At the Oakland Early Learning Symposium workshop held on February 27, direct service staff from community based organizations provided up to date information on how child care providers and preschool teachers can refer families to everything from mental health consultations to free diapers, right in their own neighborhood. One participant commented, “the symposium was great, and a perfect opportunity to learn about resources that are available to families who need support during these challenging times.” Watch the video recording of the workshop.
A new component to this year’s symposium series is “Let’s Talk Early Learning.” Born out of the desire to replicate the support and community felt at the 2019 in-person symposium, these are informal, virtual drop-in sessions planned and facilitated by OUSD preschool teachers Annette Wright, Jacquetta Wallace, and Nini Humphrey. Says Annette Wright, “It’s an informal space where if there are problems or issues you are having, you can bring them to our small groups and know it’s confidential. It’s an opportunity to share and give each other resources, making all of our jobs easier.”
At the last drop-in session, some of the participants voiced apprehension about returning to in person learning. We quickly pulled together a Let’s Talk session with medical professionals from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and UCSF’s Center for Child and Community Health. At this session, over 150 early learning professionals received information about COVID-19 in early learning settings and got their questions answered about COVID transmission, vaccines and variants. Learn what we learned here.
The last symposium event of the year is on Wednesday, May 19. We’ll be celebrating and reflecting on how the early learning field in Oakland has risen to the occasion this year -- and how we will continue to do so in the next. Register here!