December 23, 2020

Understanding the Behavior of Grieving Children

Join the Highmark Caring Place on January 13 for their webinar “The Curious Observer: Understanding the Behavior of Grieving Children” to learn how behaviors can serve as a manifestation of children’s grief.


We often misunderstand grief in children, or mistakenly believe that children do not experience grief at all. Yet, anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve. Because young children and infants experience and respond to grief in unique ways, their grief is not always clear to adults and caregivers. Children’s grief can even be masked for adults because children communicate via their behaviors, such as play.

Since it can be difficult for children to verbally express their complicated and confusing feelings about the death of their loved one, especially during times of grief and loss, it’s important that we understand behaviors such as play as ways of communication. This webinar will discuss how behaviors can serve as a manifestation of children’s grief. As a caring adult, you will learn activities and interactions that can support the children in your life through their grief work.

Featured Topics

During the webinar, participants will:

    • learn how behavior (such as play) is a form of communication for children from birth into adulthood,
    • recognize how behaviors can serve as an expression of a child’s grief, and
    • identify activities and interactions that support children in their grief work.


To register for this event, visit the online registration page.

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November 12, 2020

Make the Most of Learning at Home With PBS KIDS

Are you interested in learning how to develop a learning routine for your family and increase your child’s motivation to learn? Join PBS Kids on November 18 for their online event, “Make the Most of Learning at Home With PBS KIDS.”


With children across the country learning at home, parents and caregivers are facing new challenges. PBS KIDS invites parents and caregivers of children ages five to eight to come together for a discussion with educators, a child psychologist, and fellow parents. Get ideas on how to use PBS KIDS resources to encourage everyday playful learning. Presenters will answer questions and share tips on how you can maintain a strong connection with your child’s school, help your child stay motivated to learn, and develop a learning routine for your family.


To register for this event, visit the PBS Kids website.


October 30, 2020

School’s Out! Challenges and Solutions for School-Age Programs

Are you interested in exploring common challenges and solutions for school-age programs? Join presenters Tracy Galuski, Ph.D., Arlene Rider, Ph.D., and Nadia J. Jones, Ed.D. on November 18 for “School’s Out! Challenges and Solutions for School-Age Programs: Meaningful Activities.”


Professionals who work with school-age children in out-of-school environments often struggle with ways to keep the children engaged in programs that run before and after the structured school day. Children have varied needs, and program staff are often dealing with challenges such as a restrictive environment, mixed groupings, and varied schedules.

Within the context of child development, this webinar offers a child-centered approach to developing activities that engage and enhance the program. Participants will explore a number of common challenges along with some possible solutions that can be adapted and applied in their work. Time for questions will be provided.

Featured Topics

This webinar will:

    • review typical learning centers in school-age programs,
    • explore developmental stages and how child development informs practice, and
    • discuss challenges and solutions related to the environment and activities.


This webinar is best suited for practioneres in before- and after-school programs in a variety of settings. To register, visit the EdWeb website.


Teaching Digital Citizenship Through SEL Skill Building

Did you know that social-emotional learning (SEL) can help develop the skills students need to be empowered digital citizens? Join Carrie Rogers-Whitehead and Joyce Whitby on November 11 for their webinar “Teaching Digital Citizenship Through SEL Skill Building” to learn about this topic more!


This webinar, informed by thousands of direct hours teaching K-12 students digital citizenship, narrows down the most important social-emotional learning (SEL) skills for digital citizenship. It also shares practical ideas and real-life examples to effectively teach those skills to multiple age groups.

Participants will leave with activities and ideas they can use immediately in their classroom and learn more about a different approach to digital citizenship education. Time for questions will be provided.


This webinar is best suited for K-12 teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders. To register, visit the EdWeb website.


October 13, 2020

Remake Learning Days Across America Launch

Are you a Remake Learning Days event host or educational stakeholder who is interested in learning more about Remake Learning Days Across America 2021? Join Remake Learning on Tuesday, October 13 from 7 – 8 p.m. EST for the National Launch!


Remake Learning Days Across America (RLDAA) is an innovative learning festival for families and youth. Hosted in 16 regions across the United States, RLDAA features hands-on and engaging events designed for kids of all ages at libraries, schools, tech centers, museums, play spaces, and more. Most events are free.

This year’s events will run nationally from April 22 – May 23, 2021, and from May 6 – 16, 2021 in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To view all dates and activities, visit the Remake Learning Days webpage.

