CASY Family Newsletter

February 2021

The CASY office will be closed ~

February 15th

President's Day

For personalized support in finding child care, contact CASY, Child Care Resource and Referral, Family Engagement Specialists at 800-886-3952 and choose option 2.

You can also complete the referral form by clicking here.

Our Family Engagement Specialists will follow up with you by the next business day when you submit the online form.

Big picture

What to Look for in a Quality Afterschool Program ~ March 4th at 12:30pm

Quality afterschool programs understand that children and youth in different age groups have different academic, psychological, and physical activity needs. Learn what to look for to make sure you pick the right program for your kids.

Presented by: Keith Monfreda, Training and Development Manager with IAN

Register to attend live or receive the recording.

Reasons for Resilience ~ March 11th at 2pm

In life, we often go through many ups and downs. We have experiences that don’t always go the way we would want them to. As adults, we need to understand our influence in helping children handle stress and learn how to bounce back from difficult situations. Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists as we talk about ways to help children learn to be resilient and how it will benefit their overall well-being.

Register to attend live or receive the recording.

Big picture

Coping with COVID-19

Click here to view the recorded session from Kasi Oxendine with Valley Professionals Community Health Center. Kasi shared some of the mental health effects with COVID-19 as well as coping skills that can help children and adults cope with the added stress the pandemic has caused.

Strengthening Families Protective Factors

If you think of a time when your family faced a challenge, and how you came through that, one if not more Protective Factors were likely at play.

Strengthening Families Protective Factors are the evidence-based conditions within a family that protect against child abuse and neglect and support an environment where children can develop and thrive. If we can be intentional about building our Protective Factors, we can keep our children safe and our families strong. Interested in learning more?

Click here to view the recorded session with Ashley Beeler from Ireland Home Based Services.

On My Way Pre-K Parent Information Session

Click here to view this informative session regarding On My Way Pre-K.

On My Way Pre-K Project Managers in our service delivery area shared their expertise with us. Learn more about the program, including the impact it has on a child’s learning now and in their future. The qualifications and application process were also discussed and questions were answered. You can also request your Project Manager's contact information if needed.

Medicaid 101 with Anthem

Click here to learn about Medicaid and it's benefits, in this recorded session.

Amanda Deardorff with Anthem shared an overview of Medicaid, as well as the added benefits of being an Anthem Member. Amanda also highlighted Anthem’s website with community resource information. Don't miss this great information!

Black History Month Activities for Young Children

It’s Never Too Early: To Discuss Race and Diversity with Children!

February is Black History Month! It’s the perfect opportunity to teach the little ones about race and diversity. Click here to find at-home activities and book recommendations focused on black history, achievements, and race and diversity.

Using Books to Talk With Kids About Race and Racism

In light of recent national events, many parents are wondering ​whether they should talk to their children about race and racism. And, if the answer is yes, how can they do this in a thoughtful and effective manner?

The truth is kids are impacted by race at a very early age. As early as 3 months, a baby's brain can notice racial differences in the people around them. By age 2, children soak up stereotypes about race and may express these with fear. By age 4, children can directly express bias regarding race by teasing. By age 8, children are aware of social norms and can express bias in more subtle forms. And, by age 12, many children become set in biased thoughts, actions and decisions.

This means that there is nearly a 10-year period where parents may be able to intervene! Parents are the primary sources for children to learn about race and racism. Whether parents choose to talk to their kids about this or not, children will learn from their environments and the other people in their life. Read more here.

Heavy Metals in Baby Food

Recent news about heavy metals found in baby food can leave parents wit​h a lot of questions.

Here's some information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the risk of heavy metal exposure to children, and how to help minimize it.

Big picture
Tips on Helping Your Child Build Relationships

Through relationships, children discover who they are and learn to understand others. Learn how you can help your infants and toddlers develop strong relationships with the people in their lives.

Making Mistakes is Part of Learning

It’s so hard to watch our children struggle, fall, and even fail. However, for learning to take place, struggling and failing are part of the process. As parents, we want to protect our children from hardships, so we may think hovering and plowing through dangers up ahead will somehow help them. However, removing every potential obstacle takes away opportunities for our children to learn. And making mistakes is part of learning.

Here are four reasons why making mistakes can actually be really good for your child. You might find as you read through this list, these strategies work really well for adults too!

11 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active

Did you know that only about 1 in 4 children get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day?

Participation in all types of physical activity drops dramatically as a child's age and grade in school increase. It's important that physical activity be a regular part of family life. Click here for information to help you keep your children healthy and active.

5 Ways to Build Math into Your Child's Day

Math is everywhere. That’s great news for parents, because we can talk with our kids about math in fun, natural ways. And that kind of math-talk is really important.

Studies show that a child’s math skills at kindergarten entry are a better predictor of future academic success than reading skills, social skills, or the ability to focus. As parents, we can give our kids a head start by helping them get comfortable with math concepts like measuring and counting at home.

Here are five ways to add math to your child’s day

Blotto Art

Blotto printing is a fascinating art activity for young children. Kids revel in the process—blobbing blots of paint, squeezing paint between layers of paper, and peeling the paper apart to reveal a surprise masterpiece.

The abstract, but symmetrical, designs lend themselves to endless creative possibilities. Butterflies, flowers, or imaginary creatures can be created out of the print. All you need to set up this activity is some water-based paint and paper.

Click here to learn more!

11 Easy Recipes for Playdough, Gak and Slime

Slime. Oobleck. Gak. Silly putty. These may all sound like silly names for a messy activity, but they are all ways for children to conduct sensory play.

What is sensory play? It’s any activity that engages the senses — sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. Sensory play is important for fine and gross motor skills, language, problem solving, managing emotions and more.

And not only are slime activities easy for sensory play, they are easy to make! So PBSKids rounded up their 11 favorite recipes to make slime, gak, silly putty and playdough with your kids. Find them here!


In the summer months, it's sometimes hard to keep kids out of the garden, especially if you've marked off an area just for them to grow their own vegetables and flowers. But what about winter, when chilly temperatures force you inside? What can you do to keep your children interested in gardening? The answer is "plenty!"

Click here for some ideas from the American Association of Nurserymen to get you started thinking about indoor gardening projects for your family, scout troop, or other youth group. I'm sure you'll come up with others.