Where can I find help if my child is anxious about this situation? How should I talk to my children about COVID‑19?
If your children have lots of questions related to COVID-19, or they are experiencing anxiety, there are resources you can refer to for help with reassuring conversations and explanations, appropriate for their age:
- Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
This captures important messaging about the virus to children. On point and very straightforward
- NPR: Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
A good comic for kids to help them understand the virus
- NYTimes: Talking to Teens and Tweens about Coronavirus
More specific to older teens and tweens
How will BPC encourage a safe online environment?
In times of stress and anxiety, it is important to remind ourselves often of our common situation and values. At BPC we expect kindness, empathy, and compassion, and have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment.
Our parent handbook (the Good Guardian Guide) and our upper school student planner expressly address issues around socially berating a student or family. There are reports of an uptick in this kind of behavior in California due to COVID-19.
We will address any incident like this swiftly and seriously, and ask for your help in talking with your children about the importance of being kind and treating others with respect and dignity.
How can I help?
We appreciate the many expressions of support and offers to help during this challenging time. The most important thing we all can do right now is remain calm, follow the advice of public health officials, and, above all else, stay healthy.
If you believe you have unique skills or experience that may benefit the school, we want to hear from you. Please contact Director of Development John Ormsby at email@example.com.
Our Circle of Care
Looking to make a difference? The COVID-19 pandemic has left many organizations, businesses, and people vulnerable, many of them among our own BPC community. In the spirit of empathy and action, we are considering ways we can be of assistance to those most in need. An effort is already underway organized by the City of Berkeley to provide support. You can learn more here: Berkeley Relief Fund
Closer to home, our very own Chef Joan Gallagher, owner of Nourish You is struggling with the loss of almost all of her business as a result of school closures. Many BPC families have already donated the balance of their Nourish You accounts to help Joan. A GoFundMe page has also been created for this purpose.
West Berkeley Community Partners
BPC partners with the following organizations, all of whom are on the front lines providing essential services to vulnerable populations. All are accepting monetary donations, and would be deeply grateful for any support. If possible please indicate that you are a member of the BPC community and leave a return address.
Harrison House is a homeless shelter for families. BPC has a longstanding relationship with the shelter, most notably coordinating an annual holiday gift drive for the children. To make a gift click here: Harrison House
The Multicultural Institute provides a variety of services for day laborers and their families. Among other things, BPC offers its facilities at no cost enabling MI to operate an after-school tutoring program for the children of day laborers. To make a gift click here: Multicultural Institute
Berkeley Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels delivers fresh, nutritious food to homebound seniors in Berkeley. Recently, BPC 8th graders have been making food deliveries on foot to clients living near the school. A plan to extend the relationship via the Community Matters Committee will commence as soon as we are able. To make a gift to Meals on Wheels, mail a check to:
Meals on Wheels, 1900 6th St., Berkeley, CA 94710