School Closures

Relief for families impacted by school closures

A free hotline and information hub for families impacted by school closures: covering online learning, food, childcare, remote work, financial security. A unified effort with a dozen orgs including Khan Academy, Crisis Text Line, Twilio and Revolution Foods
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Last Wednesday, Eric Ries and I realized 55 million US children were facing the prospect of becoming involuntary homeschoolers - many of them while working from home for the first time. We saw that a lot of companies were creating individual resources for families and saw the need for a unified response. We decided to organize relief efforts for families affected and put up our MPV in 24 hours. Twilio helped us build a hotline which we are staffing with a dozen parent volunteers with expertise in remote learning. We began with distance learning and education but talking to parents it’s clear this is going to raise a lot of other problems - including food, financial security, and childcare (especially for health workers). Plus many schools and teachers are ill equipped. Since last Thursday, we have brought together over 85 volunteers including edu experts, content writers, researchers, developers, designers, secular homeschooling families, investors and a number of tech companies to try and take a coordinated approach. We've also recruited volunteer tutors from Stanford and other universities to teach kids remotely. Our collaborators so far include Chatbox, Class Dojo, Code.org, Crisis Text Line, Dexter, DonorsChoose, Doordash Khan Academy, Learn Capital, LTSE, Modulo.app, Okta, Outschool, Parent Powered, Prenda, Reach Capital, Resistbot, Revolution Foods, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Shule, Together App and Twilioand the list is growing every day Parents all over the country are calling in. Many of them were not given any lesson plans or are trying online learning for the first time. Some don't know how to get access to the internet or they're healthcare workers who need emergency childcare. Comments from parents: "Your webpage is the best compilation of what parents need to know, so kudos on the great work." "I wanted to thank you for sharing the information about SchoolClosures.org with Ellie. Yesterday, I shared this information with the parents of my daughter's school, Westlake Elementary in Santa Cruz, via my PTA President email. Many parents greatly appreciated the information and will be utilizing some of it found on the website." If you any of your friends are parents, teachers or school administrators and need help, please send them our way. We have experts standing by and a huge coalition with resources to share- time, money, technology and expertise. Please feel free to take a look and send feedback. We are working to update in real time. We also need more volunteers: We're getting tons of calls and requests for help across the country and we need help from more volunteers to meet demand, especially in these areas -online tutoring -call center volunteers -content editors -social media If you or your company is doing any relief efforts , please let me know and we will spread the word.
@manisha_snoyer Looks great - please feel free to add to your rescources our home learning app #Edplus that we've launched here today and are making free - particularly good for all those families who own a cellphone but not a laptop/pc etc
@toby_staveley Sounds wonderful. Can you email me the info?
Several of my friends with children are now working from home for the first time. Thanks for putting this together.
@rrhoover Thanks Ryan. Please have them call or text our hotline if they need support.
Great initiative.
@ejsnowdon Thank you so much. That means a lot to us!
My heart goes out to all of the families who have suddenly found themselves having to home school. It took me 18 months of solid research, before I felt prepared enough to pull my children out of school! We live in an amazing time with so many in-home learning opportunities. But it can also feel completely overwhelming at first, trying to figure out how to choose the right curriculum, navigate through the system and keep kids happy and enriched at home. I am happy to be a volunteer with schoolclosures.org. I just hope most families can see through the overwhelm and find the same joy that we have found through homeschooling.
@nichole_fox Thank you for being such a wonderful volunteer Nichole and sharing your expertise with families on the phone. We don't know what we'd do without you.
@beyondteched Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing Ernie!