It has almost been one year since the pandemic struck, bringing with it unique challenges for families in America. With the closure of school, limited face to face interaction, and the shutdown of sports activities for much of the year, the mental health impact on children begs our attention. Adults were able to pivot and work from home, along with continuing to connect with friends if desired. Children, however, had to fall in line with what their school district decided, what rules the state mandated for their particular sport, and what parents deemed an acceptable amount of in-person play with friends. I felt the children in our community, Fairfield County, Connecticut, deserved a closer look at how they are doing mentally based on all of the contributing factors above. From what is gathered here, the kids in our community need our help.
One way to gauge how kids are doing collectively, was to survey parents to glean insight into what is taking place under each individual roof. While it will give us a picture of how children are doing, parents will be left with decisions to make in terms of what they will do to help their children going forward.
To get a sense of who is being impacted and how, I surveyed 108 families here in Fairfield County. Slightly more than half of respondents live in the town of Fairfield.
The age demographic of the children in this survey is broken out below. The largest age group represented is the 5–10 age group, of which 61% of respondents had a child in this bracket.
64% of those who took the survey, had at least one child in a hybrid school model. 12% are in a remote learning program, 20% are in school full-time, 1% are homeschooling outside of the public school system, and 3% have kids in multiple models.