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Educators to launch Virtual Early Learning Highway for Young Children

The free online resource to help families teach their pre-kindergarten age children learn at home launches Wednesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Families with young children now learning from home due to COVID-19 will soon have a new free online resource to help them.

The Virtual Early Learning Highway for Young Children launches Wednesday. The tool is a collaboration by the Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida, Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Alliance for Jacksonville Early Learning and the Crawford Early Childhood Research and Education Distinguished Professor Fund.

The resource is designed for families who may not have access to computers or tablets, but with a mobile phone, as parents and teachers are called on to develop ways to help children continue learning while being at home. The Virtual Early Learning Highway for Young Children can be viewed by anyone at any time, on any internet-capable device.

The project's key purposes include giving families daily educational activities they can do with their 3- and 4-year-old children for literacy and promoting a learning mindset at home, and helping 3- and 4-year-old children feel connected and nurtured while their normal routines are disrupted.

To learn more about the Virtual Early Learning Highway for Young Children, click here. The site will offer a daily plan families can follow each week with seven different "road markers" to access videos, routines and activities with their children.

The Florida Department of Education has recommended schools remain closed until May 1. The Florida Department of Children and Families, which regulates child care centers, says although schools are closed, child care programs may remain operational at this time, but some closures should be anticipated.

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