Written by Kelly Sheehy, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library Sometimes parents just need a break—a moment to take a step back and download with other parents about their kids. While the Library hasn’t reached our next reopening phase, which involves resuming group events and activities, we’re bringing the connections parents usually find at the Library right into their homes. The Library's Virtual Parent Coffee Break will take place every Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. on Zoom. Click here to sign up for one of the free sessions. It’s an opportunity to chat with fellow parents/caregivers about topics that are important to you, and a chance to connect with others and learn about ways the Library can support you. Mandi Beecroft, Senior Children’s Librarian, led the planning of this new virtual event series. She led a similar in-person program at the Groesbeck Branch Library and knows the value that social interaction has for parents and caregivers. “Many of our parents and caregivers would come to the Library, especially for programs, to socialize or lean on one another as a support system,” said co-facilitator Stefani Leming who is a Children’s Librarian at the Forest Park Branch Library. “We also recognize the unique challenges that being isolated at home with children and teens can create. While our Library staff has been creating regular virtual content, we also want to provide a place for parents and caregivers to connect and support one another, even if we cannot physically do so in our buildings.” Each Parent Coffee Break will focus on a specific age range such as preschoolers or elementary school children, but parents or caregivers of children of all ages are always welcome. Here’s the upcoming schedule so far: Wednesday, June 17 at 2:30 p.m. - Preschoolers Wednesday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m. - Elementary School Children Wednesday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m. - Babies and Toddlers Wednesday, July 8 at 2:30 p.m. - Tweens and Teens The team of Children’s, Tween, and Teen Librarians plans to discuss reading, literacy, and developing motor and social skills and they're open to ideas for future topics. These include sharing book recommendations, trading activity ideas, navigating time management, and balancing educational needs with our continually changing environments. “While we want parents and caregivers to support one another through these chats, we also want to ensure that everyone is connected to the resources the Library has to offer,” said Leming. You can register for any of the Virtual Parent Coffee Break Sessions by visiting our events calendar . Hopefully, we’ll be able to see each other in person again soon.