Create + Connect

Through virtual meetups, teachers, students and families build a sense of community through playful activities for all to enjoy!

Photo of Rachel Siegel
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As a working parent, I recognize how hard it is to connect with my kids' elementary school on a regular basis. I'd LOVE to volunteer more and be present at more school events, but it's simply not always possible. The very act of driving to and from school for an evening meeting can feel overwhelming. We all know how busy we are and at the end of the work day, I just want to be home and spend quality time with my kids.


So how can we parents make memorable connections with our kids AND the school while staying in the comfort of our own spaces? Through "Create +Connect!"


In these virtual meetups (20-30 minutes), parents/guardians join their kids in real-time, virtual activities designed to be playful and engaging for the family. Their teacher will be there as well - which just may blow the minds of those elementary students. ("Whoa! My teacher's on the screen!") 

These virtual meetups could include:

  • Creative Warm-ups (ex. Each parent/child team takes 2 minutes to develop a family handshake. Then take turns sharing with the whole group)
  • Creativity Challenges (ex. in virtual breakout rooms, make up your own joke. Share your jokes with the whole group.)
  • Book read-aloud and chat (ex. teacher, kids and parents take turns reading pages on screen. Lively discussion to follow.)
  • Role plays
  • Show and Tell, family-style (ex. show us your favorite thing in the room where you're sitting)
  • Cultural exchanges/sharing
  • Pet showcase
  • What else?


Goals of Create + Connect:

- parents, kids and teachers interface with one another in a way that is FUN 

- parents, kids and teachers practice their creativity skills 

- parents, kids and teachers get to see each other in a new context, which can inspire empathy, understanding and meaningful connections

- parents/guardians can virtually connect from anywhere

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

When I was recently on a ZOOM video conference at home, two of my elementary-aged daughters looked at what I was doing on the computer screen - and they got SO PUMPED! "This is better than FaceTime!" one said. I thought about their excitement. And I also thought about the "Community Conversations" I've experienced with IDEO U courses and how beneficial it's been to connect with others on a virtual video platform. Could this also help forge connections between parents, kids and teachers???

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Photo of Worokya Duncan
Team

These are awesome! Imagine if all the virtuals were recorded and sent to a central location, and then compiled for the entire class? Families would learn about each other, allowing them to highlight similarities, as well as provide a space to discuss differences they may have observed (family structure, neighborhood, culture).

Photo of Lusmaia Diaz
Team

Thanks for sharing this! I love this a lot because it bridges the home visit idea with a less logistical lift! Home visits work but I don't think for everyone-- this is a great in between! <3

Photo of Jessica Lura
Team

I agree! And I love sketch --it already feels inviting and warm.