COVID-19 Resources Contact Your County Office

Summary

COVID-19 caused the closure of public schools in Laurens County and changed the way that Extension was able to reach audiences. The Laurens County Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Agent created a daily educational update released via Facebook to meet a vital need for positive parenting information.

Situation

In mid-March 2020, Dublin City Schools and Laurens County Schools were closed because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Parents found themselves in the unusual situation of being both teacher and parent, as they struggled to do their daily jobs, educate their children, and keep them entertained while being forced to spend the majority of their time at home due to social distancing requirements. Research shows that the early years of childhood are the most critical for success in school and beyond. Because vital brain development and profound changes in a child's language, social skills and cognitive abilities occur during these years, it is crucial that children have quality, nurturing, and educational early childhood experiences.

Response

The Laurens County FACS Agent is the primary source of parenting education and information in the area. Beginning in April, she started sending out a daily educational update called Positive Parenting During COVID-19 via the Laurens County Extension Facebook Page. These daily updates include basic parenting information (including tips for teaching children at home and the importance of getting enough sleep and having a schedule), Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) activities, crafts, and healthy and delicious snack recipes. The FACS Agent also wrote eight newspaper articles about Coronavirus from March to June of 2020 that were published in the Courier Herald, which reaches Laurens, Johnson, and Treutlen counties and has 11,000 subscribers. The articles explained the symptoms of COVID-19, prevention strategies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), talking to children about it, the CDC’s recommendations for events and gatherings, meal planning during the pandemic, and more. The articles were shared on FACS’s internal website, so other agents could utilize them in their counties as well.

Impact

The Laurens County Facebook Page currently has 498 followers, but the publication has been shared with Extension Facebook Page’s across the state of Georgia and beyond. As of June 30th, the FACS Agent has created 50 of these daily updates and they have reached over 36,432 people in five states and 26 countries around the world. On June 24th, I used the materials to conduct a virtual training for 55 foster parents and 5 DFCS Case Managers in DFCS Region 9 (17 county area). 100% of the participants agreed that they had learned valuable information to take back and use with the children in their care. Remarks from participants: “Thank you so much for these tips and activities (Foster Parent training) – they are a godsend!” “Thanks for sharing (How to Make a Sparkle Volcano with your children)! It was super fun!” “Thanks for sharing!! This one (Healthy Snack: Celery Snails) looks fun!” “Such a great idea (Healthy Snack: Apple Frogs)!” “This (Make a Dragonfly Clothespin) would make a great Mother’s Day gift. Glue a magnet on the back for the refrigerator!” “This (Help Your Child Start a Journal) is a wonderful way to create a keepsake to share with generations to come.”

State Issue

Health & Nutrition

Details

  • Year: 2020
  • Geographic Scope: International
  • County: Laurens
  • Location: College Station, Athens
  • Program Areas:
    • Family and Consumer Sciences

Author

  • Moore, Susan L
Back To
Extension Impact