June 26, 2018

Our Kids. Our Commitment. Campaign Free Notary Dates

Get your OKOC petitions notarized for free! Circulators can get their petitions notarized during the following days/times*:

  • Friday June 29 –  8:30am to 9:30am
  • Tuesday July 3 – 8:30am to 9:30am
  • Tuesday July 10 – 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Tuesday July 17 – 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Tuesday, July 24 – 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Thursday, July 26 – 7:30am to 8:30am
  • Thursday, August 2 – 7:30am to 8:30am
  • Monday, August 6 – 5:00pm to 6:00pm

519 Penn Avenue
Turtle Creek, PA 15145
Yellow Brick Building
Human Services Center Front Desk

Don’t live nearby? Keep an eye out on OKOC’s website for more upcoming events. 

*As a reminder: everyone with a petition is encouraged to turn them in every two weeks no matter how many signatures they have so they can be continually processed.


June 25, 2018

$25MIL Increase for Pre-K Classes

Leaders in Harrisburg recently aproved a $25 million investment in pre-k programs in the 2018-19 Pennsylvania state budget.

As part of the budget agreement, Governor Wolf, along with Republican and Democrat legislators made a wise investment in Pennsylvania’s early education system and prioritized the state’s youngest learners. While the 2018-19 Pennsylvania state budget grew by just 1.7%, leaders in Harrisburg grew high-quality pre-k funding by 11%, high-quality child care services grew by 4%, and home visiting by an impressive, and much needed, 33%.

The 2018-19 spending plan included the following expanded investments in early learning:

  • Increases in Pre-K Counts investment: $20 million
  • Increases investment in Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program: $5 million
  • Increases investment in Child Care Services: $6.8 million
  • New investment in home visiting programs: $6.735 million

Still more than 106,000 eligible children do not have access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k due to limited state funding. This budget increase will allow access to thousands of 3- and 4-year-old students in the upcoming school year. It is a step in the right direction, but we still have much work to be done as Pennsylvania lags far behind neighboring states. Today, Pennsylvania ranks 18th of the 30 states investing in high-quality, publicly funded pre-k. New Jersey is spending five times more per capita than PA, and West Virginia has had universal access for pre-k aged kids since 2012.

This year’s budget is testament to the fact that Governor Wolf, along with Republican and Democrat legislators, understand their constituents’ priorities.


June 21, 2018

Share Your Opinions with Kidsburgh – Take Their Survey Now

Kidsburgh is a publication dedicated to Pittsburgh families. They offer guides to local events and activities, explore local resources for family issues, and share good news about Pittsburgh kids.

Help improve their publication with a brief survey about what interests you and your family! The information you share will help shape their editorial stories and community outreach.

All surveys completed by June 26 will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 10 vouchers (each good for admission for four) to a Washington Wild Things baseball game.

Take the survey now! 


Center on the Developing Child Statement on Separation of Families

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., Founding Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has released a statement on the impact to healthy development for young children separated from their families at the United States’ border.

Dr. Shonkoff states that based on the available understanding of decades of research, healthy brains develop through consistent, stable, responsive, and supportive relationships with at least one caregiver. He further notes that high and persistent levels of stress can disrupt this brain development as well as other biological systems having severely negative impacts on learning, behavior, and physical and mental health throughout the child’s life. Dr. Shonkoff calls for immediate reunification.

“Stated simply, each day we fail to return these children to their parents, we compound the harm and increase its lifelong consequences.”

To read Dr. Shonkoff’s full statement and for resources related to family separation visit


June 19, 2018

Help Immigrant Children in Pittsburgh

Holy Family Institute is currently hosting 50 immigrant children until they can be reunited with their families. Donations are currently being accepted online or can be mailed to 8325 Ohio River Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA, 15202. Items are requested for children ages four to 14-years-old and include gift cards, suitcases, swimming supplies, and more.

For a full list of donation requests visit

Those wishing to help in person must attend a federally-mandated, 60-hour training. The next training begins July 9 and runs for a two-week period from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Bi-lingual volunteers who speak English and Spanish fluently are preferred.

Contact Lynn Guerra at if you’re interested in volunteering.



June 18, 2018

Call Congress and #KeepFamiliesTogether

What is going on at our border is shameful. Take action now and call Congress.

  • Senator Pat Toomey: 412-803-3501 (Pittsburgh); 202-224-4254 (Washington D.C.)
  • Senator Bob Casey: 412-803-7370 (Pittsburgh); 202-224-6324 (Washington D.C.)
  • Congressman Keith Rothfus: 412-837-1361 (Pittsburgh); 724-359-1626 (Beaver)
  • Congressman Connor Lamb: (412) 344-5583 (Pittsburgh) (202) 225-2301 (Washington D.C.)
  • Congressman Mike Doyle: 412-390-1499 (Pittsburgh) 202-225-2135 (Washington D.C.)

Your two Senators and one Representative are in the best position to force the administration to abandon this new policy of separating kids from their families at the border. If you don’t call them, they don’t know that people are paying attention to this issue. Tell them that you will call back regularly for updates on this issue (and then call back!).

Also, tell them that this issue is so important to you, that if they do not act, you will actively work to get someone else elected instead of them. #KeepFamiliesTogether

Photo Credit: AP


Sign The Petition for Allegheny County Kids

The steering committee of, “Our Kids. Our Commitment.” believes that by giving Allegheny County kids every opportunity to succeed, the region will have a brighter future. Together, they will pursue legislation by using the voter referendum process to qualify a question for the November 6, 2018, General Election ballot.

Join Trying Together and other steering committee members to sign the petition on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for the first sign-on event. More than 40,000 signatures need to be collected between June 19 and August 7, 2018. If the number of signatures is met, the question will go on the ballot, and if a majority vote, “Yes” on November 6, 2018, the measure will pass.

 Learn more at


Action Day 2018

Trying Together is inviting early childhood advocates to contact their legislators on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to remind them their help is needed to build bright futures for children.

Advocates can help by:


June 12, 2018

Free Child Care Approved for City Employees

Mayor William Peduto will sign legislation approved June 12, 2018 by Pittsburgh City Council to provide free, on-site child care for city employees and those attending designated community events.

The legislation will cover the costs of child care at up 15 days per year that the Pittsburgh Public Schools have scheduled closure days but are City of Pittsburgh work days: such days could include in-service days, certain holidays and parent-teacher conference days. Child care on such days would be provided at the City-County Building.

Child care will also be provided at up to 20 citywide community events, such as Capital Budget hearings, as designated by the Mayor’s Office.

The services will be provided under a contract with Flexable LLC, a pop-up child care company, at a cost not to exceed $43,875. All Flexable caregivers have pediatric safety training and state-mandated clearances.

The Mayor submitted the child care legislation to Council on May 21. (shared via the Office of the Mayor)


June 11, 2018

ELRC Transition Community Meetings Scheduled

Pennsylvania families, early care and education professionals, and communities will soon have one point of access for information to support them and the young children they interact with beginning July 2018.

To provide more information regarding the transition to the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) model, several community meetings have been scheduled in surrounding counties between June 18 – 28, 2018.

Interested parties may visit to learn more.