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Families at Home Resources

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Listed below are a variety of free digital resources that I hope may be helpful. Feel free to e-mail the Children's and Young Adult Librarian Julieanne Randolph at if you would like to add a suggestion. This is a growing resource and is by no means exhaustive.

Free Meals

Bagged breakfast and lunch will be provided for all Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Willow Creek Academy families.  Meals are available for pickup Monday through Friday at the Bayside MLK Multi-Purpose Room from 10:30 AM until 12 noon and at the Willow Creek Academy Multi-Purpose Room from 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM.

The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is currently offering weekly distributions of food for pick up on Wednesdays at the Bayside MLK campus from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Digital Story Times and Read Alouds by Authors, Illustrators, and Celebrities

Check out author Kwame Alexander's new website, At Home with Kwame, for free writing, reading, and learning resources for students and teachers. 

Michelle Obama is partnering with Penguin Random House to read four of her favorite children's books over the next four weeks. She is reading a book every Monday at 9 AM PDT. You can tune in on Instagram or Facebook.

Penguin Kids have recruited special guests to read-aloud children's books and present activities every weekday at 8 AM PDT. Tune in on their Instagram.

Watch Ivy and Bean illustrator Sophie Blackall read from Annie Barrow’s One Big Happy Family (Ivy and Bean book #11). Sophie Blackall is also doing readings and Q&As on her YouTube Channel.

Author and illustrator Grace Lin is offering drawing lessons and reading from some of her books on her YouTube channel.

Tune in to Greg Pizzoli’s Instagram to watch him read one of his stories every Monday at 8 AM PDT.

Children's musician Emily Arrow is doing live story times on her YouTube channel. These include stories and songs and occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 AM PDT.

Oliver Jeffers is reading a book each day at 11 AM PDT on his Instagram.

Join author Mac Barnett’s book club every weekday at 12 noon PDT. Consider taking on Mac’s challenge of wearing a hat each day! 

Tune in to Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris' collaboration, The First Cat in Space. New episodes air on YouTube on Saturdays at 12 noon PDT.

Peter Reynolds is reading and drawing every week on his Facebook page.

Actresses Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have started the Save with Stories campaign. Partnering with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, Save with Stories is offering free story times on Instagram. Watch as celebrities share read alouds of picture books. The read alouds are free to watch and any donations go to Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, to ensure that children have access to school supplies and nutritious meals during this time.

Check out the archives of Storytime from Space, where astronauts read aloud from children's books.

Learn about children's book author and illustrator K-Fai Steele, hear her read from her debut picture book A Normal Pig, and participate in a drawing workshop.

There are also compilations of Children’s book authors and illustrators reading from their books, talking about their process, and sharing resources. Author and educator Kate Messner has compiled a page with these resources. The YouTube channel Authors Everywhere also has a great archive of author and illustrator footage. 

Drawing Lessons & Craft Activities

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has a variety of art and craft projects inspired by the national parks. From coloring pages to tissue box animals, the activities are designed to be adaptable to the resources you have at home.

Join Graphic Novelist Jarret Krosoczka on YouTube each day for live drawing tutorials. 

Watch Mo Willems do a lunch-time doodle each day. 

Join illustrator Wendy Mac for a drawing lesson every week day at 10 AM PDT. Past lessons can be found on her YouTube channel.

Ben Clanton is doing various Facebook Live events, including drawing lessons. 

Art for Kids Hub has amazing art tutorials on their YouTube channel. 

Carson Ellis, illustrator of The Wildwood Chronicles and The Shortest Day, is hosting a digital Quarantine Art Club on her Instagram. You can access past art club assignments on her blog.

KiwiCo is currently sharing free educational resources and craft activities on their website for children of all ages. There is also a Daily STEAM DIY activity. 

Resources for Talking with Children about the Coronavirus

The Exploratorium is offering resources to support at-home learning on a timely topic: viruses. Through a series of videos and activities, learn what viruses are, how soap can help inactivate them, how long a virus can last on surfaces, and more.

