The Genesis Programme, managed by Hugh Doogan, a multi-agency body, led by Louth LEADER Partnership, is running a number of initiatives to support parents and families during this challenging period.
Following packing of Activities Packs last Tuesday at three centres in Drogheda, Ardee and Dundalk by 40 volunteers, they have been distributed to 2,000 families.
Each contains 15 items and is suitable for children from four to 12 years.
Meanwhile, 'Supporting Parents and Families through the Days and Weeks Ahead' was published on 31 March last, and was the first comprehensive guide of its kind.
A 32-page document, it is full of useful tips, strategies, ideas and links to support parents and in turn to help them support their children at this time.
The guide was distributed widely. It can also be downloaded by clicking on the link below.
GENESIS GOT TALENT
This new initiative is to encourage social and emotional wellbeing for families at this time. It has the tag-line 'Be Active, Be Creative, Be Safe'.
It has proved hugely popular as a distraction with almost 100 video entries received, all of which were posted on The Genesis Programme Facebook page.
Parents who were undertaking programmes are receiving selected and relevant information through email, social media and individual WhatsApp groups - some of which is new material produced by developers of the Incredible Years series.
A series of weekly videos (each Tuesday at 12 noon) on the Facebook page has begun, focusing on the key Incredible Years strategies for parents with follow-on 'Tips of the Day' on that topic each day through Facebook and Twitter.
Also started is a series of weekly videos (each Thursday at 10am) on the Facebook page for children using Wally, Molly and Dina focusing on key strategies through Facebook and Twitter.
KiVa ANTI-BULLYING PROGRAMME
Schools provided with information from KiVa Finland on work that can be given to students to do at home.
Information on Online Safety/Cyberbullying provided in Parent Guide distributed to all parents in participating schools, while a summary is provided in the document 'Supporting Parents and Families through the Days and Weeks Ahead'
The team is working on a series of Facebook posts focusing on the KiVa online games that the children can play at home using screenshots etc.
Also being developed is a short practical tip sheet for parents on screen time as children spend more time on devices and have linked in with Web Wise/PDST.
FIRST 3 YEARS INITIATIVE
Home visitors on ParentChild+ Programme continue to carry out twice weekly video calls with families and were the first in Ireland to drop off new toys and books relevant to the programme.
In addition, home visitors have left Resource Boxes of arts/crafts, handouts, worksheets etc. to each participating family.
A series of videos has also been produced on simple home activities, posted each Wednesday on the Facebook page.
FLYING START TRANSITIONS FRAMEWORK
Lots of new Covid-19-specific information has been added to ww.flyingstart.ie and the team is working on a short (45 minute) presentation on School Readiness incorporating the Little Steps to Big School Resources.