GRAFTON—Although this is sure to be a year unlike any other, Taylor County Family Resources (TCFR) is dedicated to the development of the community’s youth, and has formulated a plan to keep their Playgroup program going strong.
According to Program Organizer Stephanie Hardesty, this year’s Playgroup will be held virtually, utilizing the telecommunications application, ZOOM.
While Hardesty noted that this will be no easy task, she said that it is important to give it a try for the sake of not only the children who participate but the moms, as well.
“This program can really assist younger children with the development of social skills, and things like early motor skills, but it is just as important for the moms,” she voiced. “Some of the moms don’t have family close and their only interaction throughout the day is with their child. This program offers them the chance to mingle with other mothers who have kids around the same age.”
She added that throughout the program, topics specifically targeted for moms will be explored, giving them a chance to have a discussion with other who understand what they are going through and even prompt them to discuss the topics outside of Playgroup, as well.
The program is slated to begin on Tuesday, September 15, at 10:00 a.m. Typically, Playgroup operates three days a week, but due to the Coronavirus outbreak forcing them to go digital, Hardesty has opted to start with just one day a week, with room to make adjustments and changes if needed.
From there, each Tuesday, parents and their children will meet virtually to read, learn about teeth brushing, animals and more, and will sings songs, draw and color together.
“We will defiantly be doing activities together like coloring or painting, however, crafts may be limited,” she shared.
She went on to explain that simple crafts are a possibility, and TCFR will work to supply needed materials.
“If we have a small group, we will be able to supply the materials to do a few small crafts. At that point I would just arrange drop off or pick up of the needed items or even mail them if necessary,” Hardesty said.
TCFR Playgroup is open to children ages birth to five, and spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. Enrolled children and parents will take part in essential socialization activities that are centered around the importance of play, and that will allow the children to explore and grow with other children of the same age.
Hardesty, understanding that this is a challenging time for a lot of families, and that some of the children will have siblings at home that aren’t in the age range, she revealed that if this is the case and someone is needing an older sibling to participate, to give her a call and if space allows, she would do her best to make it work.
“We don’t want to exclude anyone, but we also can’t take everyone. We will do what we can to work with everyone,” she voiced.
Anyone interested in participating in the 2021 Playgroup Program can call Hardesty at 304-669-3941 to get registered. While she is hoping to get everyone registered by September 8, she said that she is willing to accept registrants up until the start date of September 15.
“This is something all new that we have never done before. I’m a little unsure of how it’s going to work, but I’m going to get creative and offer the children and moms the best experience possible given the circumstances,” declared Hardesty.