Resources for families affected by COVID-19 school closure

This story will be regularly updated as more clear and accurate information about local resources becomes available. 

With Thursday’s announcement of a three-week Michigan school closure, local families are scrambling to make arrangements for child care and wondering what to do with the kids during this extended spring break.

But for some, this time brings deeper challenges of food insecurity and loss of access to the Internet. Here’s information about where you can find help:

CARES of Farmington Hills

CARES of Farmington Hills

While CARES board members have closed the facility on Shiawassee, CARES is still offering a drive-up food pantry for families in need, by appointment only. Read more: CARES OF FARMINGTON HILLS STILL HELPS, AT A DISTANCE

Beaumont Health hotline

Beaumont Health has launched a COVID-19 hotline and call center, at 800-592-4784, as a community resource for timely, accurate information about COVID-19 symptoms and virtual screening for people who are experiencing symptoms. The line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Lanigan Hackbox
This Hackbox is at Lanigan Elementary School in Farmington Hills.

Hackboxes

The Hackbots, a Farmington Public Schools robotics team, have placed Hackboxes across the district that are stocked with non-perishable items for families in need. Here are their locations:

  • Longacre Elementary School (The Giving Spot), 34850 Arundel Street, Farmington
  • Lanigan Elementary School (Eagles’ Landing), 23800 Tuck Road, Farmington Hills
  • Maxfield Training Center, 32789 W. 10 Mile, Farmington
  • Beechview Elementary School, 26850 Westmeath Ct., Farmington Hills
  • Power Middle School, 32740 Rhonswood, Farmington Hills

If you’re in a position to help, items welcomed include laundry and other cleaning supplies, garbage bags, paper goods, Ziplock bags, personal care items (soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.), dish soap, and simple First Aid items (no medications). Also at this time, puzzles, crayons, crafts, kits, and other items that will help keep children busy during the extended closure are welcome.

Free home internet access

Starting Monday, March 16, Comcast is offering two months of free access to its Basic Essentials package to low-income families affected by the emergency closure of schools. The offer is for new customers, and an application process and some conditions apply. Learn more at internetessentials.com.

Also starting Monday, Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Charter continues to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps. Charter will also open all of its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use.

Farmington Community Library website

Farmington Community Library resources

The library offers a wide range of resources that can help as schools are closed over the next three weeks:

CloudLibrary, Libby, and Overdrive: Check out thousands of different eBooks and eAudiobooks on your computer or mobile device. Learn more: farmlib.org/digital-library

Hoopla: This app has an impressive film and TV library, as well as streaming music, eBooks, and eAudiobooks. You can find an extensive collection of exercise videos, if you’re steering clear of the gym. Hoopla is available on your phone, computer, or your favorite streaming service. Learn more: farmlib.org/digital-library

Learning Express Library: Access interactive online tutorials and practice tests for major tests like ACT, SAT, AP, TOEFL, and dozens of workplace exams. Learn more: farmlib.org/databases

Gale Courses: Access hundreds of instructor-led online courses covering everything from health and wellness to creative writing, computer programming, GED test preparation and much more. The next round of classes begins March 18. Learn more: farmlib.org/databases

RBDigital: Check out popular digital magazines on a web browser or mobile app. There are no limits to how many magazines you can check out. Learn more: farmlib.org/digital-library

Telephone, Email, and Chat Reference Services: You can speak to a library staff member without visiting the Library. A list of those resources is here: farmlib.org/contact-us/