Elise Gravel has a wonderful comic that may be helpful in talking with children about Coronavirus. Gravel also offers free coloring pages

Check out this amazing zine about the Coronavirus

Author and illustrator Dan Santat has created an online program that he is calling the Santat Online Survival School for the Pandemic. This online survival school is updated daily and available to download from Dropbox. So far, Santat has covered topics such as quarantine, rationing, and virus. Each topic has assignments, challenges, and badges. His contributions are very thoughtful (did you know he has a Microbiology degree?!) 

Nosy Crow has published a children's book about the Coronavirus. You can access the full-text, 24-page book on Nosy Crow's website

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have compiled tips for talking with children about COVID-19

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings published a fiction book for children on how children can protect themselves, as well as their family and friends from the Coronavirus. The agency recommends that the book, titled My Hero is You, be read with a caregiver. 

Author Rex Ogle is currently publishing Aiden Tyler, Quaran-Teen, a weekly serial webcast presented in both text and audio format about surviving the Coronavirus while you are at home with your family. 

Typing and Coding Programs

Typing Club has a free online typing program

Studio Code offers a free coding program

Movement and Mindfulness

In need of movement and mindfulness? Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga

A familiar resource to many of our K-5 children, GoNoodle offers movement and brain breaks on their YouTube channel. 

Digital Field Trips

The Cincinnati Zoo is offering an at-home safari on their Facebook page. 

The California State Parks are offering a variety of home learning programs. Visit the website to sign up for a live Zoom session. Recorded broadcasts will be saved and shared to YouTube at a later date.

Check out the California Academy of Sciences animal webcams and lesson plans.

Distance Learning Resources

The Golden Gate Audubon Society has created some fun indoor and outdoor activities geared primarily towards elementary school-aged children. The activities incorporate STEM and language arts skills, as well as direct observations of nature.

Learn how to help birds and their habitats in the San Francisco Bay Area

Make a hummingbird. All you need are scissors, crayons, and tape or glue.

Does a hummingbird's heart beat faster than yours?

Read and discuss an Ohlone folktale about hummingbird.

What sounds do you hear in your neighborhood?

Explore birds in your neighborhood.

Join New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang on Instagram for free writing classes for teens. Past classes and writing tips are archived on her YouTube channel.

826 National, a network of writing and tutoring centers, is offering free writing prompts and support online. 826 National also provides young writers with an opportunity to be published. Visit their website to peruse the writing prompts, submit your writing for consideration for a future publication, and for the chance for your writing to be read by a celebrity on their YouTube channel.

Teens can participate in daily writing prompts inspired by articles in the New York Times

BrainPOP is extending free access to anyone impacted by the Coronavirus and school closures. BrainPOP covers a variety of subjects and is targeted at students in grades K-12.

KQED Plus is offering educational programming that will be broadcast on air. Check the schedule for further information re: specific times and targeted age groups. KQED also offers free digital learning activities for at-home use

Scholastic Learn At Home is offering four lessons each day for children in PreK through 9th grade.

Khan Academy offers instructional videos and practice exercises on a variety of topics, including math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

Wonderopolis® , an offering of the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), is a free online learning platform. Wonderopolis invites users to explore questions about the world around us.

The Crash Course YouTube Channel is an awesome educational resource started by authors John and Hank Green. Explore past courses on physics, philosophy, games, economics, U.S. government and politics, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, world history, biology, literature, ecology, chemistry, psychology, and U.S. history. Great for highschoolers! 

For anyone in need of test preparation resources, there are free Advanced Placement Test Preparation and SAT and ACT preparation  resources available.


The Story Seeds podcast offers opportunities for authors to partner with real-world children to write and perform stories. Be sure to check out Jason Reynold's episode!

The Stories podcast features original stories, as well as retellings of classic children's stories and fairy tales. 

Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton read and discuss children's books on their new podcast, Julie's Library. Tune in to see if she will read one of your favorites.