December 6, 2023

The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center Explores Carnegie Science Center and Sportworks

The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center gathered families together for a family field trip to Carnegie Science Center and Highmark Sportsworks on Sunday, November 19. Parents, caregivers, their children, and Hub & Family Center staff explored various exhibits and activities throughout the day at both northside Pittsburgh locations.

From brick building to water activities to exploring a submarine, there was no shortage of excitement at the day long event. The family field trip was a great opportunity for families to spend quality time together while also learning and having fun.

Tickets were provided to families with assistance from local organization and charity Tickets for Kids, and their donors. The generosity of Tickets for Kids made it possible for the Hub & Family Center to offer this memorable experience to our the Homewood community and its families.

Tickets For Kids

Tickets for Kids provides free access for low-income and at-risk kids to attend the arts, cultural, educational, and athletic venues of their community. Through partnerships with youth-serving organizations across the U.S., the organization strives to make trips to museums, concerts, ballgames, science centers, zoos, and more part of every childhood. Through access, Tickets for Kids provides experiences that can spark an interest, ignite a passion, and shape a future without limits.

To learn more, visit the Tickets For Kids Charities website.

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October 6, 2023

Buzzword PLAN Family Fun Night

Join Buzzword as they visit the SHIM South Hills Family Center to explore their latest buzzword, PLAN, through an evening of family fun and activities featuring science, art, music and early literacy!

During this event, children ages birth to five and their caregivers will engage with each other to create meaningful moments through interactive activities from their friends at the Carnegie Science Center and Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

Each family will also get to take a BUZZ Box home with them!

When: Thursday, November 2, 2023 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) South Hills Family Center, 41 Macek Drive, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15227

Dinner will be provided. Registration prior to the event is strongly encouraged.

Due to reaching maximum capacity, registration is currently CLOSED.

For more information or questions on the event, contact Buzzword directly at

Buzzword is made possible by PNC Grow Up Great® and The Allegheny County Department of Human Services.


August 7, 2023

Imagination Library Restarted by Foundations, City of Pittsburgh

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a free book access program, is restarting in the City of Pittsburgh thanks to funding from the City and local foundations, including The Benter Foundation and the Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation.

The free program sends one book per month in the mail to enrolled children ages birth to five at no cost to families.

How to Enroll

Families who reside in the City of Pittsburgh can enroll in the program by visiting the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library website.

Families who were previously enrolled in the program will not need to re-enroll and should start receiving books again automatically.

About the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Restart

The program halted at the end of April 2023 for most city children after funding had run out. (A small group of children in three zip codes were still eligible to participate.)

Reading Ready Pittsburgh, a local nonprofit that supports access to books and encourages family engagement through reading, will administer the program at the beginning of the restart period.

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July 27, 2023

Resources for August Observances

Various organizations, states, and nations recognize a number of observances each month. Resources help parents, caregivers, and child care professionals acknowledge and navigate them.

Here is a list of resources for August observances:

Month-Long Observances

Summer Sun Safety Month

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Back to School Month

National Breastfeeding Month

Weeks of Recognition

August 6 – 12 is Exercise with Your Child Week

Days of Recognition

August 1 is National Night Out (NNO)

August 9 is National Book Lovers Day

August 15 is National Back To School Prep Day

August 26 is Women’s Equality Day


July 14, 2023

HDELI Wild Family Literacy Night

Get ready for a “roaring” good time! Join Macedonia FACE and the Hill District Early Literacy Initiative (HDELI) for a jungle-themed Wild Family Literacy Night event for families! 🦁📚

The event will be filled with family-fun activities, snacks, crafts, games, and literacy learning opportunities.

When: Tuesday, 7/25 | 5 – 7 p.m.

Where: Center for Family Excellence, 409 Dinwiddle Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219

Registration required

Register by email at, or by phone at 412.281.2573.

For questions, use the contact information above or visit the Macedonia FACE website.


July 13, 2023

3 For Free: Free Admission in August for Three Local Museums

The Andy Warhol Museum, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the Heinz History Center will be open to visitors free of charge every operating day throughout the month of August 2023.

‘3 For Free’ Campaign

The ‘3 For Free’ campaign will celebrate the museums’ recognition among the nation’s best. All three museums recently won honors from USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

Through online voting, the museums collectively ranked in top five as some of the finest museums in the country: The Warhol (fourth in Best Art Museums), Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (second in Best Children’s Museums), and the Heinz History Center (second in Best History Museums).

