News

June 17, 2020

Pittsburgh Families Invited to Receive Free Children’s Books

Since the City of Pittsburgh’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library launch in February 2019, the program has grown to include over 3,200 local children and recently sent its 30,000th book. Thanks to funding received from the Hillman Family Foundation and McCauley Ministries, the program will continue to sustain and grow services in Pittsburgh.

About the Program

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a free program for any child who lives in the City of Pittsburgh age zero to five to receive one book a month in the mail until their fifth birthday. When they turn five, they will have their own library of up to 60 books.

The City of Pittsburgh’s program is affiliated with the national initiative started by music legend Dolly Parton. Participating children will begin receiving books through the U.S. Postal Services approximately eight weeks after the registration form has been received.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, preschoolers must:

  • be a resident of the City of Pittsburgh,
  • have a parent or guardian fill out an official registration form, and
  • notify the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania of any address changes.

Registration

To sign up for this program, register your child(ren) online via the Imagination Library website!

Interested in mailing in or submitting your registration in person? See their webpage for more details.

More Information

For any questions, please contact Tiffini Simoneaux at tiffini.simoneaux@pittsburghpa.gov or 412.255.2505. To view the booklist, visit the Imagination Library website.

News

March 17, 2020

Strategies for eLearning Days in the Wake of COVID-19

With many schools and learning centers closing for a period of time due to coronavirus (COVID-19), educators are utilizing technology to offer learning opportunities to students at home. Join the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) on March 17 for their webinar to learn more about implementing “eLearning Days.”

About

In this webinar, presenters will provide essential resources for state, district, and school administrators and teachers as they prepare for eLearning Days in the wake of school closings related to the COVID-19 virus. Launched by SETDA with the support of AT&T, the SETDA Coalition for eLearning will compile and provide resources on eLearning for state education agencies and school districts at no cost.

The Coalition will also support leaders and spark innovation around eLearning related to the COVID-19 virus, as well as inevitable inclement weather and other disruptive events. A school-based experience in eLearning Days will provide first-hand experience of planning and implementing eLearning Days.

This webinar is suitable for kindergarten through high school teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders. Time for questions will be provided.

Register

To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.

News

March 10, 2020

Storytime: Baby and Me | Homewood

Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood to sing, clap, and bounce along with your baby to action rhymes, stories, and songs. Songs help children develop listening skills and pay attention to the rhymes and rhythms of spoken language. This event is intended for children birth to 18 months and their caregivers.

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For questions, call the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Homewood Branch at 412.731.3080.

News

March 9, 2020

Interviews with Ms. Barb and Families at the Frank Sarris Library

Prior to the start of the Washington County Focus Week (March 9 – 13, 2020), Trying Together visited staff, families, and young children at the Frank Sarris Public Library in Canonsburg for a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” At the event, library staff member Barbara Somma, aka Ms. Barb, led children and their caregivers through a series of activities, including fingerplays, dances, and a Dr. Seuss themed craft. The classroom included creative play items for the children as well, including a puppet show theater, “grocery market,” books, legos, and more.

After the class, Trying Together had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Barb and two participating caregivers, Karen and Kim. Featured below are our questions and each interviewees’ responses.

Interviews

Barbara Somma, Class Teacher

Barbara Somma, or as the children call her, “Ms. Barb,” brightens the day of each child and caregiver who attends her classes. Having a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education under her belt, Ms. Barb spent the last 10 years as a dedicated staff member at the Frank Sarris Public Library. If you stop by the Library, you can catch Ms. Barb leading Storytime, Little Picassos, Wiggles and Giggles, and the Summer Reading Camp! Odds are, she will have a crowd of young children giggling and following her happily!

  • What programming does Frank Sarris Library provide for young children and families?

The Frank Sarris Library offers a plethora of programming for children and families! Monday through Friday, we have activities geared towards preschool level children like storytime, yoga storytime, art, and a class called Wiggles and Giggles that is focused on body movement. During the month of July, we also offer a Summer Reading Camp for children in Kindergarten through fourth grade that includes creative themes like Fairytale Science, Mysical Beasts, and Magic School. They’re all meant to spark each child’s imagination. We offer services all throughout the year though, including books for readers of all ages, creative “Grable Kits,” several e-resources, and more.

  • How can caregivers make literacy experiences meaningful for their young children?

