Head Start Parents, What Kind of Technology Support Do You Need for Virtual Learning?

HCHRA Head Start parents, we will be providing virtual learning for all of our Head Start students from August 31 to October 2.  To help us understand what kind of technology support you need during this time, we would like for you to complete a very short survey.  Your reply is needed by August 14.



Thank you for helping us better meet your needs as we work to provide the best learning opportunities and keep our children safe.

Central Office Staff Is Available to Address Your Needs

Due to a water outage, HCHRA Central Office staff will be working remotely today.  Family opportunities advisors and other Central Office staff are available and accessible via email to address customer needs.

If you need assistance, but you are not sure whom you should contact, email us at info@hchra.org or call (601) 923-1822, and a staff person will respond within 24 hours.

More Online Learning Resources for Head Start Parents

In the face of COVID-19, parents have done an excellent job of utilizing the online resources and printed materials that HCHRA has provided along the way to keep Head Start students engaged in learning every day.

Although we are almost at the end of the school year, we remain committed to making sure our children don’t fall behind.

This week, HCHRA has added two new websites with loads of fun learning activities.  One will help strengthen math skills, while the other provides activities in American Sign Language and English. The two new sites, along with a full list of other learning resources, are listed below.

Also, don’t forget that all children who are not going on to kindergarten will return to Head Start for the upcoming school year.  The deadline to secure your child’s Head Start slot is May 29th.  To complete enrollment, please call us at (601) 923-3950 and a staff member from our Department of Family Opportunities will be happy to help you complete the process.  You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org to get help with enrollment or any of the other support services we provide.

Online Learning Resources You Can Use to Help Your Child Prepare for Success in School

Didax provides at-home learning activities to make math concepts come alive. Parents can download resources and information to help guide them and their children through the activities.
www.didax.com/math/virtual-manipulatives.html

Motion Light Lab provides American Sign Language (ASL) and English literacy activities for young deaf children to support bilingual development. The site gives you access to story books, storytelling and live-streamed literacy lessons featuring deaf narrators and accompanying worksheets.
www.motionlightlab.podia.com/asl-literacy-activities

ABCYa provides games that touch on all academic areas — from ABCs to holidays.  It was created by teachers, and is aligned to standards. It never collects personal data, and is FREE on PCs.
www.abcya.com/

Education.com provides printable worksheets and online activities to help children learn letters, numbers, words, and fine motor skills.
https://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool

Seussville lets children enjoy interactive reading games and activities featuring classic Dr. Seuss books and characters. The site includes a character guide, videos, book catalogue, Seuss biography, and tips for parents.
www.seussville.com/play

Starfall provides opportunities for young children to have fun while learning their ABCs and reading skills through positive reinforcement in a brightly colored environment full of activities, games, and songs.
www.starfall.com/h/index-kindergarten.php

The Health and Nutrition Preschool Activities website has health and nutrition activities and crafts for families to complete at home.
www.first-school.ws/THEME/nutrition.htm

Scholastic: Clifford the Big Red Dog is a fun-filled learning resource for beginning readers.  The site features interactive storybooks, games and bilingual stories.
www.scholastic.com/clifford

Parenting the Super Kid at Meal Times provides nutritional activities for parents and children and helps build on the practice of family-style meals at home.
www.superkidsnutrition.com/pr_parenting-kid-meals

StoryPlace offers preschoolers a virtual library experience.  Children can participate in story-time, watch videos, and play games.  The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.
www.storyplace.org

myON is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Addresswww.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities.

Participating in the 2020 Census Has a Big Impact on Your Future!

The 2020 Census is in full swing, and Hinds County Human Resource Agency urges everyone to participate to ensure that our community receives the federal funding it needs for good schools, hospitals, roads and highways, fire and police departments, transportation, recreation centers, social services and more.

The 2020 Census is a snapshot taken by the federal government every 10 years of all people who live in the United States and its five territories. The survey will ask how many people live in a household, as well as their age, sex, and race. It only takes about 10 minutes and it does not ask about citizenship.

Everyone living in the America on April 1, 2020, is counted, including children, babies, the homeless and people living in shelters. Immigrants, regardless of their legal status in the country, are also counted.

