Latest Newsletter



May 2020



#PlayROCSatHome promotes the power of play at home

Play is the foundation to early learning and keeps our bodies and minds healthy. That's why in early May, team members from Healthi Kids and City's Department of Recreation & Youth Services (DRYS) met to assemble 900 free play kits that kids can use at home. The kits were distributed to families at the nine R-Centers that are currently serving as meal distribution sites in the City of Rochester. Healthi Kids also kicked off the #playrocsathome social media challenge to encourage families to show how they are playing at home. Join in the fun by participating in the challenge. Learn more.



May is Mental Health Awareness Month 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and living in uncertain times due to a pandemic can be stressful for adults and children alike. Feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety as a result of COVID-19 have led to an increased demand for mental health resources. The Whole Child Connection team at The Children's Institute created a spotlight series on helping young people cope with stress and anxiety during uncertain times. Watch here.




COVID-19 has an impact on early childhood development

The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University has recently dedicated its Brain Architects Podcast to discussing topics surrounding COVID-19. While the pandemic has altered many things, it has not stopped child development. Check out this episode titled "A Different World" that covers how to support healthy child development during a pandemic, including the importance of caring for caregivers. Listen here.


Monroe County COVID-19 resources/requests

United Way of Greater Rochester and Rochester Area Community Foundation have partnered to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic consequences of the outbreak, community and organizational recovery, and future community emergencies. Learn more about the Community Crisis Fund.


Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) is collecting feedback from Rochester and Monroe County community members about how COVID-19 is impacting them and their families. This feedback will be shared with community leaders to inform their work and response efforts. Submit feedback here.


Established by the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the COVID Education Fund will ensure that students get access to essential technology for online learning in order to keep up with school assignments and stave off learning loss while schools remain closed. Learn more and donate here.


The Monroe County public health department and Common Ground Health launched an online survey to track COVID-19 symptoms in the Finger Lakes region. Survey results will help health officials pinpoint "hot spots". Learn more.


In the news:


Genesee Sun Rochester's Recreation & Youth Services Partners with Healthi Kids to Provide At-Home Play Kits for Children


WHEC R-Centers distributing play kits


JSI A Healthy Community is a More Resilient Community






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