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.


June 7, 2023

Organizations Publish New Education and Equity Resources for Families and Educators

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice and the Erikson Institute have recently published new education and equity resources for parents, caregivers, teachers, policy makers, and child care providers.

Find a list of these resources below.

Recently Published Resources on Education & Equity

Resource on Confronting Racial Discrimination in Student Discipline – U.S. Departments of Education and Justice


The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice share with educators around the country the goal that all students attend schools where they are supported, safe, and able to access an excellent education. A school environment that is free from discrimination is essential to meeting that goal. However, decades of enforcement activity have demonstrated that discrimination based on race, color, and national origin in student discipline was, and continues to be, a significant concern.

Discrimination in student discipline forecloses opportunities for students, pushing them out of the classroom and diverting them from a path to success in school and beyond. Significant disparities by race—beginning as early as preschool—have persisted in the application of student discipline in schools.

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice created this resource to to support schools’ efforts to confront the issue of race discrimination in student discipline effectively.


In it, the authors:

  • provide examples of the Departments’ investigations of discrimination over the last 10 years;
  • describe how the Departments resolved investigations of 14 school districts in 10 states;
  • discuss concerns of discrimination in schools’ use of:
    • out-of-school suspensions
    • expulsions
    • school-based arrests
    • referrals to law enforcement
    • involuntary discipline transfers
    • informal removals
    • and other discipline against Black, Latino, and/or Native American students;
  • demonstrate the Departments’ ongoing commitment to the enforcement of laws that protect students from discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in student discipline;
  • and demonstrate ways school districts can take steps to proactively improve their administration of student discipline

Access this resource or learn more about it on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Pre-K in Family Child Care Project: Strategies Toward the Equitable Implementation of Pre-K in Family Child Care – The Erikson Institute


The Pre-K in Family Child Care (PKFCC) Project explores strategies, successes, and challenges in the implementation of public pre-kindergarten (pre-k) in family child care (FCC) settings across states and locals in the U.S. through an equity lens.

This brief presents key findings about how pre-k systems address curriculum, assessment, developmental screening, and monitoring requirements to ensure FCC settings are equitably included in pre-k delivery.

Findings are based on data collected through focus groups in November 2022. These groups included 14 state and local pre-k administrators representing seven states and three cities or locals.


Highlights from the report include:

  • Many pre-k systems that include FCC require educators to use designated curriculum, assessment, and/or screening tools and to
    participate in monitoring.

    • Some pre-k systems allow FCC educators to select a curriculum, assessment, or screening tool from the same approved lists offered to center-based preschools.
    • Pre-k systems generally do not offer FCC-specific curriculum options that address mixed-age groups or are culturally representative.
  • Few pre-k systems differentiate requirements for FCC educators or intentionally include FCC educators’ voices and perspectives in decision making.
    • Approved or vetted tools are often not available in providers’ or children’s home languages. Additionally, they do not often represent the culture of the FCC educators and children they serve.
    • Requirements for FCC educators implementing pre-k are often the same as center-based pre-k settings.
  • Pre-k systems invested in including FCCs offer individualized supports to meet curriculum, assessment, developmental screening, and monitoring requirements.
    • Coaching and professional development are provided through some pre-k systems to support FCC implementation of curriculum and assessment standards and requirements.
    • Fiscal supports are provided in some pre-k systems to offset the costs of curriculum, assessment, and developmental screening requirements. However, more supports are offered for curriculum implementation than for assessments and developmental screening.

Access this resource or learn more on the Erikson Institute website.

Learn More

To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Education and Erikson Institute websites.


May 18, 2023

State Department of Education Announces 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher Of The Year Finalists

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recently announced the names of 12 educators nominated for the 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Area educators are among them.

About the Teacher of the Year Program

The Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Program recognizes excellence in teaching by honoring K-12 teachers in public education who have made outstanding academic contributions to Pennsylvania’s school-aged children.

The PDE encourages local education agencies (LEAs) to recognize the efforts of teachers in their community who have worked to achieve excellence in the classroom by nominating outstanding educators. Each LEA may nominate one deserving educator from both elementary and secondary levels.

Members of the PDE choose twelve (12) finalists from applicants and recognized in Harrisburg each fall. Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year is announced at a state awards ceremony in December, and represents the Commonwealth at various national, regional, and local functions, which culminate in the National Teacher of the Year ceremony at the White House.

2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Finalists

The finalists for the 2024 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year are:

Local Finalists

  • Brittney Bell, Carmichaels Area School District (Greene County, PA)
  • Rachel Kalberer, Norwin School District (Westmoreland County, PA)

Other Finalists

  • Anthony Angelini, Conewago Valley School District
  • Jonathan Bickel, Eastern Lebanon School District
  • Ashlie Crosson, Mifflin County School District
  • Benjamin Hoffman, Kutztown Area School District
  • Heather Kilgore, Chester County Intermediate Unit
  • Stephanie Machmer, Jersey Shore Area School District
  • Aspen Mock, Forest Hills School District
  • Justin Ward, Laurel Highlands School District
  • Sharon Williams, Rose Tree Media School District
  • Sally Ann Wojcik, School District of Philadelphia

Learn More

To learn more, visit the official Pennsylvania website.


December 8, 2021

Webinar – COVID-19 Vaccines for School-Aged Children: What Parents and Families Should Know

Join NAFSCE and the U.S. Department of Education on December 9 at 8:00pm, ET for an informational webinar following the official approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech age 5-11 vaccine. Registration for this virtual event is available online.

During the webinar, panelists including United States Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten, along with representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, will join NAFSCE Executive Director, Vito Borrello for a series of presentations and constructive conversation to support parents and families as they consider the COVID-19 vaccine for their child(ren). Parents and caregivers can learn more about the following questions:

  • How was the vaccine developed?
  • How many children participated in the study for approval?
  • Will my child(ren) be safe taking the vaccine?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Should my child(ren) get the vaccine?
  • Where can I take my child to get the vaccine?

Parents are invited to submit questions about the vaccine on the registration form. Pre-submitted questions will help plan the content of the session. Time will also be reserved for live questions and answers at the end of the event.


January 11, 2021

Webinar: Learning in a Pandemic

Join the U.S. Department of Education for a discussion on the state of student learning during the pandemic and tools that families and teachers can use to support student learning now. This event will educate parents and teachers on the state of learning today and how you can better support your students during the pandemic.


This forum will review the most updated research on the state of student learning today and share personalized platforms you can utilize to support student learning immediately. Institute for Education Sciences Director Mark Schneider will moderate a discussion with national leaders in the research field, Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes and NWEA, as they review findings on national learning loss.

Then, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Jim Blew will moderate a discussion on the power of individualized learning platforms with two examples for how to approach personalized learning for your students, Gooru, and New Classrooms.


To register, visit the online webpage. Registrants will receive an email containing a personalized access link.

More Information

For full details, visit the event webpage.

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Education