May 31, 2018

Free Safety Training for Pittsburgh ECE Professionals

In partnership with Trying Together the City of Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office, and Department of Public Safety will host a FREE professional development opportunity for early care and education professionals who live or work in Pittsburgh as part of the City’s commitment to young children.

The training will be held at NOVA Place in the Northside at CoLab18 in Suite 100. Lunch will be provided and certification cards provided for FREE. Street parking at paid meters and in an adjacent paid garage is available.

The training will include: Pediatric CPR / First Aid & AED: Six Hours (6) (9-3pm) Fire Safety: One Hour (1) (3-4pm)

Space is limited and only 50 registrants will be accepted. Questions? Contact Kim Zimmerman at


May 30, 2018

Let’s Play Everywhere Challenge

Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! have announced the, “Let’s Play Everywhere Challenge”, a design competition taking place in Allegheny County.

10 grantees will be selected to receive a combined total of $200,000 in prize funds to develop new ideas to make play more accessible for kids and families. The “Let’s Play Everywhere Challenge” is about creating opportunities for free, unstructured, unplanned play. It is about ensuring all kids, no matter where they come from or where they live, get the active play they need to thrive.

June 29 – Early Bird Idea Form Deadline

August 10 – Idea Form Deadline

September 21 – Final Application Deadline for Top Candidates

Week of November 12 – Winner Notification

November 2018 – October 2019 – Implementation

Apply and learn more.


Our Kids. Our Commitment.

The Our kids. Our commitment. Allegheny County Children’s Fund Initiative, a citizen-led effort to transform the way Allegheny County funds programs that are proven to ensure the wellbeing of children across the county was launched May 29, 2018.

By using the voter referendum process, this group will work to collect more than 40,000 signatures to qualify a question for the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election ballot that would allow Allegheny County voters the opportunity to show their commitment to the region’s kids by voting the Allegheny County Children’s Fund into law.

Our kids. Our commitment. seeks to change the way the county funds efforts that are proven to ensure the health and wellbeing of kids across the county. Three specific areas proven to yield strong benefits for children and the community at large include: early childhood education, after school programs and good nutrition.

Kids who attend pre-k are more likely to succeed in school and life, while saving families, schools and tax payers money. After school programs increase school attendance, reduce drug use, and help fuel children’s passions while keeping kids and neighborhoods safe. Hunger affects learning, growth, and development. One out of every six children in Allegheny County faces hunger.

The Allegheny County Home Rule Charter and state law permit the residents of Allegheny County to amend the Charter by using the voter referendum process to qualify a question for an election ballot.

To qualify a question for the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election ballot, the Our kids. Our commitment. team will circulate petitions bearing the question (See addendum 2) and work to collect more than 40,000 signatures from Allegheny County voters, between June 19 and Aug. 7. Once the required number of signatures are obtained and submitted to the Allegheny County Elections Department, the question will be added to the General Election ballot on Nov. 6. If a simple majority of voters vote ‘yes,’ then the measure would pass.

If passed, the Allegheny County Children’s Fund will be established through a 0.25 millage rate increase to property taxes – an additional $25 annually on each $100,000 of assessed value. The average market value for a home in Allegheny County is approximately $137,000. For the average homeowner in Allegheny County, the increase would be less than $30 per year, including the Homestead Exemption. A 0.25 millage rate increase would generate approximately $18 million annually in revenue for the fund.

Those interested in a paid position to assist with the petitioning should e-mail their name and the best phone number to reach them at to

Learn more about the initiative and how you can support it today.


May 21, 2018

Advance Developmentally Appropriate Practice

The framework and philosophy of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) when teaching young children is based on available knowledge about learning and development that occurs from birth to age nine.

While early learning professionals base their interactions with children on these principles, other adults who interact with young children may not be familiar with this information. To support better understanding of DAP and increase the quality of early learning environments for young children, the Pittsburgh-area nonprofit Trying Together publicly released its second white paper on the subject.

“This document will be a resource for anyone who wants to have positive interactions with the young children in their lives,” said Cara Ciminillo, Trying Together Executive Director. “Our hope is to encourage and inform all adults about DAP.”

The Trying Together white paper entitled, “Advance Developmentally Appropriate Practice” provides researched recommendations on DAP which include:

  • changing policies for state licensing and training for principals;
  • establishing a professional learning system to connect early educators with teachers in grades K – 3;
  • emphasizing the importance of positive interactions between children and caregivers;
  • creating recess policies;
  • educating and engaging families; and
  • conducting more research that highlights the benefits of play.  

