A school-aged child from Texas visited the Extended Family website a few months ago and expressed an interest in participating in Extended Family for Kids (EFK). That request inspired the plan to organize a virtual EFK summer series and offer it as a Zoom class to any child who wanted, and, like all of our programs for kids, provide the classes for free.
During the 2020 response to COVID, we had modified our EFK program and offered it virtually over Zoom. We learned that EFK, which was already designed as a series of nine 45-minute lessons, was versatile and able to work within the confines of the Zoom format. Our Kids continued to reap the rewards of learning how to make healthy life-style choices to improve their quality of life emotionally, mentally, and physically through lessons which build self-esteem, ease feelings of shame, ease isolation, decrease stress, address anger issues, and strengthen communication skills, all vitally important qualities all the time, but especially during the emotionally taxing struggles produced by COVID.
Through our virtual EFK Program this summer, we are pleased to have had the opportunity to share EFK with kids from states as far away as Texas and Michigan, along with kids from Alabama. Each child who participated received an EFK lesson kit which included all of the materials for the series. We communicated with the children and their caregivers before each lesson to make sure everyone was ready for the day’s lesson. One mom even took her child to the local public library to use the internet to participate! Our Kids learned to cope with the emotional struggles of having a loved one incarcerated with lessons like, “It’s not your fault,” “Stress Busters,” and “You don’t have to do their time.” And, we taught each child the most important lesson of all, “You matter!”
Visit our website at www.extendedfamilyhelp.org to learn more about how Extended Family is changing lives, one child at a time!