June 12, 2023

Restaurants Add Books to the Menu with Summer Reading Programs

Millie’s Ice Cream and Pizza Hut are sponsoring summer reading programs to keep children engaged and learning while school is out and to inspire a love of literature by rewarding reading.

Millie’s Sweet Reads Summer Reading Program serves K-12 students, while Pizza Hut’s Camp BOOK IT serves Pre-k-6th grade students (ages 4-12), rewarding each with treats from their menus.

About Millie’s Sweet Reads Summer Reading Program

Sweet Reads is a summer reading program for K-12 students that began in 2021 as a partnership between Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA), and White Whale Bookstore. The program aims to support local bookstores and libraries while also serving children.

How does it work?

Participating in Millie’s Sweet Reads Summer Reading Program is easy. Simply:

  1. Obtain a physical bookmark at any Millie’s location or select libraries across the county or print a digital copy from the Millie’s website.
  2. Have your child read five books (or read the books to them). Any book or periodical will do.
  3. Validate the bookmark at your local library. Please note: the library does not have to be a participating Sweet Reads library. Just ask your favorite librarian to sign the dotted line.
  4. Bring your validated bookmark to one of eight eligible Millie’s locations for a free scoop of your child’s choice.

Find a list of participating libraries and eligible Millie’s locations on the Millie’s Ice Cream website.

When will bookmarks be available?

Physical bookmarks will be available at any participating library or Millie’s Ice Cream location during operating hours, all summer long. Digital bookmarks can be printed at any time.

Which Millie’s locations will redeem my free scoop?

You can redeem your free scoop at any of the eight Millie’s brick and mortar shops. Free scoops are not redeemable at the Kennywood location or at any other Millie’s third-party licensed location or seasonal kiosk.

When does the program end?

The program expires Monday, September 4, 2023, so be sure to visit a Millie’s and redeem your child’s free scoop before then!

Can I redeem more than one time?

Millie’s asks that you only redeem one free scoop per summer, but encourages your children to read as many books as they like. The Sweet Reads redemption model operates on the honor system.

What if my child can’t eat ice cream or dairy-free gelato? What if I can’t get to a Millie’s?

You may redeem your bookmark for a free sticker in the store or via snail mail. Just email and Millie’s will be sure to mail you one.

About Pizza Hut’s Camp BOOK IT!

Since 1984, the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program has been dedicated to encouraging reading nationwide. Camp BOOK IT! is open to all families with Pre-k – 6th grade students (ages 4-12). The goal of the program is to get children excited about reading and to turn “have to read” into “want to read.”

How does it work?

To participate in Camp BOOK IT!, parents utilize a digital dashboard to set goals, track reading, and reward their students. Interested in involving your child in Camp BOOK IT!? Simply:

  1. Enroll your child on the BOOK IT! website. Please note: Only one enrollment per household (for up to five children) will be accepted. Duplicate enrollments will be voided. If a change needs to be made to your enrollment after you have submitted, for example you have moved, please call 800.426.6548.
  2. Have your child read books, magazines, eBooks, and anything else fun.
  3. Enter your child’s reading progress in Pizza Hut’s digital dashboard for June, July, and August.
  4. When your child meets their goal, move the slider all the way over to receive their certificate for a Personal Pan Pizza in your email.
  5. Use the serialized code on your child’s certificate to redeem! You’ll find more instructions about how to redeem on the certificate.

When does the program run?

Camp BOOK IT! runs from June to August. You can enroll your child at any time during these months.

How many reading certificates can my child earn through Camp BOOK IT?

BOOK IT! is a monthly rewards program, so students may earn and/or redeem one Reading Award Certificate per month.

How do I redeem my child’s reading certificates?

Once you receive their certificate in your email, take the printed or digital certificate to a Pizza Hut near you or use the redemption code to order online. The certificate must be used to reward the student who earned it.

How long do I have to redeem my child’s reading certificates?

The summer reading certificates for June, July and August all expire on September 15.

Learn More

To learn more, visit the Millie’s Ice Cream and Camp BOOK IT! websites.


