News

October 25, 2019

Healthy School Summit 2019

Join Healthy Schools Pennsylvania on Friday, October 25 for their 4th Annual Healthy Schools Summit to learn, collaborate, and commit to creating healthier, greener, and more sustainable learning environments for all children in our region!

Morning Sessions

    • Foundations for Student Success: How School Buildings Influence Student Health, Thinking, & Performance
      Keynote Speaker – Erika Eitland, MPH Program Manager, Schools for Health, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health
    • What Does it Take to Create a Healthy School?
      Panel Discussion – Cassandra Brown, RN, Pittsburgh Public Schools; Jake Douglas, Food Services Director, Deer Lakes School District; Christine Schott, Parent and Sustainability Coordinator, Steel Valley School District; Vicki Ammar, Teacher, Pittsburgh Public Schools
    • Celebrating Success through Our Healthy Schools Recognition Program
      Awards Ceremony and Luncheon
    • Working Lunch: What Makes a Successful School Grant Proposal?
      Featuring Tracey Reed Armant from the Grable Foundation

Afternoon Sessions

    • Teaching Resiliency and Environmental Justice in the Classroom
      Educator Workshop – Katie Modic, Director of Education Initiatives at Communitopia
    • Creating a Game-Plan for Whole-School Sustainability
      School Administrator Workshop – Donnan Stoicovy, Head of School, State College Friends School
    • Engaging Parents and Community Partners for Healthy Schools
      Parent and Partner Workshop – Monté Robinson, Community Schools Coordinator, Pittsburgh Public Schools and LaKeisha Wolf, Executive Director, Ujamaa Collective

Registration

To register, visit the Eventbrite page.

Learn More

For questions, email Healthy Schools Coordinator, Kara Rubio, at 412.404.2872 or kara@womenforahealthyenvironment.org.

News

August 16, 2019

Pittsburgh Farm to ECE Provider Survey

Through an online survey, Ready Set Grow! is seeking responses from Pittsburgh early care and education providers to learn more about current practices and needed supports in the field.

Ready Set Grow!

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Head Start Association, the Food Trust launched Ready Set Grow!, a Farm to ECE program new to Pittsburgh, with the intention to increase Farm to Early Learning activities on a statewide level in the early care and education field.

To learn more, visit their website.

Farm to ECE

Farm to ECE is a part of the National Farm to School Network, providing activities and strategies that offer increased access to:

    • healthy, local foods;
    • gardening opportunities;
    • and food-based learning activities to enhance the quality of the educational experience.

Farm to ECE works well in all types of early care and education settings, with activities supporting healthy eating habits, creating connections to local foods and agricultural communities, and teaching children how food grows.

Take the Survey

To submit your input, visit the Ready Set Grow! google form today.

More Information

For more information, contact Ready Set Grow via their online form.

News

July 28, 2019

OpenStreetsPGH

Join Bike Pittsburgh in Uptown, Southside, and Downtown on July 28 for an opportunity to walk, run, and bike down main roads and explore businesses, watch live performances, and participate in countless fun activities for the whole family.

About

Take a classic Pittsburgh experience – traveling from a bridge into a tunnel – and try it on foot or by bike! Explore Downtown, Uptown, and Southside including the Birmingham Bridge, the 10th St Bridge, and the Armstrong Tunnel! Hop off your bike or slow your stroll to stop at hubs around the route! Hubs feature free fitness classes with the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, kids activities, and local vendors!

Activities

As you walk, run, or bike down the route you will find:

    • live performances,
    • giant board games,
    • local food and shops,
    • fitness classes,
    • kids activities,
    • and more!

Learn More

To learn more, visit the Bike Pittsburgh website.

Questions

For questions, contact Bike Pittsburgh at 412.325.4334 or openstreetspgh@bikepgh.org.

News

July 18, 2019

Eye Contact with Babies Increases Information Coupling

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that shared eye contact increases information coupling between infant and adult brains.

About

Communication is a fundamental part of life, especially when considering the early learning and development of a newborn child. In conversation, we use different types of social signals, both verbal and non-verbal, to share meaning with others. These signals can include things such as mimicking facial expressions, vocal tone, and eye contact. However, a recent study concluded that eye contact in specific can be a powerful tool to increase information coupling between infants and adults.

