News

April 28, 2020

Picture Books Featuring Black and Indigenous People and People of Color

If you are a parent or caregiver who understands the importance of finding picture books that feature Black and Indigenous People and People of Color (BIPOC) – offering children, as Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop phrased it, “mirrors and windows” to the world – it can still be challenging to know how to choose a good book from among what’s increasingly available on the “diverse books” market.

Join EmbraceRace and the founders of Diverse BookFinder on April 28 for their webinar “Choosing ‘Good’ Picture Books Featuring Black and Indigenous People and People of Color” to get their practical advice about how you can move beyond simply avoiding stereotypical portrayals to find great picture books your child is likely to enjoy. Time for questions and book recommendations will be provided.

Registration

To register, visit the event webpage.

*Information provided by EmbraceRace

News

April 8, 2020

How to Practically Implement the Six Keys to Early Childhood Reading

Are you interested in learning how and why the reading gap exists in children and how educators can help bridge the gap? Join Reading Expert John Lant on April 8 for his webinar, “How to Practically Implement the 6 Keys to Early Childhood Reading.”

About

In this webinar, participants will hear from reading experts who have spent 17 years in the classroom with children. Presenters will make it easy for attendees to understand how to apply and teach children the six keys to early childhood reading (as outlined by the NICHD) in a practical way. These six keys include the following:

    • teaching direct phonemic awareness;
    • teaching explicit letter-sound correspondence;
    • teaching frequent letter-sound relationships systematically;
    • demonstrating how to sound out words with letter-sound blending;
    • using connected, decodable text to practice letter-sounding relationships; and
    • reading interesting stories to develop language comprehension.

This webinar will be of interest to pre-k through elementary teachers and school and district leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the event webpage. Space is extremely limited.

News

April 7, 2020

Building Students’ Social-Emotional Strength Through Literacy

Are you interested in learning about classroom-ready resources that support social-emotional learning? Join Dr. Nancy Boyles on April 7 for the webinar, “Building Students’ Social-Emotional Strength Through Literacy.”

About

During this webinar, participants will gain a better understanding of CASEL focus areas that impact personal strength: managing feelings, a positive view of self, developing self-confidence, controlling impulsive behaviors, setting goals, and skill in communicating. This will include a reflection on questions for professionals in each area, an introduction to noteworthy picture books aligned to the focus areas, and application of a student-friendly questioning strategy for starting SEL conversations.

This webinar will be of interest to pre-k through high school teachers, librarians, and school leaders. Time for questions will be included.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the event webpage!

News

March 20, 2020

Early Language and Literacy Chat

Join the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA) this winter to discuss hot topics around early language and literacy development. From January through March 2020, 3o-minute chat sessions will be hosted on the second and fourth Friday at 8:30 a.m and repeated at 1:30 p.m. Participants will gain access to resources to share with families and use in their classrooms and centers. PQAS credit hours and infant/toddler hours available.

Available Dates

    • January 10, 2020: Those First Words
    • January 24, 2020: Conversations with Kids
    • February 7, 2020: Books, Books, Books!
    • February 21, 2020: Print is Everywhere
    • March 6, 2020: Sounds All Around!
    • March 20, 2020: Celebrating Dual Language Learners

More Information

For more information, visit the event Padlet page.

News

Early Language and Literacy Chat

Join the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA) this winter to discuss hot topics around early language and literacy development. From January through March 2020, 3o-minute chat sessions will be hosted on the second and fourth Friday at 8:30 a.m and repeated at 1:30 p.m. Participants will gain access to resources to share with families and use in their classrooms and centers. PQAS credit hours and infant/toddler hours available.

Available Dates

    • January 10, 2020: Those First Words
    • January 24, 2020: Conversations with Kids
    • February 7, 2020: Books, Books, Books!
    • February 21, 2020: Print is Everywhere
    • March 6, 2020: Sounds All Around!
    • March 20, 2020: Celebrating Dual Language Learners

More Information

For more information, visit the event Padlet page.

News

March 12, 2020

Raising Readers Together Club | Ages 0-5

The Raising Readers Together Club runs weekly and explores the importance of acceptance, equality, and tolerance through reading. Thursday sessions are suitable for children ages five and younger.

Raising Readers provides free books, discussion, food, songs, storytelling, and resources.

Winter 2020 Books

    • February 6: Thank You, Mr. Panda
    • February 13: Funderpants!
    • February 20: Knock Knock
    • February 27: My First Elements
    • March 5: Sulwe
    • March 12: Dream Big
    • March 19: The Too-Scary Story (Session Cancelled)
    • March 26: Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me (Session Cancelled)

Questions

For questions or more information, contact Cynthia Battle at 412.567.1304 or cynthia@tryingtogether.org.

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News

March 11, 2020

Raising Readers Together Club | Tweens & Teens

The Raising Readers Together Club runs weekly and explores the importance of acceptance, equality, and tolerance through reading. Wednesday sessions are suitable for tweens and teens.

Raising Readers provides free books, discussion, food, songs, storytelling, and resources.

Featured Books

    • February 5 – February 19: This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell
    • February 26 – March 25: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds (Sessions Cancelled)

Bookish in the ‘Burgh Events

On the following dates, Raising Readers Together Club members are invited to attend “Bookish in the ‘Burgh” at the Trust Arts Education Center (805 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222)! Bookish in the ‘Burgh is a festival that celebrates teen literature and encourages lifelong reading by bringing acclaimed authors of teen literature and their readers together. Click the links below to learn more.

Questions

For questions or more information, contact Cynthia Battle at 412.567.1304 or cynthia@tryingtogether.org.

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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 6, 2020

Early Language and Literacy Chat

Join the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA) this winter to discuss hot topics around early language and literacy development. From January through March 2020, 3o-minute chat sessions will be hosted on the second and fourth Friday at 8:30 a.m and repeated at 1:30 p.m. Participants will gain access to resources to share with families and use in their classrooms and centers. PQAS credit hours and infant/toddler hours available.

Available Dates

    • January 10, 2020: Those First Words
    • January 24, 2020: Conversations with Kids
    • February 7, 2020: Books, Books, Books!
    • February 21, 2020: Print is Everywhere
    • March 6, 2020: Sounds All Around!
    • March 20, 2020: Celebrating Dual Language Learners

More Information

For more information, visit the event Padlet page.