April 2, 2018

April is Month of The Young Child

Throughout April, Trying Together will host the Month of The Young Child to focus public attention on the needs and rights of young children, their families, and the adults who interact with them.


In the Pittsburgh-area, Trying Together observes the Month of The Young Child by providing advocacy, resources, and events that support high-quality early learning experiences for young children.

“We look forward to recognizing the Month of The Young Child every year,” said Cara Ciminillo, Trying Together Executive Director. “During the month we take a moment to pause and reflect not only on where the early childhood field is and where we want it to go, but on the individuals who care for and educate young children each day.”


The Annual Celebration Dinner for early care and education professionals will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Museum of Art and host keynote speaker William (Bill) E. Strickland, Jr. of Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

“Those in the early childhood field are often underpaid and undervalued,” said Ciminillo. “I hope the opportunity to hear from someone like Mr. Strickland whose life’s work was inspired by an educator is particularly meaningful for those in attendance.”

Trying Together will also honor early childhood advocate and professional Patricia (Pat) Cobbs (posthumously) at the Dinner.

“Miss Pat used to say, ‘It’s all about the kids!”, said Ciminillo. “Whether she was advocating on behalf of young children, or managing JLC Daycare which she owned in Swissvale, Pennsylvania, her mission was always to make sure we were doing what’s best for children.”

Later in the week, Ms. Cobbs’ family will accept The Pennsylvania Association for The Education of Young Children (PennAEYC) 2018 VOICE for Children Award on her behalf on Friday, April 13 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Ciminillo says the Dinner will be very celebratory as Trying Together completed its rebrand and released its five-year strategic plan earlier this year.

“Our board, partners, and staff invested a great deal of energy, expertise, and time into the rebrand and strategic planning process. With our refreshed look and name, and a clear path for the future, I’m looking forward to celebrating together with them and thanking those involved at the Dinner.”

Guests will enjoy a buffet dinner, photo booth, prizes, and more. This year’s dinner is now at capacity and has sold-out.


Trying Together staff and advocates will travel to the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg to bring attention to the unmet needs of young children statewide. Currently, 106,000 pre-k eligible 3 and 4-year-olds lack access to publicly funded programs throughout the Commonwealth. On Wednesday, April 18, 2018 staff and advocates will visit with State Legislators and ask visitors to decorate paper stacking blocks in the Rotunda.

“Everyone has an early care or education story to tell,” says Ciminillo. “As principal members of the Pre-K for PA Campaign, we are committed to bringing those stories to policymakers’ attention to ensure every child attends a high-quality pre-k program and enters kindergarten ready to succeed.”

Participants will be able to add Polaroids, draw pictures, write their stories, and decorate with stickers on the blocks. The blocks will then be stacked to visually represent the expansive impact early childhood programs have on constituents. Those interested in joining in this or other legislative visits should submit a form at


The Homewood Block Party will be held on Saturday, April 28, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Kelly Street in front of The Homewood Early Learning Hub, a community resource of Trying Together.

“This event enables us to celebrate and connect with the children and families served through programming at the Hub and at Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center where we are the lead organization,” said Ciminillo.

The Block Party is FREE and features activities, food, performances, and resources for young children. Registration is not required. Interested vendors are asked to contact Cynthia Battle at 412-421-3889 or

Full details on the Month of The Young Child.