Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu
News Stories

Brooklyn Parent Newsletter - March 2020

News Stories

Dear parents, grandparents, guardians and education activists,

We know the coronavirus crisis and the school closings are creating a challenging time for New York City families. Remember the UFT stands with you, and you can count on us for real-time information and valuable resources in the coming weeks.

Below are resources and information we hope will help your family stay informed, safe and occupied as we navigate these uncharted waters together.


Betty Zohar
UFT Parent and Community Liaison

Stay informed

  • Check the NYC Health website: For fact sheets and up-to-date information specific to New York City in multiple languages, visit »
  • Get the latest coronavirus updates by phone: The New York State Department of Health invites New York residents to text COVID to 692-692 for updates in English or text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish. You can also find daily updates on the website »

Parenting resources

Learn-at-home resources

Remote learning for public school students starts on Monday, March 23. In the meantime, keep kids' minds occupied with these free activities.

  • Check out the city Department of Education's guide: The DOE's landing page for remote learning is full of tools, sample schedules and more, tailored to the instruction your child will receive from their teacher. Visit the DOE website »
  • Online "mommy and me" classes from Circletime: New users can get free enrichment classes for kids up to the age of 8. Topics include yoga, cooking, art and music. Check it out »
  • Online technology courses and projects: The Mouse Learning Network, a STEM educational organization, is offering free access to its online courses for the rest of the school year and do-it-yourself projects for kids to try out from home. Visit the website »
  • Free, daily learn-at-home activities from Scholastic: The children's publishing company will release four new activities every day for kids studying at home. Take a look »
  • Education companies offering free subscriptions: Dozens of education companies are offering free online subscriptions during school closures. See a list »

Fun things to do while social distancing

  • Children's stories in Spanish: Find free audio and video files of beloved children's books read aloud in Spanish from The Spanish Experiment »
  • Livestream doodles with Mo Willems: Beloved children's author Mo Willems will release a livesteam "lunch doodle" every weekday at 1 p.m. and invites kids to draw and write with him. Find out more »
  • Virtual yoga classes for kids: For short, kid-friendly yoga classes you can stream on your phone, computer or television, check out Cosmic Kids yoga »

Financial and other forms of relief

  • No student or medical debt collection until April 16: The New York State Attorney General's Office announced it will suspend collection of student and medical debt until April 16. The policy will also halt interest accrual on these loans. Find out more »
  • Get free, confidential mental health help from home: NYC Well provides free, confidential mental health help from licensed counselors to New Yorkers in crisis. Talk to someone on the phone, via chat or via text. Check it out »
  • Free internet access: Most internet providers are providing free internet access for 60 days to support families social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. See a guide to free internet in English and Spanish »

    And, New York City public school students can get free internet access from Spectrum while schools are closed. Call 844-488-8398 to sign up.
  • Free delivery of groceries and supplies: Volunteers across the city are delivering groceries, medication and other necessities to elderly and otherwise at-risk residents. Get a delivery or sign up to volunteer »

Food help

  • Find a food pantry near you: Food Bank NYC is giving out free meals, groceries and SNAP support all over the city. To find nutrition support near you, visit the website »
  • Find food help in Spanish: Check out an interactive map in Spanish of "comida gratis" (free food) around New York City. See the map online »
  • NYC food hub: The Covid-19 food hub for NYC is continuously gathering information about free groceries and meals around the city as well as about financial help for restaurant workers. Check it out »
  • Free food in the Bronx: World Central Kitchen and state Assemblyman Michael Blake are partnering to distribute fresh, individually packaged meals daily at seven locations around the Bronx. Find out more »
  • Free meals for seniors in the Bronx: SUNY's Bronx Educational Opportunity Center and District 16 will offer free meals to senior citizens every weekday at six senior centers around the Bronx. See the details »
Related Topics: Parent News, Coronavirus