News

December 3, 2020

Fifth Annual Healthy Schools Summit

Are you interested in translating research into action to create green and healthy schools? Join Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) on Thursday, December 3 for the Fifth Annual Healthy Schools Summit.

About

During this virtual conference, national, state, and local experts will tackle the following questions:

    • How are school stakeholders coming together to realize their shared goal for green, safe, and healthy schools for students and staff to return to?
    • How are school leaders translating public health research into action to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
    • What resources are available for educators, nurses, parents, and students to respond to existing and emerging school health needs?

For information on the Summit sessions, please see the list below or view the full Summit Agenda.

 


 

Morning Sessions

    • “From Research to Action and Knowledge to Practice”: Keynote Address
      by Tracy Enger, Program Manager, U.S Environmental Protection Agency
    • “Public Health Decision Making for School Leaders: A Panel Discussion”
      with panelists Dr. Farhad Ahmed (PA Dept of Health), Aimee Eckmann (Perkins + Will), Dr. Megan Freeman (Children’s Hospital), and Dr. Robert Scherrer (Allegheny Intermediate Unit
    • “Clearing the Air: Indoor Air Quality in the Time of COVID-19”: Expert Panel
      with panelists Nina Hwang (Green Seal), Al Pater (Riverview School District), Lynn Rose (Environmental Health Consultant), and Raj Setty (Setty & Associates)

Afternoon Sessions

    • “The Future of Green and Healthy Schools” Afternoon Address
      by Anisa Heming, Director, Center for Green Schools, US Green Building Council
    • Celebrating Five Years of Success through Our Healthy Schools Recognition Program: Virtual Awards Ceremony
      • Option A – Learning Through Pandemics Past: Bringing Public Health and Civics into the Classroom
      • Option B – “It’s Just a Cold” Navigating Student Health During COVID-19: Panel Discussion
      • Option C – Civic Engagement Through Climate Literacy

 


Registration

To register for the Summit, visit the Eventbrite page. For questions, please email Kara Rubio, Healthy Schools Manager at kara@womenforahealthyenvironment.org.

News

November 20, 2020

Stay-At-Home Advisory in Allegheny County

On November 18, the Allegheny County Health Department issued a stay-at-home and stop social gatherings advisory to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19. If left unchecked, the spread of COVID-19 poses a risk to communities and healthcare systems in Allegheny County.

About

Beginning immediately, Allegheny County residents are asked to stay at home and stop social gatherings to stem the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the county. Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school, for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, getting food, or the like.

Residents must always wear a face mask and practice physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from others in accordance with the November 17 state masking order. Additionally, residents are strongly encouraged to:

    • not have guests in their homes unless they are essential workers (e.g., home healthcare providers, child care workers, or educators),
    • cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations and celebrate virtually with non-household members,
    • avoid unnecessary travel, and
    • limit social event gatherings.

This advisory will remain in place for 30 days or until such time as the Health Director determines a change to the guidance is appropriate. All restrictions put in place by the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Department of Health remain in effect.

More Information

To view the full list of recommendations, please read the full advisory.

News

November 19, 2020

ELRC Region 5 Office to Close November 23

Due to rising COVID-19 cases and the stay-at-home advisory in Allegheny County, the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5 downtown office on Wood Street will be closed to the public beginning Monday, November 23.

About

On November 18, a stay-at-home and stop social gatherings public health advisory was issued by the Allegheny County Health Department. Due to this advisory and the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, ELRC Region 5 will close its downtown office to the public.

The downtown and satellite offices will remain closed through December 31, 2020. ELRC Region 5 staff will continue to provide high-quality customer service via phone and video conferencing.

More Information

For more information, read this news post from ELRC Region 5.

News

Mindfulness-Based Skills to Promote Resilience and Connection

Are you interested in learning how mindfulness practices can impact a child’s ability to deal with stress, anxiety, and trauma? Join Megan Davis on November 19 for “Compassionate Classrooms: Mindfulness-Based Skills to Promote Resilience and Connection.”

About

The goal of this webinar is to introduce mindfulness skills that educators, therapists, and paraprofessionals can integrate into the classroom to build resiliency, distress tolerance, and connection. At the end of this session, you will have gained insight into how simple mindfulness practices directly impact our body’s ability to downregulate in the face of stress, anxiety, and trauma. You will be able to integrate concrete skills into your classroom to support students’, as well as your own, wellness.

Featured Topics

In this webinar, Megan Davis will:

    • define a basic understanding of how stress impacts the nervous system and our ability to self-regulate,
    • demonstrate breathing exercises to calm and balance an activated nervous system,
    • demonstrate mindfulness exercises to regulate and widen the “window of tolerance”,
    • help professionals plan for how and when to integrate skills into a typical school day (virtual or in-person),
    • and provide opportunities to reflect on current self-care practices and how they translate to the culture of classroom wellness.

Registration

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

News

November 18, 2020

How Educators Can Avoid Mental, Physical, and Emotional Exhaustion

Are you interested in learning strategies to avoid exhaustion and burnout? Join Dr. Tina Boogren and Dr. Timothy Kanold on November 18 for “Attend to Your Well-Being: How Educators Can Avoid Mental, Physical, and Emotional Exhaustion.”

About

To counter the pressure, stress, and chaos around us, professionals need to practice healthy, practical habits, and routines of wellness and self-care. They also need to rise up to the expectations of taking care of students and their colleagues, amidst the challenges of this unprecedented school season.

In this engaging, fun-filled webinar, Dr. Tina Boogren and Dr. Timothy Kanold will provide practical strategies to avoid exhaustion and burnout and give you the courage and permission to attend to a more balanced and joyful professional life! Time for questions will be provided.

