News

January 20, 2021

Preparing for ECE Advocacy in 2021

Are you interested in learning about newly elected state legislators, the budget process, and forthcoming policy agenda priorities? Join Trying Together on January 20 for our free virtual workshop, “Connections and Conversations: Preparing for ECE Advocacy in 2021.”

About

Connections and Conversations Virtual Check-Ins are interactive sessions that highlight topics of interest to the field of early childhood education. This conversation will focus on preparing professionals to advocate for early childhood education (ECE) investments and policy priorities in the new year.

Instructors will discuss newly elected state legislators in our region and how to best inform them about the needs of the early learning field. The instructor will also provide foundational knowledge on the beginning stages of the budget process – the Governor’s budget address. Finally, the instructor will discuss forthcoming policy agenda priorities and how participants can be more involved as advocates for their profession.

Session Details

    • Session Date: Wednesday, January 20  |  6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    • Instructors: Emily Neff
    • Core Knowledge Area: Professional and Leadership
    • CDA Content Area: Maintaining Professionalism
    • Registration Deadline: Monday, January 18, 2021

Registration

To register, visit the course PD Registry page. Space is limited. Participants will receive the course Zoom link via email within 24 hours before the start date for the course. PQAS credit will be available.

If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact pdregistry@pakeys.org for more information.

Session Rules and Guidelines

These virtual discussions are designed to provide educators the opportunity to grow professionally and share knowledge on early childhood topics. During the meeting, participants should follow the guidelines below to ensure a successful virtual meeting for all participants.

    • Please allow all participants a chance to speak. Listen respectfully and actively.
    • Commit to learning about each other, not to debating the topic.
    • Embrace differences of opinion as healthy and support each person’s authentic self-expression.
    • Participants will be muted for the beginning portion of the session.
    • Participants may use the “Raise Hand” feature in Zoom to request an opportunity to comment or ask a question. Individuals will be temporarily unmuted by the moderator.
    • Participants may type a comment or question in the Chat or may send comments or questions directly to the moderator for them to share.
    • To receive PQAS credit, you must complete an evaluation at the end of the session and include your PD Registry number.
    • Have fun, make connections, and engage in the conversations!

More Information

For questions or more information, contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org.

News

January 18, 2021

Free Virtual PD Sessions Available

Are you interested in learning about a range of early childhood topics? Join Trying Together for our free virtual professional development sessions. This list features courses from Trying Together’s public offerings, Connections and Conversations series, and Virtual UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion.

Available Sessions

    • Transition and Educational Support in the Early Childhood Environment
      Thursday, January 21, 2021  |  6:30 – 8 p.m.

      This workshop will provide an overview of the early intervention process, as children age out of the Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Program and transition into Preschool Early Intervention Support. Presenters will provide practical examples and resources of ways to support children and families through the transition process, as well as ways to adapt the preschool classroom environment in order for all children to be successful.

    • Creating and Building Inclusive Support Teams for Children
      Friday, January 22, 2021  |  10 – 11:30 a.m.

      When thinking about what a team/collaboration approach looks like when working with children and families we must be open to asking the following questions: Why is it important to build a team for a child(ren)? What does the team/collaboration approach look like? Who and what do we need on the team/collaboration? How do we work and communicate as a team? In this workshop, join us for a robust discussion and learn strategies for creating an inclusive team to support your children.

    • How to Assess Your Students Needs: Using the ASQ through the Lens of Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Program
      Tuesday, January 26, 2021  |  1:30 – 3 p.m.

      Through the expertise of the Infant Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) program, participants will receive an overview of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires with a particular emphasis on assessing children’s social and emotional development. Attendees will learn how to administer and score the screener and share the results of the screener with families and professional colleagues. Recommendations for suggested resources will be shared if additional services are needed.

    • Overview of Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Services in Allegheny County Referral Through Transitioning Out of 0-3 Services
      Wednesday, January 27, 2021  |  10 – 11:30 a.m.

      Presenters will discuss how the child’s 0-3 Early Intervention (EI) team collaborates with families and child care staff so that all have an understanding of how the EI system in Allegheny County operates and supports children. This session will give an overview of how children are referred and become part of the EI system. Information will include how a child is referred, eligibility criteria, evaluation process, service planning, and implementation along with transitioning out of 0-3 services.

    • Catering to The Whole Classroom: Lesson Development and Implementation That Speaks to Every Child
      Friday, January 29, 2021  |  10 – 11:30 a.m.

