Area Resources, At-Home Learning, Outdoor Activities and More

Area Resources, At-Home Learning, Outdoor Activities and More

For next three weeks, people around the U.S. will be staying close to home due to government and public response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

In Ohio, with schools and many businesses closed, families will be looking for at-home learning and activities. There are many organizations during this shutdown that are still offering resources.

Editor’s Note: Due to this evolving situation, please look on each organization’s website for any changes. We will be updating this as things happen. Do you know of a resource that’s not listed? Please email [email protected] to be added to this list. 

 

General Resources 

Connecting for Kids
Connecting for Kids serves all families, including those children with and without formal diagnoses. For families who need resources, it is offering virtual programming opportunities such as “Music Therapy and More” and “Coffee and Chat: How To Stay Calm When the Kids Are Out of Control.” Also, check the CFK Facebook page for other at-home learning tips and more.
Visit connectingforkids.org

Milestones Autism Resources
The Coronavirus pandemic is disrupting daily life. Milestones Autism Resources is providing information to help families navigate these difficult times. The blog helps answer questions, such as: what happens to IEPs due to school shutdowns, using health services, teaching hand washing practices, and at-home learning tips.
Visit: milestones.org for more resources and up-to-date information.

Ohio Department of Health
If you want to stay updated on the resources and information about coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Health

 

Online Learning & Reading

Cleveland Metroparks 
Cleveland Metroparks and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is launching a weekday Virtual Classroom on Facebook Live. At 11 a.m. join our biologists as we secure a future for wildlife at the Zoo. At 1 p.m. join our naturalists as we look for signs of spring, discover wildlife and more.
Visit clevelandmetroparks.com

Great Lakes Science Center
Curiosity Corner Live will be accessible via the science center’s YouTube channel, with new content posted every weekday, including experiments you can do at home, exclusive content filmed at the science center, quizzes, games and more. Follow the science center on social media for announcements when new videos are posted and check out the debut video here.
Visit greatscience.com

 

Look to your local libraries regarding online resources for learning. Here are a few options in the region:

Akron-Summit County Public Library
Offers 24/7 access to thousands of digital ebooks and audiobooks. You can borrow them, instantly, for free, using just the device in your hand. overdrive.com/apps/libby.
Visit akronlibrary.org

Cleveland Public Library
Digital and streaming services include e-books, audiobooks, movies and music.
CPL has compiled a list of resources and materials to help students maintain their reading skills and prepare for state assessment tests while schools are closed.  They also have films and television programming through our Kanopy service. The library also recommends utilizing database filled with thousands of e-books, magazines, audiobooks, and music.
Visit cpl.org

Cuyahoga County Public Library
Drive-up service will be available at the 11 branches Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Access the digital collection and online learning platforms remotely.
Visit cuyahogalibrary.org

Cuyahoga Falls Library
The digital collection is available 24/7, with a vast collection of eBooks, eMagazines, streaming videos, music and television shows, and research tools for online learning. Staff will be available via phone to answer reference, tech and collection questions during normal library hours; call 330-928-2117. Customers may place holds online or via phone and pick up items at the drive-up window. Tumblebooks are available as online storytime. The library also has a new mobile app.
Visit cuyahogafallslibrary.org

Fairport Library
Visit its website for a complete listing of  digital  and streaming services,  including e-books, audiobooks, movies and music. There’s also a listing of resources and  materials to help students learn and be engaged  while schools  are  closed.
fairportlibrary.com

Medina County District Library
Access library services digitally: mcdl.info/download provides eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies and music; and mcdl.info/onlinelearning will provide research and learning tools. If you don’t have a physical library card, you may apply for an eCard at mcdl.info/card. After processing, you will receive an email with a library card to access electronic content only.
Visit medina.lib.oh.us

Mentor Public Library
Ebooks, audiobooks, streaming music, videos and more are available online for free with your Mentor Public Library card. The library also offers Flipster for online editions of your favorite magazine, and Lynda and Niche Academy for online learning. MPL’s YouTube channel offers hundreds of videos, including author interviews and dozens of library talks that can be watched in their entirety.
Visit mentorpl.org

Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library
Even though the libraries will be closed, resources are available online 24/7. There are many digital resources that can be accessed with a Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library card from home, including Overdrive (eBooks and audiobooks), Hoopla (movies, music, audiobooks and graphic novels), and Kanopy (documentaries, classics and Indie films). Children’s resources include Tumblebooks, Sesame Street eBooks and ABC Mouse.
Visit we247.org

 

Food Services for Kids

While they are closed, some schools in the region are continuing their food service to children in need. Please visit your local school system to see how they are handing meals for kids. 

