COVID-19 News

Vermont PBS is here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic

"My mother would say… whenever there would be any catastrophe, 'Always look for the helpers.
There will always be helpers. Because if you look for the helpers, you will know that there’s hope."
— Fred Rogers

Many of our neighbors are feeling the uncertainty and demands of COVID-19. Here at Vermont PBS, we’re feeling it too, but we’re also inspired by those that Fred Rogers called “the helpers.” Vermont is full of them, people who are doing their best as caring neighbors, healthcare workers, fast-squad volunteers, safety officials, and grocers, postal workers, farmers, government officials, clergy and all the others on the front lines of responding to our disease and distress. We thank them wholeheartedly. And if you’re staying home, containing the spread of the virus, we thank you, too.

During this time of disruption, we would like to help. We are seizing this opportunity to live into our mission of “connecting neighbors through stories that changes lives.” The programs that inspire, educate, inform and entertain every day are more important now than ever. Here are some of the ways we’re planning to be helpers in the near term:

  • We will continue to keep you informed with national and local coverage of COVID-19 from PBS News Hour to Vermont this Week, news from our partners at VPR and VT Digger, and Public Service Announcements from the Department of Health.

  • Our four broadcast channels, PBS, PBS+, Create and PBS Kids, will keep you company at home and help keep focus on the wonders of the world. You can also join us online at Vermont PBS Passport. PBS Passport gives you the choice to pick programs whenever you want, on your favorite online device, using a passcode that we provide. To get started or navigate Passport we are here to help by phone at 802-654-3665 or email view@vermontpbs.org.

  • We will focus on supporting your family with free children’s education and entertainment programming and other free resources:
  • PBS LearningMedia is a free digital resource for PreK-12 educators that supports distance learning with compelling, standards-aligned educational materials as well as resources to help explain the virus and promote healthy habits.
  • Vermont PBS has partnered with the Vermont Agency of Education to provide At Home Learning, for continuity of learning for Vermont students and school communities during the COVID-19 outbreak, allowing Vermont teachers and students access to free educational resources via television broadcast throughout the duration of school closures.
  • As a special service to our community, our beloved Mister Chris brings his “Music For Sprouts” classes to your home with free daily outings everyone can join from inside. Gather your own little live wires and strike up the band weekdays at 10:00 am on the Music For Sprouts Facebook Page then join us afterward with free on-demand episodes of Mister Chris and Friends and video extras!
  • THE MISTER CHRIS AND FRIENDS FAMILY HOUR - When the chaos of the day is done, now it's time to have some fun. Structure may feel like a lost cause right now, with families juggling remote working, at home learning, and waaaaay out of whack sleep and mealtime schedules. Mister Chris And Friends is here to help! Thursday evenings at 6 PM, grab the fam and snuggle up for the Mister Chris And Friends Family Hour, a half hour episode of learning, exploration, and fun for the entire family! When the episode wraps, you'll be redirected to the Vermont PBS Facebook page where you'll join Mister Chris Live for 30 minutes of real-time music and calm, live from his Bread & Butter Farm.

In this constantly evolving crisis, we will be exploring ways to expand our role as helpers. You can find those updates on this page. We’ll be here with you for as long as it takes. In the meantime, take good care.

Your neighbors at Vermont PBS

Meet the Helpers

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

We know it can be a scary time for families as normal routines are disrupted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a great time to talk to children about what is happening, and empower them to be helpers to keep each other healthy.

In the words of Mister Rogers: "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.”

Meet the Helpers

Wearing a Mask Helps Stop the Spread of Germs

You can be a germ buster by wearing a cloth mask. Learn more about how a mask can keep you healthy.

Meet the Helpers

How an Epidemiologist Helps

Meet an epidemiologist and see how these disease detectives are working to help the spread of the Coronavirus.

Meet the Helpers

What is Coronavirus?

A doctor helper explains the coronavirus and how children can be good helpers.

Meet the Helpers

Explaining Social Distancing

Social distancing is necessary to stay healthy from coronavirus, but can be difficult for children to understand.

Meet the Helpers

How to Talk to Children

Here are some tips for how parents can talk to their children about coronavirus.

Meet the Helpers

Be a Helper

We can all be helpers. Here are a few tips!

Meet the Helpers

What is a Virus?

Explaining a virus to children in a way they can understand, can help stop the spreading of germs.

Meet the Helpers

Coronavirus Dos & Don'ts for Parents

A few do's &don'ts for families during the coronavirus outbreak.

Meet the Helpers

Wash Your Hands

Be a good helper and remember to wash your hands often!!

Top Three Tips for Families:

  1. Talk about feelings & facts
    Be open and honest with children by sharing age-appropriate facts. Yes, people are getting sick, but it's like a cold or a flu. We have doctors to help make you feel better if anyone gets sick.
  2. Make children feel safe
    Children worry and pick up on emotions from those around them. Make sure they know they are in a safe space and lots of helpers are working to keep everyone safe.
  3. Be germ busters
    The best way to help is to develop and reinforce good hygiene routines. Make sure your family is doing these four things:
Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands
  • Hands should be washed before and after every meal and snack.
  • Hands should also be washed after coughing or sneezing and after going to the bathroom.
  • Hands should be washed with soap & water for at least 20 seconds or to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Catch that Cough

  • Try not to have children cough or sneeze into their hands.
  • Make sure children cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw that into the trash.

Rest is Best

  • Daniel Tiger reminds us when you're sick, rest is best.
  • Remind them that it's important we protect ourselves from germs to keep us and our friends healthy, so staying home may be best for now.

Make Others Feel Better

  • This is a great time to get crafty and make get well cards for friends or family.
  • Explore technology like video chats to help children say hello to their friends & family.

Additional Resources

Happy, Healthy Kids

Happy, Healthy Kids is a digital series that teaches kids how to stay healthy. Videos teach children about healthy snacks, different ways to do physical activity as well as how to approach feelings and other ways to stay healthy.

Videos are designed with children in mind. View them now.