Information Coupling

In the study, researchers state that “previous research indicates that when communication is successful, close temporal dependencies arise between adult speakers’ and listeners’ neural activity.” Through these dependencies, an individual that’s communicating with another person can have varying levels of influence on the other person’s neural activity. In short, this coupling acts as a form of “social connectedness,” where the actions, reactions, and expressions of a person impacts how another person’s brain responds.

For adults interacting with young children, using social signals such as direct eye contact can bring the child and adult’s “brains into temporal alignment, creating a joint-networked state that is structured to facilitate information sharing during early communication and learning.” Temporal alignment between adults and infants is important, as it “plays a vital role in supporting early learning across multiple domains of language, cognition, and socioemotional development.”

Infants spend a lot of time looking at the faces of others, interpreting the way their facial features move, where their eyes shift to, and how their voices sound. And as they rely on these social cues to interpret meaning in their daily life, direct gaze is thought to be one of the most important cues for individuals and infants to infer communicative intent. Babies prefer to look at the face people who are looking right at them, with direct gaze even reinforcing the social responses that babies produce and their ability to recognize face-related information.

Conclusion

In conclusion, adults working or living with infants should consider using direct eye contact frequently with their child. Whether an adult is playing with, reading with, bathing, or even singing a nursery rhyme to a child, shared eye contact can act to build strong communication and information sharing between the two.

To learn more about the importance of speaker gaze, read the full report.

Article Citation

Leong, Victoria, et al. “Speaker Gaze Increases Information Coupling between Infant and Adult Brains.” PNAS, National Academy of Sciences, 12 Dec. 2017, www.pnas.org/content/114/50/13290.

News

July 11, 2019

Babywearing 101

Join MAYA Organization and Healthy Start Pittsburgh for Babywearing 101 to learn alternative ways to carry your baby!

About

Parents and caregivers are invited to find out how babywearing can benefit moms, dads, caregivers, and babies! Try out different carries and learn how to use them properly alongside a MAYA educator and doula, Jaime Horst, for this fun and interactive class.

Registration

To register or ask questions, call 412.945.7670, ext. 103; email christy@mayaorganization.org; or visit their Facebook event page.

Share this flyer with your network.

News

June 30, 2019

OpenStreetsPGH

Join Bike Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville, the Strip District, and Downtown on June 30 for an opportunity to walk, run, and bike down main roads and explore hundreds of businesses, watch live performances, and participate in countless fun activities for the whole family.

About

Penn Avenue and Butler Street are yours for the day, so lace up your sneakers or pump up your bike tires! Come out to Explore hundreds of businesses from Market Square to the Strip District to Lawrenceville on our most popular route yet! Hop off your bike or slow your stroll to stop at hubs around the route! Hubs feature free fitness classes with the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, kids activities, and local vendors!

Activities

As you walk, run, or bike down the route you will find:

    • live performances,
    • giant board games,
    • local food and shops,
    • fitness classes,
    • kids activities,
    • and more!

Learn More

To learn more, visit the Bike Pittsburgh website.

Questions

For questions, contact Bike Pittsburgh at 412.325.4334 or openstreetspgh@bikepgh.org.

News

May 25, 2019

OpenStreetsPGH

About

Grab your walking shoes and come play on car-free streets of Homewood, Larimer, East Liberty, Shadyside, and North Point Breeze on Saturday, May 25th!

Explore the longest OpenStreetsPGH route ever with 4.4 mile loop traveling through the East End.

OpenStreetsPGH is a free, all-ages event that’s building healthier, more connected communities. OpenStreetsPGH invites the community to get outside and be active, providing an opportunity to reimagine our streets as places for people, not just cars.

Activities

Join us for fitness workshops, kids activities, shopping, brunch, community arts, and special promotions presented by over 100 local businesses and organizations.

There are three event hubs along the route: two hubs will feature free fitness classes by the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and one hub will feature a brand new BikePGH Kids Bicycling Education classes.

