Parents have a lot on their plates these days. In addition to putting food on the table and managing the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, they also have to worry about the health and wellbeing of their children. Some students are getting ready to go back to school, while others will have to wait to see their friends and teachers again in person.
Keeping schools closed can be stressful for parents and kids alike. The adults have to keep their children motivated and interested in school at home, usually while managing remote work and other responsibilities. For kids, staying inside and away from their friends and peers can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation, and general confusion. Social interaction is vital to learning and emotional development. Many school-age children do not have a way to talk about what’s going on around them. For some, nothing seems to matter when the entire world feels like it’s falling apart.
To help families get back on track, Careismatic Brands has just announced that it plans on donating $500,000 worth of school uniforms to families in need, including those returning to school in person and those learning at a distance. Uniforms can help these families create some sense of normalcy as they prepare for a semester unlike any in recent memory.
Helping Families Get Back to Normal
It’s been a tough year for the academic community. The spring 2020 semester abruptly shifted to online-only classes back in March, throwing many parents, students, and educators for a loop. After a few months of remote learning, schools quickly went online for the summer as they tried to figure out if they could safely reopen in the fall.
While complying with local and state health mandates, school districts have largely had to decide for themselves whether to reopen. Keeping kids at home presents numerous challenges, but so does the return of in-person learning. If another outbreak should occur, many schools will have to return to remote learning, whether they like it or not.
With the new school year just a few weeks away in many districts, parents are either preparing to send their kids back to the classroom or for another semester of educating their kids at home. Some parents do not have the option of watching their children all day, so they may leave them with a caregiver or home educator. Some parents and families have set up education bubbles where they take turns watching the kids as they pass from one caregiver to another, so parents have a chance to go to work.
For families sending their kids back to the classroom, back-to-school shopping is getting a lot more complicated. In addition to binders, notebooks, and backpacks, parents have to stock up on face masks, hand sanitizer, and other safety essentials that limit the spread of the virus. With record high unemployment, many families will likely be strapped for cash this fall.
According to the Children’s Defense Fund, every child and adult would need around $2,000 a month to weather this crisis, but that’s a lot more than what most households have received thus far.
How School Uniforms Can Help
Families need money for food, healthcare, clothing, school supplies, and so many other essentials this fall. That’s why Careismatic is proud to donate $500,000 in school uniforms to families in need. The clothes will come from the company’s Classroom brand, a line of uniforms designed for students and academic professionals. Classroom will work with school administrators to fulfill requests for clothes. Families looking for a uniform should contact their school for more information. The administrator can then fill out the Careismatic request form to receive a donation.
Mike Singer, CEO of Careismatic Brands, commented, “We wanted to help support families hit hardest financially during this pandemic crisis. As well as help children get ready for an unusual return back to school whether remote or in person.”
Donating school uniforms isn’t just about helping families make ends meet. It’s about providing a sense of normalcy and routine to those that have been uprooted by the pandemic. Kids are used to getting dressed every morning for school and uniforms can help them recreate some of the status quo.
For remote students, wearing a uniform helps them prepare for a day of learning even if they aren’t leaving the house. Dr. Kellen Glinder of InsideChild.org, a website dedicated to pediatric health education for parents and families, says wearing a uniform helps kids and parents manage the unpredictability of the situation.
Tips for Parents and Home Educators
Health officials and educators have some tips for parents managing the situation at home. They urge parents to create as much of a routine as possible. This includes regular bedtimes and wake-up calls, so students can get back in the habit of going to school.
The organization Children and Screens has tips for parents managing the reality of online learning. They encourage parents to limit screen time when school is not in session, create designated learning spaces inside the home, and to use manual methods whenever possible, so kids can still learn how to read and write without relying on screens.
The U.S. Census Bureau is also full of valuable resources for parents. They provide worksheets, toolkits, and home learning activities for families and kids stuck at home this fall.
Hopefully, parents and students will get back to normal soon. But, in the meantime, wearing a uniform can make all the difference.