March 29, 2018

Play Booklet for City Released

Remake Learning and Root+All released a play booklet titled, “If Kids Built a City” that details the importance of play being built into the city of Pittsburgh, from parks and museums to doctor’s offices.

Featured is the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, which supports and is dedicated to advancing play within the city. Initiatives like the Hazelwood Play Trail are helping to rectify “play deserts”, allowing kids to play in any neighborhood. At Trying Together, we work to help educators get creative with our Play Academy, teaching developmentally appropriate practices to learning through play. Additionally, our Imagination Playgrounds use soft, blue blocks to let children create a playground anywhere they imagine.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” -Fred Rogers

To learn more about play spaces in Pittsburgh, download the full booklet.


March 28, 2018

Mayor Issues Executive Order for Lactation Rooms

Mayor William Peduto issued an Executive Order on March 28, 2018 requiring the Office of Management and Budget to consider the installation of lactation rooms during major renovations and new construction of City facilities.

In April of 2015, the City announced the opening of two lactation facilities – one in the City-County Building (414 Grant St.) and the other located in the John P. Robin Civic Building (200 Ross Street). In August of 2017, then-Councilman Gilman was awarded by the Allegheny County Health Department “The Breastfeeding Friendly Place” award for these achievements.

“It is critical that we promote gender equity in the City of Pittsburgh, specifically in our facilities. I believe that all mothers in Pittsburgh deserve a safe, sanitary, and private place to breastfeed and pump breast milk for their children. These spaces should be available for both employees of the City and guests of our various facilities,” said Mayor Peduto.

Read the full Order here.


March 27, 2018

State Rep. Frank Dermody Advocates for More Pre-school Education Funding

State Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, visited a pre-k classroom at All Kids are Special in New Kensington on Monday to advocate for increased funding.

“The state House minority leader, Dermody helped secure extra grant funding for the preschool last year, which allowed them to offer enrollment for 19 more children as part of the Pre-K Counts Program. A roundtable discussion and tour of the facility was planned by nonprofit organization Trying Together, and included representatives from other organizations, including the United Way, private companies, and staff from the facility.”

Increased funding would give more children access to high-quality pre-kindergarten education. As Rep. Dermody stated, “It’s pay now or pay later. These programs do work.”

via TribLive


March 22, 2018

Apply Today and be a Part of the 2018 P.R.I.D.E. Pop Up Mini Art Festivals

Apply now for a PAID opportunity to participate in an exciting project aimed at building positive racial identity.

Educators and Artists will each receive a $1,055 stipend for full participation (cross training and festivals), plus a $400 materials budget for artists.

The PRIDE Pop Ups are small, half-day mini art festivals hosted in three Pittsburgh communities: East Liberty, Homewood, and the Hill District. At the festival, artists and educators engage young children (ages 3 to 8) and their families in hands-on activities.

To apply:

  • Must be available for all 3 Pop Ups, and the cross training session;
  • Open to early childhood educators working with children from Pre-K to 3rd grade and Africana artists across a variety of disciplines;
  • Educators working in any setting, from schools to centers to home child care, and in any neighborhood are encouraged to apply, though working in East Liberty, Homewood, or the Hill District is certainly a bonus.

Share this flyer with your networks.

Apply today!


March 15, 2018

William H. Isler to Receive 2018 VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award

Help us congratulate Mr. Isler for his work as a VOICE for children.

Before becoming president and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company, he began his career as a teacher and administrator. He then served the Pennsylvania Department of Education as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Education, Commissioner of Basic Education and Senior Program Adviser for Early Childhood Education before joining TFRC staff in 1984.

In 2005, he became the first Executive Director of The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, and served in that position for three years. Under his leadership, TFRC continued to produce the award-winning Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the longest running children’s program on PBS, while expanding into the development of training materials for individuals who work with children.

He served as Treasurer for The National Association for the Education of Young Children, was a member of the Pittsburgh Public School Board for sixteen years and served as President of the Board for five years.

The VOICE for Children celebration dinner is an annual event held by PennAEYC, meant to celebrate the hard work of individuals in the early childhood education field. This year’s celebration is to be held on Friday, April 13th, from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. Tickets and hotel reservations can be purchased online.


March 14, 2018

Annual Celebration Dinner: Registration Open

Join us for our Annual Celebration Dinner as we honor early care and education professionals for the important work they do daily.

Guests will enjoy dinner, prizes, William (Bill) Strickland of Manchester Bidwell Corporation as the keynote speaker, and an evening with colleagues.

This year we will honor early childhood advocate and professional Miss Pat Cobbs (posthumously).

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
5:00–7:30 p.m.
Carnegie Museum of Art

Tickets may be purchased for $12, or tables of 10 for $100. For questions please contact Sharon at

For more information on Month of The Young Child activities in April visit this page.


March 13, 2018

Apply to the Board Watch Academy

Be a part A+ Schools’ Board Watch Academy, and learn what it takes to observe and evaluate the School Board. 

The Board Watch Academy is a volunteer program designed for Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg residents to get a better understanding of the work of the Pittsburgh School Directors.

Applicants should show a strong interest in:

  • Learning more about the school board;
  • Understanding how to use data to monitor district strategies;
  • Learning how governance impacts educational equity and school quality;
  • Understanding how voters hold school board members accountable.

The commitment level includes monthly training at the A+ office and attendance at School Board meetings. Participants will evaluate the Board based on several metrics that evaluate how the board prioritizes equity in its decisions to include transparency and good governance practices.

Trainings will include:

  • School Board 101
  • Measuring Academic Progress
  • District and State Budgets
  • Equity Strategies
  • Equity and the CBA
  • How to Run for School Board

This cohort will run from July 2018 – December 2018.

Interested applicants should apply via email with an introductory note to Graham Mulqueen at


March 8, 2018

Early Math Knowledge Related to Later Achievement

“A longitudinal study conducted by Vanderbilt has found that children’s math knowledge in preschool is related to their later achievement—but not all types of math knowledge were related equally.

The findings suggest that educators and school administrators should consider which areas of math study they shift attention to as they develop curricula for the early years.”

Read the full report from Vanderbilt. 


Intentional Teaching Makes the Biggest Impact on Early Childhood Outcomes

“A comprehensive review of research on several measures of the quality of early childhood education suggests that the instructional practices of preschool teachers have the largest impact on young children’s academic and social skills. The review helps untangle a complicated knot of factors that affect young children.”

Read the full article via the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute


What America Needs Now is Mr. Rogers

“I grew up with the wonders of public television. Shows like “Sesame Street” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” not only entertained me, but were also the building blocks of my education and the cornerstone of my childhood, teaching me all about numbers and spelling and even life skills like manners and how to make friends.”

Read the full story at CNN