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Coronavirus quarantine causes ‘disruption crisis’ for school aged children

Education groups offer free tool to provide children with schedules and structure

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida is partnering with several other education groups to launch a free tool called the Virtual Early Learning Highway.

It's a collaborative partnership with Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Alliance for Jacksonville Early Learning, and the Crawford Early Childhood Research and Education Distinguished Professor Fund.

The goal is to make sure young learners, who may not be going to daycare anymore, have a routine and still have access to learning resources.

The Virtual Early Learning Highway is accessible on any device with internet access. It provides structure including learning time activities and time of day routines.

“Routines are so important for children at this time," explained Heather Monroe-Ossi, Associate Director for Program Development and Administration.

"They give children a sense of comfort and security because children know what’s going to happen during the day and with all this disruption this crisis has caused in young children’s lives, giving parents a tool to help them set those rituals and routines at home is really important.”

Its launch comes as thousands of families in Northeast Florida adjust to a new normal of virtual learning.

“The biggest piece of advice I can give is don’t stress yourself out,” said Dr. David Withun, Head of School for Jacksonville Classical Academy.

Dr. David Withun has been a homeschooling parent for nearly 14 years.

He recommends families adapting to their new routine have a schedule and break-up the learning time.

“Setting a routine, having a schedule you follow, ‘okay we do school work at this time and then we’ll do lunch at this time and then we’re in the backyard at this time,' is super important because it gives them the consistency that they need," explained Dr. Withun.

He also recommends parents read to their kids and have conversations with them to help them learn.

To access the Virtual Early Learning Highway, click here.


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