Visit OpenStreetsPGH.org for more info!

Organizers & Supporters

The event is organized by Bike Pittsburgh and is made possible through major support from UPMC Health Plan. Additional support is provided by, Peoples, The Benter Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Wahilia Creative, AARP, Port Authority, Uber, and PNC.

News

May 7, 2019

BreastFED: Breastfeeding Summit

Join Healthy Start for BreastFED, Pennsylvania’s only regional breastfeeding summit. BreastFED is a two-day regional symposium aimed at providing information from professionals and community experts locally, regionally, and nationally on innovative approaches to address the needs of mothers and lactation practitioners in this region.

Throughout the two days, participants will receive both clinical and community perspectives and will be able to share insights and experiences to move forward with best practices and groundbreaking methods to changing the culture of feeding our babies.

See the full agenda.

Continuing Education Units & Credits

CEU’s are available for:

  • Lactation
  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Midwifery

This summit is approved for a maximum of 10.75 continuing nursing education contact hours.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Learn More

To learn more about the summit and to register, visit the event website.

For any questions, contact Healthy Start by phone at 412.247.4009 or email at email@hsipgh.org.

News

May 6, 2019

BreastFED: Breastfeeding Summit

Join Healthy Start for BreastFED, Pennsylvania’s only regional breastfeeding summit. BreastFED is a two-day regional symposium aimed at providing information from professionals and community experts locally, regionally, and nationally on innovative approaches to address the needs of mothers and lactation practitioners in this region.

Throughout the two days, participants will receive both clinical and community perspectives and will be able to share insights and experiences to move forward with best practices and groundbreaking methods to changing the culture of feeding our babies.

See the full agenda.

Continuing Education Units & Credits

CEU’s are available for:

  • Lactation
  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Midwifery

This summit is approved for a maximum of 10.75 continuing nursing education contact hours.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Learn More

To learn more about the summit and to register, visit the event website.

For any questions, contact Healthy Start by phone at 412.247.4009 or email at email@hsipgh.org.

News

April 26, 2019

Harnessing the ‘Power of Play’ to Build Equitable Cities

When planners and community stakeholders are hashing out asset inventories and needs assessments to figure out the state of neighborhood amenities, a few things are sure to almost always make the list: more access to green space, safer crosswalks, more parking in business districts, gateways, and wayfinding signage. When planners design communities to be safer, healthier, more sustainable, and more walkable, how often do those efforts make a community more playful?

The Power of Play

Play is powerful. In the sphere of early childhood education, experts recognize the unparalleled importance of play in learning and development. In business, play is seen as a gateway to greater creativity, collaboration, and breakthrough innovation. In society, communities that play together stay together.

Isn’t it time we embraced playfulness as a quality worth designing into our urban spaces? Perhaps the trouble is that the word itself seems just too playful to be taken seriously. We need more words for play.

More Words for Play

The Finnish language has no shortage of words for play. For Finns, playing a game is different from playing a sport, which is different from playing music. There are distinct Finnish words for children’s play and the play that adults engage in. There’s even a Finnish word that means both “work” and “play.” This rich vocabulary shows that in Finland, play is a valued part of life that isn’t confined just to kids’ stuff.

 

Where else would we see play show up in our plans, if only we had the words for it?

 

What would we call the kind of play that brings strangers together?

 

What would we call playing around with ideas and possibilities?

 

It’s questions like these that motivated a coalition of public and private sector partners to start the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and organize a citywide movement to expand the presence of play in every community. As a mid-size, post-industrial city in the midst of dramatic changes spurred in large part by new development, we see a mandate to build greater public demand for play as an integral part of the city’s future.

Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative

Locally in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative is working to make play a part of the urban infrastructure.

Since 2013, members of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative have been working together to find and remove the barriers holding communities back from experiencing the social benefits of play. These efforts have brought together leaders and representatives from the city’s parks and museums, human services and municipal agencies, arts and sustainability nonprofits, and community development groups. Along the way, we’ve encountered distinct manifestations of play that we really wish had their own name.

Learn more about the work of The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and read the full article from the urban planning magazine Planetizen.

(shared via Planetizen)