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EDIS helping to release wiggles and giggles during COVID-19

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Employees from Educational and Developmental Intervention Services host the virtual Wiggles and Giggles program at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 21, 2020. EDIS helps to correct delays in children's speech, motor, emotional or cognitive skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Branden Rae)

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Miles and his mom participate in the virtual Wiggles and Giggles program hosted by Educational and Developmental Intervention Services at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 28, 2020. This virtual program is offered once a week for two different age brackets between six months and four years old, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Branden Rae)

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Erin Shenk, Educational and Developmental Intervention Services early childhood special educator, and Kelly Wilson, EDIS speech language pathologist, perform an activity during the virtual Wiggles and Giggles program hosted by EDIS at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 21, 2020. Virtual classes are open, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to any number of participants and they currently have 21 families connected to the program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Branden Rae)

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Erin Shenk, Educational and Developmental Intervention Services early childhood special educator, reads a book to participants during the virtual Wiggles and Giggles program hosted by EDIS at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 21, 2020. This playgroup provides an interactive opportunity to build language, play, social and motor skills while keeping distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Branden Rae)

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Erin Shenk, Educational and Developmental Intervention Services early childhood special educator, shows the next activity during the virtual Wiggles and Giggles program hosted by EDIS at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 21, 2020. Classes are created to meet the developmental needs of the children attending. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Branden Rae)

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.”