Census data guides how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and programs such as Head Start, foster care, Medicaid, CHIP and WIC. Census data is also part of the formula used to calculate federal funding for low-income students, as well as funding for Limited English Proficiency and immigrant students. Your participation in the census will impact all of those things and helps to make sure your community gets its fair share of federal funding.

In mid-March, homes across the country began receiving invitations in the mail to complete the 2020 Census. Responses to the census are safe and secure and can be submitted online, by phone, or by mail in 13 different languages.

Click here, to complete the census online using the 12-digit Census ID that is listed on the post card or letter you got in the mail.

 

To complete the census by phone, call 1-844-330-2020 toll free.

 

Or, complete and mail the paper survey back to the Census Bureau in the postage-paid envelope provided.

Census participation is required by law. Households that do not respond by May 1, 2020, may get a follow-up visit by a census worker to conduct an in-person interview.

If you need help completing your 2020 Census questionnaire, please call toll-free 1-844-330-2020.  You can learn more about filling out the questionnaire at 2020CENSUS.gov.

Head Start Parents, New Online Learning Resources Are Available!

HCHRA has added two more websites to provide fun learning activities your child will enjoy.  Below is a list of tools you can use to help keep your child on track for success in school.  Be sure to check back next week to see what else is new.

ABCYa provides games that touch on all academic areas — from ABCs to holidays.  It was created by teachers, and is aligned to standards. It never collects personal data, and is FREE on PCs.
www.abcya.com

Education.com
 provides printable worksheets and online activities to help children learn letters, numbers, words, and fine motor skills.
https://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool

Seussville lets children enjoy interactive reading games and activities featuring classic Dr. Seuss books and characters. The site includes a character guide, videos, book catalogue, Seuss biography, and tips for parents.
www.seussville.com/play/

Starfall provides opportunities for young children to have fun while learning their ABCs and reading skills through positive reinforcement in a brightly colored environment full of activities, games, and songs.
www.starfall.com/h/index-kindergarten.php

The Health and Nutrition Preschool Activities website has health and nutrition activities and crafts for families to complete at home.
www.first-school.ws/THEME/nutrition.htm

Scholastic: Clifford the Big Red Dog
 is a fun-filled learning resource for beginning readers.  The site features interactive storybooks, games and bilingual stories.
www.scholastic.com/clifford

Parenting the Super Kid at Meal Times provide nutritional activities for parents and children and helps build on the practice of family-style meals at home.
www.superkidsnutrition.com/pr_parenting-kid-meals/

StoryPlace
 offers preschoolers a virtual library experience.  Children can participate in story-time, watch videos, and play games.  The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.
www.storyplace.org/

myON
 is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Address
www.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities.

If you have questions or need assistance, call us at (601) 923-1822 and leave a message including your contact information.  Although we are working remotely, calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).

HCHRA Offices Will Open May 4, 2020. Head Start Centers Will Remain Closed.

Public health experts and governmental authorities have determined that with certain precautions in place, it is now safe to open HCHRA offices at a reduced capacity.  With the exception of Head Start centers, all other HCHRA offices will open on Monday, May 4, 2020, unless otherwise notified.

As we adjust to a new normal, HCHRA will not immediately open its offices to visitors.  For a short time, we will schedule appointments with clients via telephone or video conference and provide ways for customers to submit documentation as needed.  Once we begin to see customers in our offices, we will ask everyone to agree to temperature scans and other appropriate safety measures.  More information will be provided when we get to that stage.

HCHRA staff is available by email and telephone to assist customers with their needs.  If you have a need and you are unsure who to contact, you may call our Department of Family Opportunities at (601) 923-3930.  You may also contact our help desk 24 hours a day by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org, or by calling (601) 923-1822 and leaving a message along with your contact information.  Calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).

We are here to help.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients Will Receive Automatic Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service, working in partnership with the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration, announced on April 15, 2020, that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will automatically receive $1,200 Economic Impact Payments.  SSI recipients have now been moved into the automatic payment category and no action is needed on their part.  The IRS projects the payments for this group will go out no later than early May.