      There is not one lesson in any learning environment that is one size fits all. It is the educator’s responsibility to develop ways in which a lesson can benefit every child in a classroom. This workshop examines strategies for planning and implementing inclusive activities for children of varying developmental levels. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills by dissecting a pre-made lesson and sharing ideas and strategies of accommodation that can be applied in their setting.

    • Financial Literacy 101: Part One
      Thursday, February 4, 2021  |  6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

      In partnership with financial experts, Trying Together will provide finance basics and beyond through a series of professional growth sessions. These sessions will allow participants to interact directly with a finance expert and develop a stronger understanding of basic financial concepts, including topics related to managing personal finance, money, borrowing, and investing. This session is an opportunity to discuss the value of financial literacy for educators, child care directors, and child care owners.

    • Financial Literacy 101: Part Two
      Thursday, February 11, 2021  |  6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

      In partnership with financial experts, Trying Together will provide finance basics and beyond through a series of professional growth sessions. These sessions will allow participants to interact directly with a finance expert and develop a stronger understanding of basic financial concepts, including topics related to managing personal finance, money, borrowing, and investing. This session is an opportunity to discuss the value of financial literacy for educators, child care directors, and child care owners.

Registration

To register, please use the hyperlinked event titles above. Some registrations will take place on the PD Registry. If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact pdregistry@pakeys.org.

More Information

For questions about Trying Together’s professional development services, please contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org.

News

December 1, 2020

GivingTuesday 2020

Join Trying Together, your neighbors, and the global community on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, in celebrating kindness, collaboration, and generosity. Join us in #GivingTogether this #GivingTuesday.

What Is GivingTuesday?

First established in 2012, GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. It’s also an opportunity for people to stand together in unity—to use their individual power of generosity to support and champion the organizations and causes they care about.

Why Should You Participate?

2020 has been a difficult year, and it has been especially difficult for our nation’s families. Due to job loss, financial strain, education challenges, and limited access to child care, families have been working tirelessly to make ends meet and support the learning and development of their children. However, they cannot do it alone.

That’s why Trying Together’s mission to reinforce the work of early childhood is more important than ever before. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trying Together has:

    • mobilized our advocates to ensure child care businesses receive the emergency funds they need to stay in business and provide services to families;
    • distributed critical health and safety supplies to early learning programs that serve essential workers and their families;
    • developed an online search tool to assist essential workers and families with quickly finding and choosing early learning programs that meet their needs;
    • created an online community for families to connect, discuss, and support one another in their care and education planning for the 2020-21 school year; and
    • curated comprehensive COVID-19 resource lists online, one of which is for families and caregivers and the other for early care and education professionals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and after, Trying Together will continue to develop our programs, resources, and services to meet the needs of our communities. Will you join us in this work by showing your support on GivingTuesday?

What You Can Do

We all have gifts to give, and thanks to social media, online giving, mail, and phones, there are limitless ways to use your generosity to reinforce the early childhood field. For examples of how you can give this giving season, see the list below!

Submit A Donation

If you would like to support Trying Together’s work directly, consider submitting a financial donation! We appreciate donations of any size. However, for those looking for recommended amounts, Trying Together has identified the following tiers:

    • Early Childhood Supporter ($60)
    • Early Childhood Sustainer ($120)
    • Early Childhood Champion ($1,000)

Thanks to the generosity of Trying Together’s Board of Directors, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2,000. Help us secure these matched dollars by donating!

Share Your Story

When you think of a good teacher, who do you think of? Take time this GivingTuesday to thank that person via social media, phone, or email and let them know how their work has positively impacted your life or the life of your child.

SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Join the larger community in celebrating gratitude by posting your thank you message, picture, or video on social media using #GiveThanks or #GivingTogether.

    • Example: I’d like to say thank you to @amymiller for the wonderful work she’s been doing to support my child’s learning and healthy development! Ashton still can’t stop talking about the caterpillar craft he did last month! 🐛🦋 #GiveThanks #GivingTuesday

2. Set a goal for how many educators you’d like to thank this giving season and share it out on social media using #GiveThanks or #GivingTogether!

