September 22, 2020

Advocacy 201: Crafting and Sharing Your Message

Are you interested in speaking with elected officials about the importance of early childhood? Join Trying Together on October 27 for our free virtual workshop, “Advocacy 201: Crafting and Sharing Your Message.”


Effective messaging helps advocates communicate key points to their audience that can potentially influence their level of support. This workshop is for Early Childhood Education professionals who have taken Trying Together’s Advocacy 101 course (or any other foundational advocacy training) and would like to take the next step in preparing to speak with elected officials.

Course instructors will review early childhood research and effective messaging such as brain science, return on investment, impact on workforce and business community, and high-quality teaching. Attendees will leave the workshop with talking points for meeting with elected officials to advocate for early childhood.

Session Details

    • Session Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020  |  6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
    • Instructors: Cristina Codario, Emily Neff, and Lindsey Ramsey
    • Core Knowledge Area: Professional and Leadership
    • CDA Content Area: Maintaining Professionalism
    • Registration Deadline: Sunday, October 25, 2020


To register, visit the course PD Registry page. Space is limited. Participants will receive the course Zoom link via email within 24 hours before the start date for the course. PQAS and Act 48 credit available.

If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact for more information.

More Information

For questions or more information, contact Jasmine Davis at


February 17, 2020

Message from Me Expands Its Services Nationwide

Made possible by PNC Grow Up Great, Message from Me is expanding its reach nationwide to serve parents, caregivers, and early care and education professionals in more than 50 PNC networks.


Although children are developing critical language and literacy skills in their early learning environments, they sometimes struggle to communicate what they learned to the adults and caregivers around them. That’s why Trying Together and Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab collaborated to develop Message from Me, a digital tool designed in alignment with the NAEYC and Fred Rogers Center Joint Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children Birth through Age 8.

Program Director Katie Gullone defines Message from Me as a child-led digital tool designed to strengthen relationships and provide children opportunities to share their thoughts and feelings with the adults most important to them. Implemented in early learning programs and classrooms, the digital tool provides caregivers with a series of pictures and audio messages of their child’s daily learning experiences. Delivered through email or text, these messages build connections between home and early learning environments by providing children with a platform to share their voice, feelings, and perspective on the world around them.

Why It Matters

Caring, responsive adult-child relationships play a critical role in the healthy development of young children, and these types of relationships are exactly what Message from Me helps to foster.

“When children are exposed to high-quality early learning environments, they gain access to credentialed professionals who support their development through child-led, developmentally-appropriate activities and learning experiences. Message from Me was developed to ease the transition between school and home. By receiving photos and audio messages of their child’s early learning experiences, parents and caregivers gain a frame of reference they can build from when interacting with their early learner.” – Cara Ciminillo, Executive Director, Trying Together

Thanks to PNC Grow Up Great for their continued sponsorship of Message from Me. With their generous support, countless children, families, and early care and education professionals throughout the country will now gain an opportunity to further nurture their adult-child relationships through the latest expansion of Message from Me.


To date, Message from Me has been implemented in early learning centers and school districts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Utah, Michigan, and Atlanta Public Schools. Through its nationwide expansion, Message from Me looks forward to engaging more children and families as early childhood professionals begin implementing Message from Me in their classrooms.

More Information

Educators interested in using Message from Me receive hands-on professional development that supports teaching practices when using digital technologies with children. Trying Together exclusively provides the professional development for Message from Me.

For more information, visit the Message from Me website and sign up to receive their newsletter.


March 29, 2019

Pittsburgh Spotlight Receives 82 Innovation Submissions

After receiving a total of 82 submissions from southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia schools, museums, libraries, nonprofits, government agencies, and more, HundrED released a full list of the innovative submissions they received.

Submissions included:

  • Innovative approaches from 27 schools and school districts in the Pittsburgh region
  • 9 technology tools to facilitate learning developed by local companies and research projects
  • 8 projects of local colleges and universities, including innovations from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Penn State University
  • 31 programs and approaches from local museums, nonprofits, and community centers

Our Highlight

Listed as a submission, Message from Me (MfM) is an early childhood communications tool developed through the collaborative efforts of the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) CREATE Lab and Trying Together. MfM was designed with the intention to involve families in the education experience and bridge the home-school connection while enhancing a child’s communication skills, independence, and opportunities for interaction. Using the MfM app, a child can record and share daily thoughts and experiences, impacting his or her feelings of individuality, self-confidence, and well-being.

To learn more about MfM’s purpose, design, and impact, visit the HundrEd page.

See the full list of submissions.

What’s Next?

HundrEd’s global research team will be running a rigorous review of all eligible applications, in addition to a review by a local committee consisting of educators, parents, students, researchers, and community stakeholders who will score each innovation to help decide which ones will be featured in the Spotlight collection. Following this review period, the 10 selected innovations will be announced in May as a part of Remake Learning Days, a regional celebration of the future of learning.

About the Pittsburgh Spotlight

HundrED is a not-for-profit organization that researches, highlights, and propels K-12 education innovations in an effort to improve education and inspire a grassroots movement by encouraging pedagogically sound, ambitious inventions to spread across the world. The Pittsburgh Spotlight is one of 6 individual spotlight categories, all centered around specific regions or topics. Through this spotlight, HundrED seeks to highlight educators and innovators in our area that are doing extraordinary things to help students.

*Information provided by HundrED