May 16, 2019

Pittsburgh Apraxia Specialists Panel

Join Apraxia Kids on May 16 for their Pittsburgh Apraxia Specialists Panel. Attendees will join local speech-language pathologists (SLPs) for a one-of-a-kind panel and Q&A session, visit the Apraxia Kids headquarters, and network with local families, caregivers, and therapists.


Apraxia Kids is the leading nonprofit that strengthens the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia of speech by educating professionals and families; facilitating community engagement and outreach; and investing in the future through advocacy and research.

This event coincides with Apraxia Awareness Month, an important time for informing the local community of the struggles that children with apraxia face each day. Apraxia Kids hopes to bring the Pittsburgh community together to raise awareness, support each other, and build a bridge between parents and professionals!


  •  Megan Overby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP – Duquesne University
  • Kathy Helfrich-Miller, Ph.D., CCC-SLP- Rehabilitation Specialists
  • Jen Rakers, MSLP, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd. – UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Carrie Van Soest, MS, CCC-SLP – UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Eileen Cirelli, MS, CCC/L-SLP – Allegheny Intermediate Unit
  • Gretchen Myers, MSLP-CCC; Recognized by Apraxia Kids for Advanced Training and Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech – Center4Speech
  • Katie Micco, MS, CCC-SLP; Recognized by Apraxia Kids for Advanced Training and Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech – Duquesne University


Registration for this event is free and may be accessed via the event’s webpage.


May 7, 2018

Kindergarten Transition White Paper Highlights Regional Efforts

The move from pre-kindergarten to Kindergarten marks a critical point in the lives of young children and their families.

In the 2017 – 2018 school year, Allegheny County reported early registration at 84% and on-time registration at 97% for Kindergarten students. This success is due largely in part to the local Hi5! Campaign funded by the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and chaired by Trying Together and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3.

To highlight the successful regional and national efforts of child care centers, Head Start and pre-k teachers, and school districts to support young children and families in this momentous occasion, Trying Together has released a white paper entitled, Kindergarten Transition. 

The paper provides researched recommendations and activities including:

  • requiring local transition teams;
  • providing guidance on how to leverage funds;
  • encouraging data sharing;
  • including parents and guardians in the transition process;
  • ensuring high-quality, developmentally appropriate Kindergarten;
  • strengthening relationships and collaboration between early childhood programs and elementary schools; and
  • rethinking the responsibility of school readiness.

“Research and evaluation nationally shows that children who experienced effective transition practices retain the developmental gains made in early childhood through the early elementary grades,” said Cara Ciminillo, Trying Together Executive Director. “Through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA), Pennsylvania school districts will now have more flexibility to use federal dollars to support their Kindergarten transition efforts.”