    • Example: This #GivingTuesday, I’m celebrating gratitude by thanking three early learning professionals who have had a positive impact on my life and child. Will you join me? #GiveThanks 📞💌

#GivingTuesday is on December 1 this year and to celebrate, I’d like to #GiveThanks to the early learning professionals who work tirelessly to make sure my child is safe, supported, and cared for. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you!CLICK TO TWEET

PHONE OR EMAIL

If you have their phone number or email, contact your early learning professional and let them know how much you appreciate the work they do to support your family.

Share Our Fundraising Page

Another great way to support Trying Together is by sharing our fundraising page with your network. To help get you started, we have created a GivingTuesday Social Media Toolkit that features sample social media posts and more!

More Information

For questions, please contact Trying Together at info@tryingtogether.org.

News

November 23, 2020

2018-2020 Community Report Now Available

In 2018 Trying Together rebranded and embarked on its Strategic Roadmap. Now two-years in, Trying Together pauses to reflect on what has been accomplished, what still needs to be done, and what has changed in the midst of these turbulent times in the 2018 – 2020 Trying Together Community Report. Moving forward, Trying Together will provide an updated version of this report biennially to share continued progress and future plans.

More Information

Caregivers of young children today are facing unprecedented challenges. From extensive changes in the early learning field to the current COVID-19 pandemic and more, adults and children are being asked to try together to grow and learn in ways like never before. In response, Trying Together has strived to continue supporting parents and educators so they know how much they and their efforts are appreciated.

The newest Community Report provides an overview of the work that Trying Together has accomplished in the last two fiscal years, with the following outcomes in mind.

By 2022, Trying Together will be:

  • A national leader offering its expertise in coordinating and connecting systems at the neighborhood, local, and regional levels to support early childhood development and early learning.
  • The premier provider of in-person and online professional growth opportunities for home, center, and school-based professionals to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early childhood and early learning experiences.
  • A ‘go to source’ for families to aid them in making well-informed decisions regarding their child’s early experiences.
  • An expert policy resource in western Pennsylvania and a leading advocate for high-quality early care and education in the state, mobilizing its network to take action on issues important to young children and their families.

About Trying Together

Trying Together supports high-quality care and education for young children by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the individuals who interact with them. Trying Together works regionally (in Southwestern Pennsylvania) and takes its expertise and models to statewide and national audiences.

News

November 17, 2020

Recess Advocacy Team Community Conversation

Are you interested in joining fellow advocates to discuss the important roles play and physical activity have in children’s lives? Join the Recess Advocacy Team on November 17 for a Virtual Community Conversation.

About

The freedom to play improves children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. Children make sense of what’s happening in the world around them through play, and it impacts their mental health and wellbeing. The Recess Advocacy Team is convening a virtual space for educators, families, and community members to discuss play and physical activity while balancing health, safety, and remote learning in the time of COVID-19. We must ensure children have opportunities to safely experience play and physical activity. This virtual community conversation is for play advocates to come together to discuss successes, challenges, and share strategies to elevate play.

Registration

Sessions will be held virtually via Zoom. Please register to receive more information about accessing the sessions.

More Information

For more information about the Recess Advocacy Team and to subscribe to their newsletter, visit the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative website.

Please share this flyer with your networks.

News

Child Care Programs: Submit Your Experience

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is conducting a survey to gather information from the early childhood field to inform federal and state actions on child care. This survey is intended for early learning professionals.

About

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NAEYC has been collecting survey responses from early learning professionals to convey the challenges child care programs are facing across states and settings. Data collected through this survey will be shared with policymakers to build a deeper understanding of the ongoing urgency of the challenges programs are facing.

Early childhood educators can answer the questions regardless of whether their child care program is open, closed, or somewhere in between, and regardless of what kind of child care program they work in, or what role they have there.

Take The Survey

To submit your experience, complete the online survey by November 22, 2020. NAEYC will select 10 respondents at random to receive a $50 gift card. Winners will be notified on December 18, 2020.

More Information

For more information, contact advocacy@naeyc.org.

News

Recess Advocacy Team Community Conversation

Are you interested in joining fellow advocates to discuss the important roles play and physical activity have in children’s lives? Join the Recess Advocacy Team on November 17 for a Virtual Community Conversation.

About

The freedom to play improves children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. Children make sense of what’s happening in the world around them through play, and it impacts their mental health and wellbeing. The Recess Advocacy Team is convening a virtual space for educators, families, and community members to discuss play and physical activity while balancing health, safety, and remote learning in the time of COVID-19. We must ensure children have opportunities to safely experience play and physical activity. This virtual community conversation is for play advocates to come together to discuss successes, challenges, and share strategies to elevate play.