RLDAA Kickoff Event

If you are an event host or educational stakeholder who is interested in learning more about RLDAA 2021 and celebrating family-engaged learning, join Remake Learning on Tuesday, October 13 from 7 – 8 p.m. EST for the National Launch! The event will feature special guests, hands-on activities, and national and regional partners. To register, visit the event webpage.

More Information

For more information on RLDAA 2021, visit the Remake Learning Days webpage.


September 24, 2020

KidSMART Club At Home Program

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Citiparks will offer its KidSMART Club as an at-home program for children in grades three, four, and five. An option for pre-kindergarten children is also available.


KidSMART Club is an afterschool program developed by Citiparks for children in grades three, four, and five. A pre-k option is also available and is best suited for children ages three to five years old. The program features a series of activities that explore science, math, art, reading, technology, and more! This year, the Club will be offered as an at-home program for 11 weeks with each week offering a new theme of learning.

Themes and Dates

Club members who complete six weeks or more of STEM/STEAM projects will be eligible for a chance to win cool prizes! View the full list of upcoming sessions below.

    • Week 1: Art Explosion, Multimedia Art Studio 
      October 5 – 9, 2020
    • Week 2: Wide World of Sports
      October 12 – 16, 2020
    • Week 3: Urban Adventures
      October 19 – 23, 2020
    • Week 4: DIY Maker Lab, “I Made It With Citiparks”
      October 26 – 30, 2020
    • Week 5: Comic Central
      November 2 – 6, 2020
    • Week 6: X-Treme Science
      November 9 – 13, 2020
    • Week 7: Create With The Masters
      November 16 – 20, 2020
    • Week 8: Junior Chef – Holiday Kit
      November 23 – 27, 2020
    • Week 9: Space Station Pittsburgh
      November 30 – December 4, 2020
    • Week 10: Holidays Around The World
      December 7 – 11, 2020
    • Week 11: KidSMART – Holiday Kit
      December 14 – 18, 2020


Registration is required to participate. When registering, you must select a pickup location for your weekly at-home kits. Kit pickup will occur every Monday (beginning October 5) from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at one of the following Citipark Recreation Center locations:

To register, complete the KidSMART Club Registration Form. This registration reserves your kit for an 11-week period through the end of 2020. Space is limited.

More Information

For more information, visit the KidSMART Club webpage.

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September 8, 2020

STEMIEFest 2020: Virtual Conference

STEMIE is partnering with the Boston Children’s Museum and Bridge Multimedia for the inaugural STEMIEFest and MakerFest. Join them from September 14 – 18, 2020 for a series of STEM-focused virtual events!


STEMIEFest will:

    • convene experts to engage early childhood practitioners in learning about and applying evidence-based practices in STEM and inclusion;
    • excite families, practitioners, and young children in exploring, making, and tinkering through MakerFest;
    • connect participants with authors of STEM-focused books through Storybook Conversations; and
    • showcase STEM activities, STEM games from museums, and organizations from around the nation through Media Cubbies.


To register and learn more, visit the conference Eventbrite page.


August 24, 2020

Early Childhood Garden Education Program Available

Interested in integrating garden and cooking activities into its classroom curriculum? Submit your application today for Grow Pittsburgh and the Sampson Foundation’s Early Childhood Garden Education Program.


Grow Pittsburgh and the Sampson Foundation are offering an Early Childhood Garden Education Program for early childhood centers across the Pittsburgh region. Gardens are outdoor classrooms that are adaptable to most play yards and are designed to fit the space and needs of each center.

The program will integrate garden and cooking activities into the classroom curriculum to support the development and education of the whole child. The partnership aims to support educators in teaching their students how to grow, cook, and eat fresh food while celebrating the cultures and experiences of their families and city. To learn more about the program, view the full description.


To be eligible for this program, early childhood centers must:

    • complete and submit the application (parts 1-6, including photos);
    • be located in Allegheny County;
    • be an early childhood facility (includes: family, group, and center) licensed in Pennsylvania;
    • have at least five organized and motivated people in your garden leadership group (can include staff and parents, but must include at least three teachers interested in supporting the program), exceptions made for smaller facilities;
    • have signatures of support from both the director and head custodian;
    • have a sustainable site for gardening on the property that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day with supporting photos for the completion of Part 3 (Grow Pittsburgh can provide support);
    • have enrollment that includes at least 50 percent of children receiving subsidized funds through CCIS, CACFP, Head Start, or Pre-K Counts.