December 8, 2021

New Pittsburgh Public Schools Board Members and President

On December 7, 2021, after new school board members Jamie Piotrowski, Tracey Reed, and Eugene Walker were sworn in, Sala Udin (School Board District 3) was elected President of the Board. Devon Taliaferro (District 2) was named 1st Vice-President and Pam Harbin (District 4) was named 2nd Vice-President.

One of the first major actions the board will need to take will be to approve the 2022 budget of $690.3 million. Since 2017, spending in Pittsburgh Public Schools (district and charter) has grown by $99.3 million while revenues have grown by $45.6 million. The board will also need to approve a plan to spend $100 million in American Rescue Plan dollars by the end of the year as well (which called for money for tutors, out of school partnerships, operational excellence, and more).

The biggest challenge facing this board is that overall K-12  enrollment in Pittsburgh’s public schools has declined by 2,916 students since 2017 (District: -4,041; Charter: +1,125).

A+ Schools will host a lunch and learn conversation on Wednesday, December 15 at noon to discuss the budget proposals. Registration for this virtual event may be completed online.


November 24, 2020

Free Tutoring Available for K-12 Students

Gwen’s Girls will continue to offer its free Academic Support Initiative virtual tutoring services for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. These services are available to any K-12 student who is attending school in Allegheny County.


Academic Support Initiative (ASI) tutoring is a free service offered to any K-12 student in the Pittsburgh area. Available tutors have a wide skill range that includes English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, Foreign Language, Special Education, and others. Tutoring services are offered throughout the academic year.

Gwen’s Girls offers group sessions for grades K-8 that are available Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m., as well as individual sessions that are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tutoring services will be provided through remote live sessions.


To register for tutoring, visit the Gwen’s Girls website. Gwen’s Girls will assist families in getting the necessary equipment for success.

More Information

For questions, contact Gwen’s Girls at 412.904.4239 or

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September 15, 2020

Advancing Anti-Racist Instruction in K-12 Curriculum

Are you interested in learning concrete strategies for implementing anti-racist content in your school or district? Join EdSurge on October 14 for their webinar, “Advancing Anti-Racist Instruction in K-12 Curriculum.”


In this webinar, participants will learn how educators, schools, and districts can and should intentionally interrogate representation within their curriculum and support anti-racism more broadly. In a time when actively anti-racist content is urgently needed in virtual and in-person classrooms alike, representative voices, diverse perspectives, and unheard narratives can still be hard to find in instructional content.

Hear from a panel of experts and education leaders about concrete strategies for implementing anti-racist content in your school or district, across subject areas and grade levels. Participants will also hear from school and district leaders about strategies for taking a multi-pronged approach.

Learning Objectives

During this webinar, participants will learn how to:

    • support anti-racism during remote learning;
    • develop robust instructional content that promotes anti-racism;
    • build an anti-racist culture and safe community in virtual and in-person spaces;
    • support teacher training on anti-racism; and
    • create buy-in for school and district-wide anti-racism efforts.


To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.


March 17, 2020

Social-Emotional Learning and Equity: Follow the Data

Join Education Week on March 25 for their webinar, “Social Emotional Learning and Equity: Follow the Data.”


Providing equitable opportunities for young people’s social, emotional, and academic growth is paramount. Equity in education goes deeper than providing equal education to all students. Equity in education is providing each student with the education they need to live and thrive.

Hear the most recent findings of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning and how SEL can be leveraged to promote equity. Get a first-hand look at some of the most recent data compiled, using measures of SEL achievement across diverse populations, and an understanding of which approaches yield the most substantive results. And briefly preview ACT’s SEL Solutions—evidence-based K-12 student curriculum, a suite of ELL options, educator professional development, and assessment—that align with CASEL’s 5 core competencies.


To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.

*Information provided by Education Week


January 15, 2020

Documenting Learning Through Photography

Join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on March 7 for their professional development session, “Documenting Learning Through Photography.”


