March 17, 2020

Resources to keep kids learning during coronavirus school closures

With all Michigan schools closed due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, United Way for Southeastern Michigan is working with our partners to connect parents and caregivers with resources to keep children engaged and learning. 

“When children aren’t in school for extended periods of time, they’re at risk of losing academic gains. This is even more so true for low-income families,” said Tonya Adair, United Way’s chief impact officer. “We are doing everything we can to help families keep their kids academically on track while our community gets through this crisis.” 

Here are some of the educational resources available to families in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties: 


If you’re struggling to find meaningful activities for your children at home, you’re not alone. Thankfully, any ordinary moment of the day can be a time for learning with Ready4K. 

Ready4K is a text messaging program that makes it easy to find ways to engage with your kids. Geared toward parents of children ages 8 and younger, Ready4K provides texts to boost your child’s learning by building on existing family routines. It sends age-appropriate facts and easy tips, as well as opportunities for growth. 


United Way has partnered with online education provider Age of Learning for years to make their ABCMouse Early Learning Academy program available for free through Detroit Public Libraries. Now, in the wake of the school shutdown, ABCMouse and other progams are available free for 30 days for all families affected by school closures.

“Interruptions in learning due to unanticipated events such as school closures can have significant negative impacts on children’s academic growth and development, as well as on their need for stability and consistency,” said Rik Kinney, executive vice president of Age of Learning. “Particularly when in-school learning isn’t possible, using research-based digital education programs at home can help children stay engaged, provide them valuable learning experiences, and allow them to maintain some continuity in their lives.”

Children 2-8 years old can access 9,000+ activities covering language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music and more.

In addition to ABCMouse, families can also access the programs Adventure Academy and ReadingIQ.

Learn more and sign up for Ready4K and ABCMouse 


When school is in session, United Way and Scholastic partner to provide free reading resources to children in our region. 

Now, Scholastic is offering 20 days of learning experiences free for students in preschool through ninth grade. Other digital learning programs are also available, including resources to teach kids about coronavirus, as well as access to digital libraries for kids. 

Click here to access links to all free Scholastic programs.

Wayne RESA Remote Learning Toolkit

School districts and regional agencies are working hard to provide virtual learning resources to families during this crisis. 

Wayne RESA has created a remote learning toolkit for families. In addition to education resources, it also includes special education and social and emotional supports. Explore Wayne RESA’s toolkit, or contact your local district if you’re outside of Wayne County. 

United Way will continue to update our resources for individuals and families. For more information, visit our COVID-19 information and resources webpage. 



We’ve launched the COVID-19 Response Fund with our partners to help those affected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Learn more and make a donation today.