If your program doesn’t meet these criteria, please submit as much information as possible and program hosts will work to help you in alternative ways.

Submit An Application

To apply, complete and submit the application. Applications can be submitted via email at or postal mail at:

Grow Pittsburgh
6587 Hamilton Ave #2W
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

More Information

For general application questions and assistance, please contact Victoria Thurmond at 678.977.9389 or


May 27, 2020

Virtual Home Visits and Socialization Activities

Are you interested in learning how to plan virtual home visits and socialization activities with families? Join the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL) on June 10 for their webinar, “Planning Virtual Home Visits and Socialization Activities with Families.”


In this webinar, participants will learn how to plan and individualize virtual home visits and socialization activities with families. Presenters will explore effective virtual engagement practices and review available resources to assist participants’ continued work with families. Both

This webinar is best suited for program directors; education managers; home visitors and their supervisors; teachers who are engaging virtually with children and families; and regional T/TA staff who support home visiting programs and home-based program staff. English and Spanish captioning will be available.

Featured Topics

    • Planning a developmentally appropriate virtual home visit as well as socialization activities with families.
    • Exploring tools to increase family engagement in home visits and socialization from a distance.
    • Reviewing resources to support home visitors and their work with families.


To register and learn more, visit the Home Visiting Webinar Series webpage.


May 15, 2020

Changes Made to Summer Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 15, the City of Pittsburgh announced how summer activities will be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While many activities will be allowed, others will be cancelled or postponed. All decisions follow federal and state guidelines.


In a City press release, Mayor William Peduto praised Pittsburgh residents, stating, that “Pittsburgh residents have done a great job during these trying times staying safe and looking out for each other.” However, he recognized that the battle against COVID-19 is far from over, and social distancing and other measures must remain in place to win this fight.

With a larger number of residents venturing outdoors as the weather warms, the City has outlined lists of activities that will or will not be permitted during the pandemic. Decisions on closures and activities may be revisited as pandemic circumstances and federal and state guidelines change.

Permitted Summer Activities

Activities that can safely comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing guidelines will be allowed. Permitted activities include the following:

    • Drive-in movies (by the Special Events office)
    • Farmers Markets
    • Pickup of bulk trash
    • Road closures in City parks (more information below)
    • Tennis courts (singles matches encouraged)
    • Pickleball courts (singles matches encouraged)
    • Skate parks
    • Fields (but not for organized group sports)
    • Frisbee Golf
    • Lawn Bowling
    • Bocce
    • Expanded summer food program (likely to begin June 15)

City crews are working to reopen facilities starting May 15 and will continue their work into next week. Drive-in movies organized by the Special Events office will begin June 13. More information will be released later. Farmer’s Markets will begin June 3 in Carrick and begin in other neighborhoods thereafter. Social distancing and safe purchasing requirements will be in place.

Non-Permitted Summer Activities

Large group events that cannot safely comply with social distancing will not be allowed. Non-permitted activities include the following:

    • July 4 fireworks
    • City-sponsored concerts
    • 5Ks, the Great Race and other races (though they can be held virtually)
    • Summer Camps
    • Citiparks summer youth baseball
    • Summer Line Dancing
    • Pistons in the Park

Playgrounds, park shelters, and spray parks will remain closed until further notice. Swimming pools (including the Oliver Bath House) will also remain closed. While the CDC says that swimming itself is safe, the guidelines require at least six feet of distance between users and no more than ten people would be allowed at any time. It has been determined that city pool waiting areas, locker rooms, and lounging areas are too cramped to allow for appropriate distancing under these guidelines.

Activities To Be Determined

Final decisions on other activities and facilities have not yet been made, including decisions on the following:

    • Recreation centers
    • Senior Healthy Active Living centers
    • Block party permits
    • Mellon Tennis Bubble
    • Art Cart
    • Water fountains and water features
    • Park restrooms
    • Organized group sports including deck hockey, soccer, baseball, and basketball

DOMI Task Force

The City Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) has established a task force to study methods of using some streets and sidewalks to allow for safe recreation and business activity. Its recommendations will be issued soon. In the meantime, plans are underway to close some streets in City parks to vehicular traffic. No timetables are yet set, but plans are for the following closures:

More Information

For more information, read the full press release.

*Information provided by the City of Pittsburgh