As lead organization for the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, we emphasize the critical need for play at any age, but know it is particularly important for young children,” said Ciminillo. “In Pittsburgh we are fortunate to have many opportunities for play, such as those highlighted in the recent publication from Remake Learning called, “If Kids Built A City.”

The full DAP white paper is available for reading and download at

A one-page guide for families is also available for reading and download at



May 18, 2018

Ultimate Play Day

For the sixth year, the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative will celebrate Ultimate Play Day.

Each year the Collaborative provides this day of free, family-friendly activities at varying locations in the Pittsburgh area. This year, the Collaborative and its member organizations will hold the Ultimate Play Day on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at August Wilson Park, 1803 Cliff Street from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. as part of Remake Learning Days.

“We are so excited to bring the Ultimate Play Day to the Hill District community for our sixth anniversary. We have more than 20 providers signed on with more committing every week to provide hands-on play experiences,” said Sarah Siplak, Director of Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative.

The PPC is dedicated to advancing the importance of play in the lives of children, families, and communities in the Pittsburgh region and works to:

● Raise awareness that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages
● Educate decision-makers (from parents to legislators) in our region so that their choices
support access to play for all people
● Model (and inspire) through various activities the actions we hope our broader community will
take in their daily lives

Learn more about Ultimate Play Day and the Collaborative.




May 15, 2018

“Why Making Music Matters: Singing, Playing, Moving, and Sharing in the Early Years”

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute released “Why Making Music Matters: Singing, Playing, Moving, and Sharing in the Early Years”. This paper presents research on the importance of music as it relates to early childhood development, and the ways in which parents, caregivers, educators, and important decision makers can implement music into everyday life and programs.

Download the full paper.  


May 14, 2018

Win Pirates Game Tickets for May 25

Trying Together is giving away two sets of eighteen (18) tickets to the Pittsburgh Pirates v. St. Louis Cardinals game on Friday, May 25 at 7:05 p.m. at PNC Park via a social media contest.

To enter, “tag” Trying Together with a picture or video showing how your classroom or child care center is adding more physical activity using the hashtag #TryingToGetActive in the post or tweet:

Facebook: use @TryingTogether
Twitter: use @Trying_Together

The contest runs Monday, May 14 – Friday, May 18. Two random winners will be selected and announced Monday, May 21, 2018.

By submitting a picture/video for the contest, you give Trying Together permission to re-post online. Winners must commit to using all 18 tickets. Transporation and other costs are not coordinated or included with this offer. Tickets must be picked-up during normal business hours at Trying Together’s home office at 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15217 by Noon on Friday, May 25.

Share this flyer with your networks. 


May 10, 2018

Project LAUNCH Sheds Light on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Project LAUNCH is celebrating National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day by releasing important materials to help the community shed light on the importance of mental well-being in children.

They released a packet centered around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Social & Emotional Learning (SEL), and you can register for the  May 14 webinar: “Teaching trauma-informed practices to students and residents in health care fields”.

Discover more on Project LAUNCH’s website, and be a part of a movement to help children succeed.



May 9, 2018

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Report Shows Impact of Pre-K

$3.2 BIL is spent each year in Pennsylvania on state corrections. The message is clear: pay now or pay much more later.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a report that outlines the consequences lack of access to high-quality early learning environments has long-term.  The report entitled, Pre-K Key to Cutting Pennsylvania Prison Costs and Boosting School Success recommends sufficient investment in pre-kindergarten to curb law enforcement expenses and negative outcomes for children, adults, and communities.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is also urging the General Assembly to support proposed increases of $30 MIL for Pre-K Counts and $1o MIL for Head Start so an additional 4,400 children can be served by high-quality, publicly funded pre-k in Pennsylvania.

To learn more visit


May 8, 2018

Gov. Wolf Announces Funding for Pittsburgh School and Sidewalk Safety Programs

The City of Pittsburgh was awarded more than $1.4 million in state transportation funding today in support of school and sidewalk safety initiatives championed by the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI).

The two initiatives were among 82 transportation projects approved for funding today by Governor Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards to enhance mobility and public accessibility statewide.

Pittsburgh received:

  • $464,011 to hire a full-time Safe Routes to School coordinator to increase safe walking and bicycling opportunities for city students, purchase and distribute safety items (helmets, lights, reflectors); and expand the after school bike program.
  • $980,000 to enhance pedestrian safety and access by constructing sidewalks within critical gaps throughout the city.


Read the full press release online via the Office of the Mayor.