Registration

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

News

November 16, 2020

DHS Warns of Potential Pandemic EBT Benefit Scam

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is warning of a possible scam concerning Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits and reminding Pennsylvanians to be skeptical of unsolicited or random calls or text messages about public-assistance programs – especially when the calls or text messages solicit personal information, such as Social Security numbers.

About

DHS is investigating a report of individuals receiving calls with pre-recorded messages advising them to expedite their P-EBT benefits issuance by providing their Social Security number and case record number. In the message, the speaker claims to be from a County Assistance Office (CAO).

DHS and other government agencies do not ask for information about P-EBT, SNAP, or any other public-assistance programs via unsolicited or random calls or texts, and Pennsylvanians should not reply to such a call or text or share any personal information if they are contacted in this way. If you or anyone you work with receive unsolicited or random calls or text messages telling you that you qualify for assistance and then asking for personal information, it is most likely a scam. Do not respond. Delete the message so you do not get caught in an identity theft scam.

Pennsylvanians who have questions about whether a call, text, letter, or other communication is legitimate should contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. Clients in Philadelphia should call the Philadelphia Customer Service Center at 215.560.7226. Clients in all other counties can call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1.877.395.8930.

Apply for Benefits

Applications for the SNAP and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.

More Information

For more information, read the full press release. To learn about food assistance resources for people around Pennsylvania impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying economic insecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture’s food security guide.

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

News

November 5, 2020

Jeremiah’s Place: Provider Engagement Session

Are you an early learning provider who is interested in learning about Jeremiah’s Place and its services? Join Jeremiah’s Place on November 5 for their online “Provider Engagement Session.”

About

Jeremiah’s Place protects children and strengthens families by providing a safe haven of respite, health, renewal, and support for children when their families are experiencing a critical need for child care. These online sessions will explore:

    • what Jeremiah’s Place is and what services they provide;
    • why families might need to access services at Jeremiah’s Place;
    • how providers can make a successful referral; and
    • the Jeremiah’s Place intake process.

Registration

This event is intended for child care providers. To register, visit the event webpage. For questions, please email Renee Schmitzer at empower@jeremiahsplace.org.

Share this flyer with your network.

News

October 26, 2020

Building Resilience While Social Distancing: Parental Depression & Coping

Join Brazelton Touchpoints Center on October 26 for “Building Resilience While Social Distancing: Parental Depression & Coping” to learn coping skills you can share with parents to address the effects of isolation in the short and long terms.

About

This webinar will explore the similarities between isolation and depression, paying close attention to the distinct needs and behaviors of parents suffering from depression and anxiety. Participants will learn coping skills they can share with parents to address the effects of isolation in the short and long terms. Participants will also learn when to consult with mental health professionals in their work with families.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the event registration page. Space is limited.

News

October 23, 2020

2020 Family Support Needs Assessment

On October 22, the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) released a new Family Support Needs Assessment that covers the needs and challenges experienced by families with young children and opportunities to address these needs and better serve families.

Overview

Developed in partnership with PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the assessment found that substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and mental health challenges are among the most pronounced issues facing young families across urban and rural communities. The assessment also shows an overall improvement in maternal and child health outcomes across many of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties since the last statewide needs assessment in 2014.

Assessment Findings

Informed by community surveys, interviews, and statewide data sets, the 2018-2020 Family Support Needs Assessment categorizes Pennsylvania’s counties as having “elevated need,” “moderate need,” and “low need,” across six domains: maternal and child health; socioeconomic status; substance abuse; child safety and maltreatment; community environment; and child care.

Overall, the findings show that 44 counties have elevated need in at least one of the domains and 15 counties across the state met elevated need thresholds in three or more domains. Importantly, the data collection occurred prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, and the researchers anticipate that the pandemic will exacerbate many areas of community need.

Despite the elevated need recorded in the report, maternal and child health outcomes have dramatically improved across much of the state since the 2014 federally-mandated statewide needs assessment. For example:

    • nearly every county (63) saw improved rates of preterm birth and teen birth;
    • 60 percent of counties saw improvements in infant mortality rates;
    • half of the counties saw a reduction in the percentage of children under age five living in poverty; and
    • more than half of the 2,220 individuals surveyed for the needs assessment have a favorable view of the availability and quality of health and social services in Pennsylvania for families with young children.

The assessment also includes a review of the capacity and scope of the state’s home visiting programs, which provide voluntary, in-home services to under-resourced pregnant moms and families of young children. Pennsylvania significantly increased its investment in evidence-based home visiting over the last four years so that today, six evidence-based home visiting models serve a total of 10,150 families.

More Information

For more information, read the full press release and review the 2020 Family Supports Need Assessment Report.

News

October 21, 2020

Allegheny County Family Resource Map Now Available

Are you interested in accessing food, housing, parent, or employment services? Check out ELRC Region 5’s Allegheny County Family Resource Map to view resources available near you!

About

The Allegheny County Family Resource Map highlights the addresses, phone numbers, and websites of a variety of family supports, including:

    • Aging
    • Care and Education
    • Employment
    • Family Activities
    • Food
    • Health
    • Housing
    • New Parents
    • Outdoors and Recreation
    • Transportation

Through the map, families can find countywide resources and services closest to them, such as senior community centers, family centers, early learning programs, public schools, WIC offices, parks, libraries, food pantries, diaper banks, clinics, public housing, Port Authority bus stops, and more.

More Information

For questions or to submit a map suggestion, please contact ELRC Region 5 at 412.350.3577 elrc5@alleghenycounty.us.