“The ABCs of Back to School, A CNN / Sesame Street Town Hall for Families” aired Saturday morning and addressed issues such as staying safe in the classroom and making the most of virtual learning.
Town Hall was moderated by CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Anchor and National Correspondent Erica Hill, and, of course, Big Bird.
One child wondered if going back means the germs are gone
City Hall started with a question from Eli of Oklahoma, who asked if the germs are gone now that the students are returning to school.
Dr Edith Bracho-Sanchez said the germs haven’t gone away yet, but now we know what we can do to protect ourselves and others, which makes going back to school safer than before.
“We have learned that if we wash our hands, if we put on our masks, if we keep our distance, we can really, really stop ourselves and our friends from catching the germs,” Bracho-Sanchez said. “So I want you to feel safe if you’re an adult you choose to send yourself back to school.”
He also said that if the kids don’t feel safe going back, it’s a really good idea for them to share their feelings with their parents so they can deal with them together.
Rosita showed her home class
School doesn’t have to be boring for students virtually attending. Those who lose their classes can set up mini ones in their homes, just like Rosita.
Rosita showed off her colorful home classroom, featuring arts and crafts she made and hung on the walls. He also showed us the school supplies, headphones and the program.
“I did it with the cardboard we had at home. It makes me feel like I’m in school even while I’m at home,” Rosita said of her desk.
Gupta, who complimented Rosita’s desk, talked about the importance of making sure children learning online understand that school is separate from home life. He said engaging students in a routine and creating a designated learning area can help strengthen it.
A parent asked if he should wash his son’s school satchel
Krystle Ragston from Texas, who is a parent and teacher, was particularly concerned about the items her children will bring home from school. Ragston asked if he should regularly wash his children’s uniforms, backpacks and masks.
“The good news is that people who prefer porcelain are generally thought of in terms of how this virus spreads, so it’s more likely to come from real people rather than objects,” Gupta said.
Masks should be washed regularly, but uniforms and backpacks can be washed as often as families are used to, he added.
Get a flu shot
Coronavirus isn’t the only thing people are worried about this fall.
Paityn, 9, from Louisiana, wondered if she should take extra precautions as we approach flu season.
Due to the pandemic, we constantly wash our hands, cover our faces with masks and socially distance ourselves from friends, families and strangers. Fortunately, these precautions should also help us fight the flu and the virus, but there is still a really important tool we can use to protect ourselves from the flu, experts said.
“When it comes to the flu, we also have a safe and effective vaccine, so this season it’s more important than ever that we all get our flu shots,” Bracho-Sanchez said.
Planning ahead also helps, so now would be a good time for families to start getting those hits.
Big Bird shared her school supplies checklist
A fun thing about going back to school is getting supplies. But first, you need to make a supplies checklist. Big Bird showed her checklist, which looks a little different this year.
“I have my pencils, paper and crayons. Oh, here’s a new one. It’s my mask,” said Big Bird. “I wear it on my beak and it helps keep me, my teacher and my classmates healthy.”
Along with its wipes and wing sanitizer, Big Bird’s checklist also includes a spacer stick, made of paper towels, masking tape, and construction paper. He uses it to make sure he keeps the right distance from his friends. Also use the cane, which is shaped like a hand, to greet friends and give them a high five.
This student wanted to know how to greet his friends
Miles, 9, from New York said he is nervous about going back to school but is excited to see his friends. He wanted to know how to greet them safely.
Even though we’ve all missed our friends, it’s still not safe to hug us again. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to greet each other, experts said.
You can do an elbow strike, where you both raise your elbows and make them touch. Bracho-Sanchez also suggested foot shake, though it may require some balance.
Experts added that if a teacher or fellow student gets the coronavirus, children should get tested and stay home from school until doctors clear them to return.
Rudy talked about feeling stressed
Children are bound to be stressed out, whether they return to class as Elmo, participate in hybrid learning like Big Bird, or completely remote like Rosita.
Rudy of Sesame Street shared how stressed and emotional he feels from all the changes. He said he loved school before the pandemic, but now that it’s so different, he’s afraid of ruining things.
Abby Cadabby helped her little brother calm down with belly breathing exercises and organizing a program with pictures to help him remember what to do.
Many parents have asked what they can do to reduce their children’s anxiety about going back to school, while others have wondered how schools will help develop the social and emotional skills their little ones are not getting from virtual learning.
Many schools incorporate emotional and social development into their daily curricula, while others involve families as partners in social and emotional learning, said Akimi Gibson, vice president and editor for education at Sesame Learning.
When it comes to helping them calm down, licensed clinical social worker Talia Filippelli advised parents to use these moments to support their children and teach them trust.
“Parents in those moments feel like they have to sort out their children’s feelings; your children don’t need it,” Filippelli said. “They really just need you to sit next to them, hug them, tell them you love them and have the utmost confidence that they will be able to get through this and the children will absorb it. If we can drive with confidence and optimism, our children will absorb it. . “