No action needed by most taxpayers
Earlier this month, the IRS took similar action to make sure that those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits can receive automatic payments of $1,200. While these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don’t typically file tax returns. People in these groups are expected to see the automatic payments later this month.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will also receive the payments automatically.

Extra step needed to claim $500 for children
Eligible taxpayers with qualifying children under age 17 will receive an extra $500. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic.  However, many benefit recipients are not typically required to file tax returns. If they have children who qualify, an extra step is needed to add $500 per child onto their automatic payment of $1,200 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

For those who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits or SSI and have a qualifying child, they can quickly register by using the special tool available only on IRS.gov and provide their information in the Non-Filers section. They will need to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children as soon as possible to receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If beneficiaries in these groups do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

The Treasury Department, not the Social Security Administration, will make these automatic payments to SSI recipients. Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits.

For those with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS web site when claiming children under 17.

For information about Social Security retirement, survivors and disability insurance beneficiaries, please visit the SSA website at SSA.gov.

General information about the Economic Impact Payments is available on a special section of IRS.gov.

Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments.  To use the new app or get information, taxpayers should visit IRS.gov.  People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments.  Be careful and cautious.  The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website, or share personal or financial information.  Remember, go directly and solely to IRS.gov for official information.

More information
The IRS will post frequently asked questions on IRS.gov/coronavirus and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

HCHRA Offices Will Open May 4, 2020. Head Start Centers Will Remain Closed.

As announced last week, in compliance with government mandates to help protect children and families from the spread of COVID-19, all HCHRA Head Start centers will be closed for the remainder of the school year.  All other HCHRA staff will return on Monday, May 4, 2020, unless otherwise notified, and all other HCHRA offices will resume normal operations.

Based upon the guidelines issued by public health experts and governing authorities, work schedules and agency operations are subject to change. Updates will be posted here on our website every Thursday morning until further notice.

HCHRA staff will continue to work remotely to provide timely and professional service.  If you or someone you know has any concerns that need immediate attention, please dial 601-923-1822 and leave a message stating the nature of your call.  Be sure to include your contact information.  Calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).  You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org.

Let’s remain vigilant about hand washing, disinfecting and practicing social distancing to help protect those who are most vulnerable and get us all back to living normal lives as soon as possible.

Look What’s New! More Online Learning Resources Are Available.

This week, we’ve added two new websites where you can find learning activities that your child will enjoy.  There’s so much to choose from, you can try something new each day.

We will continue to update the list of resources each week to make sure you always have a library full of reference tools you can use to help keep your child on track and prepare for success in school.

Although this school year was cut short, HCHRA is here to provide the support you need to make sure your child is ready for the start of the new school year.  If your child will be returning to Head Start for the 2020-2021 school year and you need help completing enrollment, call us at (601) 923-1822 and leave a message stating the nature of your call.  Be sure to include your contact information.  Although we are working remotely, calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).  You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org.  You may also call or email us if you need help with any of the other support services we provide.  We’re here to help.

Online Learning Resources You Can Use to Help Your Child Prepare for Success in School

Seussville lets children enjoy interactive reading games and activities featuring classic Dr. Seuss books and characters. The site includes a character guide, videos, book catalogue, Seuss biography, and tips for parents.
www.seussville.com/play/

Starfall provides opportunities for young children to have fun while learning their ABCs and reading skills through positive reinforcement in a brightly colored environment full of activities, games, and songs.
www.starfall.com/h/index-kindergarten.php

The Health and Nutrition Preschool Activities website has health and nutrition activities and crafts for families to complete at home.
www.first-school.ws/THEME/nutrition.htm

Scholastic: Clifford the Big Red Dog is a fun-filled learning resource for beginning readers.  The site features interactive storybooks, games and bilingual stories.
www.scholastic.com/clifford 

Parenting the Super Kid at Meal Times provides nutritional activities for parents and children and helps build on the practice of family-style meals at home.
www.superkidsnutrition.com/pr_parenting-kid-meals/

StoryPlace offers preschoolers a virtual library experience.  Children can participate in story-time, watch videos, and play games.  The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.
www.storyplace.org/

myON is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Addresswww.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities.