SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
The Educational and Developmental Intervention Services team at the 52nd Fighter Wing is taking the initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a resource to families through a virtual classroom called Wiggles and Giggles.
The playgroup focuses on early intervention and provides information and support to families who have questions or concerns about their child’s development.
“EDIS is comprised of two programs,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Johnny Foster, EDIS flight commander. “Ages birth to age three take the program Early Intervention Services, and our school-age children the Medically Related Services. These unique services ensure children with special needs and their families have access to early intervention and school-based services with access to an audiologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, speech-language pathologist, early childhood special educator, occupational and physical therapist.”
One of the early intervention services that EDIS offers is a playgroup called Wiggles and Giggles.
“The Wiggles and Giggles playgroup is an opportunity for children to participate in movement and music activities with their parents, engage in social play with other children, and develop new skills through music and motor play,” said Erin Shenk, EDIS early childhood special educator. “Classes are tailored to meet the developmental needs of the children based on their age.”
Services were rendered face-to-face before the COVID-19 pandemic, and EDIS now has created a virtual classroom for the Wiggles and Giggles playgroup.
“Virtual classes are open to as many children as would like to participate,” said Shenk. “We want to be able to share resources and activity ideas with families that could help them with keeping the little ones engaged and learning during this time at home.”
The first virtual class started on April 23, 2020, and will continue every Thursday morning until the class can meet in-person again.
“If families would like to join the playgroup and learn helpful tips and ideas for children, all are invited to like our Facebook page: Spangdahlem AB EDIS,” said Shenk. “Families can message us there if they are interested in joining, have any questions about the group, the EDIS program, or if they would like to know more about their child’s development and how to support them in learning new skills.”