Creating Connection in the Time of Covid

Y's Kids at Cascadia

Kids Are Making The Most Of A Tough Situation heart


On my drive out to Cascadia Elementary in Ferndale, a sign hanging on an overpass above I-5 greets me: “STAY HOME. STAY SAFE. SAVE LIVES.” 

Our School Age Staff are not staying home. Instead, we are running full day childcare for the working families deemed essential throughout Whatcom County and making the necessary efforts to adapt our program in relation to CDC guidelines. This includes being screened before coming into work, sanitizing everything we touch, and washing our hands like our lives depend on it (because they do!).


Our days are filled with laughter, learning, and ample opportunities to build lasting connections with support from the Bellingham, Ferndale, and Meridian School Districts. The anxiety, stress, or fear families may be experiencing during this unprecedented time are left at the door. 


Often, it feels as though I am walking into a bubble when I arrive at Cascadia. Our playground has been closed off from the public, parents are not allowed in our space, and every surface is sterile. Our current situation may seem isolating, but the willingness of the children to stay positive and look past boundaries inspires me daily. They have taken the initiative to make the most of our guidelines and time together. 


We have competitions to see who can wash their hands the best, host face mask fashion shows, and even have found a favorite physically distant tag game, “Shadow Tag.” It seems as though they are working together to find every opportunity to create a fun, and more importantly, a safe environment for themselves.


At the end of my day, on my drive back into Bellingham, the sign on the overpass is still difficult to ignore. It serves as a constant reminder of the sacrifices our program is willing to take in order to aid our community. Everyday spent building meaningful relationships with the families we serve proves that the risk is worth the reward. 


Libby Teernink
School Age Program Supervisor

Category: Personal Y Stories