Plan Your Visit

Visitors seeking free tickets during the ‘3 For Free’ month are encouraged to book online at each museum’s website. Advanced reservations are recommended, but not required.

Use the links below to secure your tickets:

This offer will be in addition to the annual free-admission RAD Days, which will begin in September.

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July 7, 2023

PA DHS Accepting Applications for Children’s Trust Fund Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is accepting applications for the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) grants to promote primary and secondary child abuse and neglect prevention programs in community-based settings in order to address child and family well-being and prevent abuse and neglect of children in the Commonwealth. The maximum CTF grant award is $50,000 per year.

About the Children’s Trust Fund Grants

The mission of the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) is to prevent child abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania. To do this, the CTF Board of Directors funds community-based primary and secondary prevention programs that support families.

The CTF was established in December 1988 by Act 1988-151. It operates under the administration of the CTF Board and is supported by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), a dual deputate of the Department of Human Services (DHS) the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Funds for the CTF are generated from a $10 surcharge on all applications for marriage licenses and divorce complaints. These surcharges are paid into a special non-lapsing fund. Interest, donations and federal funds also contribute to the CTF.

The CTF is dedicated to funding community-based programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. Since its inception, the CTF has invested more than $37 million through 295 grants. See the list of current grantees.

The CTF also supports the work of the Pennsylvania Strengthening Families Leadership Team.

How to Apply

Application details and forms are available at the eMarketPlace website.

Each Applicant must submit one complete copy of the Submittal via email to The subject line of the email must indicate “RFA 13-23 Application”. Applications are due by 10 a.m. on July 31, 2023. Please refer to the eMarketplace listing for any changes regarding the deadline.

Organizations can view the bid online. Awarded contracts are posted to eMarketplace after they become fully executed.


If you have a question, send an email to Robin Lease at RAPWRFAQUESTIONS@PA.GOV. All emails should include the subject line “RFA #13-23 Question” and must be submitted by July 14, 2023 at 10 a.m. Written answers will be posted on the eMarketPlace website on July 21, 2023.


July 5, 2023

2023 Paving the Way to Educational Success Conference

The 2023 Paving the Way to Educational Success Conference is a unique learning opportunity to support children and youth experiencing homelessness and students experiencing foster care.

This three-day conference is ideal for:

  • School district homeless liaisons.
  • Foster care points of contact.
  • Child welfare agency education liaisons and private providers.
  • Shelter staff and staff in congregate care settings.
  • Early education, Head Start staff, and K-12 educators.
  • School social workers and counselors.
  • Pupil services personnel.
  • Post-secondary staff.
  • Any professionals working with children and youth experiencing homelessness, children and youth experiencing foster care.

When: Wednesday, 10/11 – Friday, 10/13

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, Pa. 16046

  • Register (There is no cost to attend.)

The Paving the Way Conference is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education programs Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) and Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care and is held in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and Center for Schools and Communities.


June 29, 2023

Kindergarten: Here I Come!

Visit the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for one of their milestone events for early childhood education with “Kindergarten: Here I Come!

The 17th annual kindergarten readiness celebration takes place on Saturday, August 12, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

At this event, children entering kindergarten in the fall can experience a day full of fun activities, resources and learning from Children’s Museum staff and our amazing partners from around the city.

There will be back-to-school giveaways, resources for parents and caregivers, and even a real school bus!

Kindergarten: Here I Come! is free for one rising kindergarten student and one accompanying adult.

Reserve Your Tickets

For questions or to learn more, visit the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh website.


June 28, 2023

CitiParks Announces Free Pool Access for Area Youth

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation (CitiParks) recently announced that it will make access to CitiParks swimming pools free to all Pittsburgh children from birth to age 15.

About CitiParks Pool Access

Previously, Pittsburgh children needed a Recreation Center Membership Tag to access pools for free.  This summer, CitiParks is waiving the Recreation Membership Tag requirement for area youths.

Season passes are still available for purchase by Pittsburgh’s adult residents.  Non-residents of Pittsburgh are also able to purchase season tags.

Find full details and the 2023 Pool Tag form on the CitiParks website.

Learn More

To learn more, visit the City of Pittsburgh website.