Registration

Sessions will be held virtually via Zoom. Please register to receive more information about accessing the sessions.

More Information

For more information about the Recess Advocacy Team and to subscribe to their newsletter, visit the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative website.

Please share this flyer with your networks.

News

November 14, 2020

Listen to Black Women: What’s it like to be a Black Woman in Pittsburgh?

Are you a Black woman in Pittsburgh who is interested in sharing your experiences with other Black women in Pittsburgh? Join the Black Women’s Policy Agenda on November 14 for “Listen to Black Women: What’s it like to be a Black Woman in Pittsburgh?

About

Fixing Pittsburgh’s problems starts with listening to Black women! That’s why the Black Women’s Policy Agenda has launched a survey and is facilitating a series of community conversations where Black women share their experiences with other Black women. This event is designed to elevate the voices and experiences of Black women in Pittsburgh. It’s the first step to building collective power among Black women, advocating for the needs of Black women, and advancing policy to achieve racial and gender justice in this region.

Take the Survey

The Black Women’s Policy Agenda is conducting a survey to hear from 250 women in the Pittsburgh region to discover how they are dealing with the double crisis of COVID-19, anti-Black violence, and being a Black woman overall. To complete the survey, visit the Black Women’s Policy Agenda website.

Registration

To register, visit the event webpage. Participants will receive a $25 gift card.

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News

November 12, 2020

Apply for New Early Childhood League

Trying Together invites parents, caregivers of children, and community organizations to apply to its new Early Childhood League to advocate for positive changes in early learning policies. Online applications are being accepted through December 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

About

Through the generosity of The Grable Foundation and a Remake Learning TOMORROW grant, Trying Together is launching the Early Childhood League in the Pittsburgh Region.

The League will empower marginalized families to work with local organizations and other community partners to advocate for positive changes in early learning policies that affect them and their children. Improvements in local early learning environments will be achieved by members of the League who will receive training from and be supported by Trying Together staff and other experts.

Details

The Early Childhood League will be composed of:

  • a minimum of 25 selected parents and other caregivers of young children;
  • a minimum of five community organizations; and
  • one large institution.

From January through September 2021, members of the League will meet once a month to discuss learning topics such as:

  • communications techniques;
  • community organizing strategies;
  • early childhood education principles; and
  • public policy processes.

With ongoing programmatic support from Trying Together and the TOMORROW grant, the League will acquire the agency to not only develop, but implement their own advocacy plan to further advance the efforts of existing statewide early childhood policy campaigns including: child care (Start Strong PA); pre-k (Pre-K for PA); and home visiting (Childhood Begins At Home).

Individuals interested in joining the League must submit an application and a resume. To apply, complete the application and upload your resume via the online form by December 14, 2020.

Organizations interested in participating should upload their latest annual report and a document including contact information and a brief statement summarizing why they would like to engage in advocacy for early learning.

Chosen participants will receive a stipend for their time.

Share this flyer with your networks.

More Information

For more information about public policy efforts at Trying Together, contact Cristina Codario by email at cristina@tryingtogether.org or by calling 412.567.3673.

News

October 27, 2020

Advocacy 201: Crafting and Sharing Your Message

Are you interested in speaking with elected officials about the importance of early childhood? Join Trying Together on October 27 for our free virtual workshop, “Advocacy 201: Crafting and Sharing Your Message.”

About

Effective messaging helps advocates communicate key points to their audience that can potentially influence their level of support. This workshop is for Early Childhood Education professionals who have taken Trying Together’s Advocacy 101 course (or any other foundational advocacy training) and would like to take the next step in preparing to speak with elected officials.

Course instructors will review early childhood research and effective messaging such as brain science, return on investment, impact on workforce and business community, and high-quality teaching. Attendees will leave the workshop with talking points for meeting with elected officials to advocate for early childhood.

Session Details

    • Session Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020  |  6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
    • Instructors: Cristina Codario, Emily Neff, and Lindsey Ramsey
    • Core Knowledge Area: Professional and Leadership
    • CDA Content Area: Maintaining Professionalism
    • Registration Deadline: Sunday, October 25, 2020

Registration

To register, visit the course PD Registry page. Space is limited. Participants will receive the course Zoom link via email within 24 hours before the start date for the course. PQAS and Act 48 credit available.

If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact pdregistry@pakeys.org for more information.

More Information

For questions or more information, contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org.