COVID Pandemic – One Year Later

COVID Pandemic – One Year Later

I want to take a moment to reflect on the past year. It was exactly one year ago that the world changed. On March 11, 2020, the NBA shut down and UCSB announced it was going to remote classes. On March 13, 2020, the public school announced they were closing for three weeks. We followed suit. Who could have imagined the year we would experience? Each one of us has been through tremendous stress. We have succeeded and failed to shift and change our work and to uphold our values.

Values and Resiliency

A little over a year ago – I think it was in January 2020 – I shared our organization’s new strategic plan with the IVYP staff. I asked them – did the values we expressed align with yours? Staff affirmed that they did. I shared that we believe that relationships are at the core of our work. Relationships between adult and child help children to become resilient, to survive and even thrive in the face of adversity. Relationships between adults and between families help them to become resilient.
We also affirmed that by building a resilient and connected community, IVYP mitigates the effects of poverty, racism and trauma so that all children and families can prosper and thrive.

Our staff’s work in mitigating the effects of poverty, racism and trauma

I reminded our staff that their work is leading to resilient children, families and community. That when a teacher comforts a child, they are mitigating the effects of trauma. When a care-gives talks deeply with children, the child develops language and we are mitigating the effects of poverty. When a family advocate helps a family to have enough food, to access health care, to feel connected, they are mitigating the effects of poverty. And, when we learn about and teach about one another’s cultures and we help people of different races build meaning relationships with one another, we are mitigating the effects of racism.

This past year, we have done all of these things.

I know that the COVID pandemic has meant that we do not see one another in person much. Those who can, have been working from home. Others of us have assumed risk to care for children and community in person. Communication can be hard when everyone is so stressed. Just as we have adapted to so much change in this past year, we will continue to adapt and grow and improve over the next several months. And, as a reminder, here are our IVYP values:

Executive Director, Isla Vista Youth Projects

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