“The ABC of Back to School, a town hall for families on CNN / Sesame Street” aired on Saturday morning and addressed issues such as classroom safety and the best use of virtual learning.
The City Hall was appointed by CNN chief correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill and of course Big Bird moderated.
One child wondered if going back meant the germs were gone
City hall began with a question from Eli, Oklahoma, who asked if the germs are gone now that students are back in school.
Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez said the germs weren’t gone yet, but we now know what we can do to protect ourselves and each other ̵
“We learned that we can really, really prevent ourselves and our friends from catching the germs by washing our hands, wearing our masks, keeping our distance,” said Bracho-Sanchez. “So I want you to feel safe when you grow up and send yourself back to school.”
She also said if kids don’t feel safe returning, it’s a really good idea for them to share their feelings with parents so they can make it through together.
Rosita showed her classroom at home
School doesn’t have to be boring for students who participate virtually. Those who miss their classrooms can set up mini-classrooms in their homes – just like Rosita.
Rosita showed her colorful classroom at home with handicrafts that she had made herself and hung on the walls. She also showed us her school supplies, headphones and class schedules.
“I made it out of cardboard that we had in the house. I feel like I’m in school even when I’m at home,” said Rosita over her desk.
Gupta, who congratulated Rosita’s desk, spoke about the importance of children studying online understand that school is separate from home life. He said it can be helpful to get students into a routine and set up a specific area of study.
One parent asked if she should wash her child’s school bag
Texas parent and teacher Krystle Ragston was particularly concerned about the things her children will take home from school. Ragston asked if she should wash her children’s uniforms, backpacks, and masks regularly.
“The good news is that when it comes to how this virus spreads, you usually think of people as chinaware. So it comes from actual people rather than objects,” Gupta said.
Masks should be washed regularly, but uniforms and backpacks can be washed with the usual frequency that families are used to, he added.
Get a flu shot
The coronavirus isn’t the only thing people are worried about this fall.
9-year-old Paityn from Louisiana wondered if she should take extra precautions as we approached flu season.
Because of the pandemic, we are constantly washing our hands, covering our faces with masks and socially distancing ourselves from friends, families and strangers. Fortunately, these precautions should also help us fight the flu and virus, but there is still one 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 it’s more important than ever this season that we all get our flu shots,” said Bracho-Sanchez.
Planning ahead also helps, so now would be a good time for families to get these shots.
Big Bird shared its school supplies checklist
One fun thing about going back to school is the supplies. But first, you need to create a supplies checklist. Big Bird showed off his checklist, which looks a little different this year.
“I have my pens, my paper, and my colored pencils. Oh, here’s a new one. It’s my mask,” said Big Bird. “I wear it over my beak and it helps me, my teacher, and my classmates stay healthy.”
In addition to its wipes and wing disinfectants, Big Bird’s checklist also includes a spacer stick made from paper towel rolls, tape, and construction paper. He uses it to make sure he’s keeping the right distance from his friends. He also uses the stick, which is shaped like a hand, to wave to friends and give them high fives.
This student wanted to know how to greet his friends
9-year-old Miles from New York said he was nervous about going back to school but was looking forward to seeing his friends. He wanted to know how to greet her safely.
Even though we’ve all missed our friends, it’s still not safe to hug again. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any other ways to greet each other, the experts said.
You can do an elbow thrust where you both raise your elbows and let them touch. Bracho-Sanchez also suggested shaking feet, although it might require some balance.
The experts added that if a teacher or classmate falls ill with coronavirus, children should be tested and stay home from school until doctors cleared them to return.
Rudy talked about feeling stressed
Children have to be stressed, regardless of whether they are going back to class like Elmo, taking part in hybrid learning like Big Bird, or being completely distant like Rosita.
Rudy from Sesame Street shared how stressed and emotional he is about all the changes. He said he loved school before the pandemic, but now that it’s so different he is afraid he will mess things up.
Abby Cadabby helped her little brother calm himself down with abdominal breathing exercises and a schedule with pictures so he could remember what to do.
Many parents asked what they could do to reduce their children’s fear of returning to school, while others wondered how schools could help develop the social and emotional skills their children are not getting through virtual learning .
Many schools incorporate emotional and social development into their daily curricula while others include families as partners for social and emotional learning, said Akimi Gibson, vice president and education publisher for 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 confidence.
“In these moments, parents feel that they have to resolve their children’s feelings. Their children don’t need that,” said Filippelli. “All they really need is you sit next to them, hug them, tell them you love them, and you have the utmost confidence that they can get through this, and kids will take this. If we lead with confidence and optimism.” can, our children will take it in. “