPONDING TO THE CRISIS
- On March 13th, as soon as we learned our facilities would be closed, our teachers promptly prepared educational packets for each age group for the following weeks. These were sent home with parents with the understanding that teachers would be checking in on the progress of the children twice a week, to ensure the least possible disruption to the consistency of their early education.
- Our newly created technology program made it possible for us to equip and teach our staff and our children with access to the technology and the knowledge they did not have to work, teach and connect virtually.
- Teachers have created 20 Google Classrooms, teaching parents of each age range how to identify and encourage the reaching of developmental milestones, skills, and aptitudes in their children from home. Staff are supporting parents of elementary children in teaching their children on line from home. Enrichment programs such as Coding, art, Spanish, exercise, cooking healthy meals, story times and more are being provided for our children.
- Teachers are regularly interacting directly with the children of their classrooms through virtual means, ensuring the continuation of the development of their trusting bonds. Teachers are also working with parents of creative ways to keep their children learning and providing ideas for spending quality time together.
- VPK teachers are working with assigned Chromebooks in coordination with an IT Teacher to learn new tech resources and ways to implement virtual teaching strategies into the foreseeable classroom experience. Children are being assessed to measure learning gains and areas of concerns that we can address to minimize learning loss during this time.
- All parents received detailed family support resource packets, and the most updated contact information for available resources available in the community.
- Behavioral health workshops are being provided for our families in English, Spanish and in Creole to include: Supporting Children During COVID-19, How to Help My Child Listen, and How to Structure your Child’s Day for Success.
- The Family Support Team is reaching out to families at least once a week to ensure their immediate needs are met, and providing them with the newest community resources, food, employment/unemployment, health, housing, and utilities information as needed.
- Food packages, provided by the Centers and the Downtown Rotary were provided to families in need on March 16th, 17th, and 18th. Currently, 100 meals are being provided by Hospitality Helping Hands, H3, and Living Hungry and distributed by our team to families daily at our East and West campuses.
- Baby formula and diapers were sent home with parents of infants. Through the overwhelming generosity of many community partners, we are able to distribute diapers, formula and 100 meals a day to our families.
- Staff are actively seeking opportunities and virtually meeting weekly and maintaining constant communication to ensure needs are met and all children and families are supported for as long as these circumstances persist.
- With the support of this community and the commitment of our Board of Directors and Foundation, we’re doing all we can to pay our employees so that they will be here, ready and able to open our doors the minute we’re able, to the children and families who need us now more than ever.
FFCDC is committed to its mission through thick and thin. We will continue to embrace our children and families to ensure that their opportunity to build happy, healthy, and successful futures is not lost.
- As you may know, 98% of FFCDC families already live at or below the federal poverty level and work low-wage hourly jobs. Many of these families are now facing undue hardship due to business closures and the uncertainty of job security and/or unavailability of paid sick leave.
- Most FFCDC working families are right now working the essential jobs keeping our society afloat.
- Due to the financial circumstances these families face everyday and especially during this time – the circumstances FFCDC exists to mitigate – normal tuition rates cannot be charged to families as long as our doors are closed.
- Along with many of our fellow nonprofits, FFCDC has had to postpone several important fundraising events until the fall. This will immediately interrupt normal income streams used to provide our children and families with their continuous care, education, and nutrition.
- FFCDC cannot rely on state and federal funding to cover expenses during the closure. The financial impact of this crisis is unprecedented, and our finances will be stretched.
- During this difficult time, our children may lose much of their daily nutrition.
This important work and mission – these most crucial of services for the most vulnerable children and families in our community that we’ve provided for nearly 50 years – are at risk. But we’re confident that together, this work will continue for those who need it most.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Now more than ever before , the Florence Fuller children and families depend on the love of this wonderful community – YOUR concern and care – to ensure they can still have hope for the present and for the future.
Please contribute to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to keep this very special and essential community center above water – to ensure that we can continue to provide for our children and families RIGHT NOW, and that we’ll be able to re-open our doors when it’s once again safe. Please give from your heart, knowing that these precious little ones will have you to thank for being there for them when they needed it most.
Your support today will make ALL the difference, now and for years to come.
Your contribution is 100% tax-deductible and will go exclusively toward sustaining the operations and future of Florence Fuller Child Development Centers. Every gift counts. Thank you for your kindness at this critical time.