I think by just reading to your children all of the time. Read for 20 minutes a day, every day with your children. As a mother of two, I would always read a couple books with them right before bed. It’s also important to get a library card! They’re free and the library has tons of free resources for young children and families.

  • Why do you feel early childhood development is so important for young children?

Early childhood development is the basis for everything a child needs in life! Children learn from meaningful experiences and repetition. As adults, we need to make sure we are providing the time and patience for those experiences!

  • How do you see your role at the Frank Sarris Library supporting early childhood development in your community?

I think my role is really important here at the Frank Sarris Library. We serve many families and it’s important that we provide children with safe places to go. All of the staff here at the Library serve as role models within the community. However, our Library is an untapped resource. There are so many services that community members could benefit from if they stopped by.

Karen and Granddaughter Ellie

  • How did you like today’s event? What piqued your interest in attending?

Everything Ms. Barb does is truly amazing. I’ve been coming here for seven and a half years and I’ve brought all of my grandchildren. I was interested in attending because I wanted to make sure my grandchildren had social interactions with young children, and Ms. Barb allows the children to have these great social experiences! By coming here, my grandchildren have learned language concepts and vocabulary. Ms. Barb is so dynamic. She exudes engaging and creative energy in everything she does!

  • What’s your favorite book to read to your child? Why?

Ellie doesn’t have a favorite book, she really just loves to read! She is very into the alphabet right now!

Kim and Grandson

  • How did you like today’s event? What piqued your interest in attending?

Ms. Barb is great! Attending this program is the best thing I have done with my grandson! We heard about the children’s programs here through word of mouth. We have been attending since he was about six months old. We love Ms. Barb’s music and freeze dancing!

  • What’s your favorite book to read to your child?

He loves reading Elmo and Mini Mouse right now!

More Information

This session was one of many free services that the Frank Sarris Public Library provides, with options available for learners of all ages. To learn more about their services, visit the Frank Sarris Public Library website! To learn more about the Washington County Focus Week, read our news post!

News

March 3, 2020

Storytime: Baby and Me | Homewood

Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood to sing, clap, and bounce along with your baby to action rhymes, stories, and songs. Songs help children develop listening skills and pay attention to the rhymes and rhythms of spoken language. This event is intended for children birth to 18 months and their caregivers.

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For questions, call the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Homewood Branch at 412.731.3080.

News

February 25, 2020

Storytime: Terrific Tales for Toddlers

Children ages 18 months – 36 months and their caregivers are invited join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Oakland for “Storytime: Terrific Tales for Toddlers” to get up and moving with stories, songs, rhymes, and silly fun! During the event, children will develop language and listening skills, as well as a love of reading. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves!

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For more information, email children@carnegielibrary.org or call 412.622.3122.

News

Storytime: Baby and Me | Homewood

Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood to sing, clap, and bounce along with your baby to action rhymes, stories, and songs. Songs help children develop listening skills and pay attention to the rhymes and rhythms of spoken language. This event is intended for children birth to 18 months and their caregivers.

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For questions, call the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Homewood Branch at 412.731.3080.

News

February 18, 2020

Storytime: Terrific Tales for Toddlers

Children ages 18 months – 36 months and their caregivers are invited join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Oakland for “Storytime: Terrific Tales for Toddlers” to get up and moving with stories, songs, rhymes, and silly fun! During the event, children will develop language and listening skills, as well as a love of reading. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves!

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For more information, email children@carnegielibrary.org or call 412.622.3122.

News

Storytime: Baby and Me | Homewood

Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood to sing, clap, and bounce along with your baby to action rhymes, stories, and songs. Songs help children develop listening skills and pay attention to the rhymes and rhythms of spoken language. This event is intended for children birth to 18 months and their caregivers.

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For questions, call the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Homewood Branch at 412.731.3080.

News

February 17, 2020

Storytime: Terrific Tales for Toddlers

Children ages 18 months – 36 months and their caregivers are invited join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Oakland for “Storytime: Terrific Tales for Toddlers” to get up and moving with stories, songs, rhymes, and silly fun! During the event, children will develop language and listening skills, as well as a love of reading. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves!

View the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh calendar to see alternate locations, dates, and times.

More Information

For more information, email children@carnegielibrary.org or call 412.622.3122.