Boys & Girls of Northeast Ohio
Cleveland:  Will offer free meals for pickup by members and their families between noon and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following Club locations: Broadway, 6114 Broadway Ave., Cleveland 44127; King Kennedy, 2561 E. 59th St., Cleveland 44104; and Saint Luke’s, 2705 Martin Luther King Jr., Cleveland 44104. Pick-ups will continue at least through March 31.
Lorain County and Akron: Clubs are working in concert with the local school districts to ensure members have access to meals.
Visit clevekids.org or Facebook.com/bgccleveland

Cleveland Public Library
Will provide brown bag meals to children Monday through Friday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Main Library and 27 neighborhood branches.
Update from Cleveland Public Library  3/17/20: Out of an abundance of caution, Cleveland Public Library must temporarily suspend plans to deliver meals to children.The Library had planned to provide take-home meals at Main Library and our 27 neighborhood branches. However, we must cancel that service due to health concerns of our staff. “The was a difficult decision for us to make at Cleveland Public Library. We know how much the children rely on those meals. However, we could no longer put the children, their families, and our staff at risk,” said Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library in a press release. “We look forward to resuming our Kids’ Café program once it is medically safe to do so.”

Salvation Army Akron
The Salvation Army in Summit County will be serving daily hot meals and food pantry groceries Monday through Friday at its 190 S. Maple Street Akron and 560 Wooster Road West location in Barberton.
“We’re still serving lunch every day, only now it’s to-go,” says Major Steven Stoops, Area Coordinator and Corps Officer in a press release. “We are prepackaging the prepared meal so families with children and individuals can carry it out and enjoy a hot meal in their own setting.”
During this precautionary period, meal delivery to Summit Lake and Patterson Park community centers is suspended, but prepackaged hot meals will be handed out Monday through Friday at the Maple Street location between the hours of noon to 1:00 pm and the Barberton location from 11:30 am through 12:30 pm.
Visit SalvationArmyAkron.org.

Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio
Serves meals to Lorain County kids and families in need. It also needs donations and volunteers during this time.
Visit secondharvestfoodbank.org

Here are some places to donate food or volunteer:

End 68 Hours of Hunger — Lake Country
Visit end68hoursofhunger.org

Greater Cleveland Food Bank
Visit greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Get Outdoors

While nature centers, zoos and other indoor facilities are closed, families can still get outside, stay healthy with exercise, and view nature. The park systems around Northeast Ohio will have their outdoor parks open. For everyone who visits, please practice self-monitoring, social distancing and personal hygiene (cover cough, stay home if sick, etc).

Cleveland Metroparks
Cleveland Metroparks outdoor locations will remain open including 18 park reservations and eight golf courses. Golf courses will remain open daily on a limited schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting.
Visit clevelandmetroparks.com

Geauga Park District
Parks remain open, though a number of programs and events have been cancelled.
Visit geaugaparkdistrict.org

Lake Metroparks
Parks, park trails, parking lots, restrooms, and other unstaffed amenities (pier at Painesville Township Park, Canine Meadow Dog Park, Nature Play at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, Lake Erie Bluffs observation tower, and the archery range at Hidden Lake) will remain open during regular/posted hours.
Visit lakemetroparks.com

Lorain County Metro Parks
Outdoor parks, playgrounds and hiking trails will be open to the public.
Visit loraincountymetroparks.com

Medina County Park District
Wolf Creek Environmental Center, Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary, and Susan Hambley Nature Center are closed to the public. All other parks, trails and preserves remain open to visitors, including Brunswick Lake Park, where Susan Hambley Nature Center is located.
Visit medinacountyparks.com

Stark Parks
Update 3/17/20: Stark Parks facilities are closed through April 12. All parks and trails remain open at this time to enjoy. Park Rangers will continue their standard patrols.  Stark Parks will continue to follow guidance provided by all federal, state and local health authorities.
Visit starkparks.com/onyourown or  starkparks.com  

Summit Metro Parks
All parks and trails remain open, and rangers will continue their standard patrols.
Visit summitmetroparks.org


Hike it Baby
An online resource of the different trails around the region and more.
Visit trails.hikeitbaby.com/ftg-home

Visit Northeast Ohio Parent magazine articles for indoor activities, learning fun and more!

50 Indoor Things for Kids to do Instead of Screen Time

Keep Kids Entertained During Winter Break with Indoor Snow Fun

Northeast Ohio Parent Reading Room for 2019: Book Picks for Kids

Northeast Ohio Parent Reading Room for 2020: Book Picks for Kids

25 Learning Activities to Do in the First Year of Preschool

Create a Summer Scavenger Hunt for your Kids

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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