Cameras are ubiquitous these days, but how can educators best use them in the classroom? In this workshop, educators will consider how they might use photography to enhance, expand, and document learning for both themselves and their students. Participants will learn about free simple apps for photo editing and how to use visual artifacts in student assessment. Participants are encouraged to bring their own mobile device, however, iPads will be made available for use during the class.

This course is designed for K-12 educators. Act 48 and PQAS hours available.


To register, visit the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website.

More Information

For personal assistance selecting accessible seats or for more information about accessibility for a person with a disability, contact Customer Service at 412.456.6666. To learn more, visit the event webpage.


December 13, 2019

2019-20 Carton 2 Garden Contest Receiving Entries

Are you interested in building or enhancing your school garden? Evergreen Packaging and are hosting the sixth national Carton 2 Garden Contest!


The Carton 2 Garden Contest is open to public and private schools, with contest winners selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative, sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Schools can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from homes, the community, or their cafeteria. After gathering the cartons, schools design and construct purposeful garden items and structures using them. For ideas, view last year’s winners.

Eligibility & Entry

Carton 2 Garden is open to all K-12 public and private schools in the United States. Schools do not need a garden to participate. Pre-k classes located at schools serving additional elementary, middle, and/or high school grade levels may also enter the contest. With this, all entries must document and share their gardening experience through an online entry form and submission of up to 10 photos.

To be eligible for the grand prize and specialty prizes, entries must also include a video link (under five minutes) that tells the story of the project in its entirety. View the Entry Form Checklist. Every student that appears in photos or videos must have an accompanying signed parent release form submitted with your entry. The form is also available in Spanish.

All entries must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Click here to access the online entry form.


Fifteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts, including:

    • one grand prize winner who will receive a prize valued at $5,000;
    • four winners, selected for exemplary demonstration in the following specialty areas: Carton Act in the Garden, Environmental Stewardship, Health and Nutrition, and STEM; who will receive a prize valued at $2,000 each; and
    • ten winners (five middle/high schools and five elementary schools) who will receive award packages valued at $1,000 each.

More Information

To learn more about the Carton 2 Garden Contest, visit the Kids Gardening website.


November 13, 2019

Creating Patterns of Pride with Batik

K-12 educators are invited to join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on January 11, 2020, for “Creating Patterns of Pride with Batik.”


Join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to explore how patterns exist across cultures and how you can bring your own, as well as your students’ cultural identity into original pattern designs. Using resistance and color, participants will learn how to accurately reproduce repeating patterns to create a unique batik wall hanging. You will leave with resources to guide you on connecting culturally responsive teaching to arts integration and STEAM.

This workshop is intended for K-12 Educators. ACT 48 and PQAS hours available.


To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.


September 20, 2019

Make it Glow: Bringing Blacklight into Your Classroom

Join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on November 9 for their workshop, “Make it Glow: Bringing Blacklight into Your Classroom.” This workshop is suitable for K-12 educators. Act 48 and PQAS hours available.


To register, visit the event webpage.

More Information

For more information, contact the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust at 412.471.6070.

For assistance selecting accessible seating or for more information about accessibility for a person with a disability, contact 412.456.6666.


November 8, 2018

ECE Professionals Invited to Participate in ELPIC Survey

The Early Learning Instructional Coaching (ELPIC) program is working with educators across PA to develop an Early Learning Administrator Leadership (ELAL) endorsement to support educational leaders in utilizing instructional coaching, professional development (PD), and professional learning communities (PLCs) to leverage change in pre-k-4 learning environments.  For educators with a Level I or Level II Instructional Certification, completion of the four-course sequence would result in an endorsement.

In order to best develop an endorsement that works for educators from both the K-12 and ECE worlds, ELPIC created two surveys that ask about current needs across the state and seeks to determine how the ELAL endorsement might address those needs.

Participants’ responses will be kept confidential. Data from across the state will be aggregated and used to support the endorsement proposal that will be submitted to PDE.

For ECE/K-12/IU

Please complete this survey based on your experience and the needs that you see in your district, building, or center.


Please complete this survey based on your experience preparing PreK-4 educators, as well as the needs you see in the field of early learning leadership.

Information Provided by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning