March 2, 2021

Study Opportunity: Parents Promoting Early Learning

Are you interested in participating in a fun, compensated research study? Sign up for the University of Pittsburgh’s Parents Promoting Early Learning study!


Parents Promoting Early Learning studies how parents and their two-year-old children (up to 38 months) interact and how such interactions help prepare the child for school. Due to COVID-19, this study will be conducted online. Laptops and WiFi are available by request.


Study participants will be compensated and must complete:

    • two to three online video calls where the parent and child complete games and assessments,
    • questionnaires and interviews about the child’s development and activities, and
    • a one-year follow-up visit for more games and assessments.


If you are interested in enrolling, complete the study contact form.

More Information

For questions, please contact or 412.204.6845.

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January 11, 2021

Fund My Future Information Session

Attend this online information session to learn about Fund My Future, a savings program that offers chances to win prizes and cash in monthly raffle drawings by depositing small amounts into your child’s savings account.


With the support from the Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Fund My Future is now available to all families in Pennsylvania to save for college and other post-secondary goals. Fund My Future provides a prize pool that makes the saving experience fun. This program is open to Pennsylvania residents who have children or grandchildren between the ages of birth to 18. Your child will benefit from the savings, and you benefit from the fun! Participants will have the chance to win a door prize.


To register, complete the online registration form.

More Information

For questions, please contact Fund My Future at 833.728.3946 or via this online form.


Webinar: Learning in a Pandemic

Join the U.S. Department of Education for a discussion on the state of student learning during the pandemic and tools that families and teachers can use to support student learning now. This event will educate parents and teachers on the state of learning today and how you can better support your students during the pandemic.


This forum will review the most updated research on the state of student learning today and share personalized platforms you can utilize to support student learning immediately. Institute for Education Sciences Director Mark Schneider will moderate a discussion with national leaders in the research field, Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes and NWEA, as they review findings on national learning loss.

Then, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Jim Blew will moderate a discussion on the power of individualized learning platforms with two examples for how to approach personalized learning for your students, Gooru, and New Classrooms.


To register, visit the online webpage. Registrants will receive an email containing a personalized access link.

More Information

For full details, visit the event webpage.

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Education


December 22, 2020

UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion

Are you interested in learning about the role collaboration plays in creating inclusive environments for young children? Join Trying Together and The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh in January for “UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion.”


Young children thrive and grow in their natural learning environments, including children with developmental differences. Educators play a critical role in creating an inclusive and diverse environment for children to feel a sense of belonging, to feel valued as a member of the classroom, and to feel empowered to learn to their full ability. UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion dives into the importance of working together—with a collaboration between teachers, intervention specialists, and parents/caregivers—to provide this environment for children to learn and grow in differentiated ways yet feel included in the group.

What Do I Receive?

    • PQAS and/or Act 48 hours.
    • Networking with colleagues.
    • Interactive workshop sessions.
    • Refreshed or refined thinking about our work with young children.



Featured Sessions

Keynote: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Presented by: Trying Together and Children’s Institute  |  Keynote Speaker: Wendy Pardee  

During the keynote session, Wendy Pardee, President, and CEO of The Children’s Institute will share how they created a collaborative environment that provides a positive view on early intervention in an effort to bring different parties together in the best interest of the child. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring an educator, parent, and intervention specialist.

Transition and Educational Support in the Early Childhood Environment

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Presented by: Kristina Berg and Loreleigh Elders, DART

Early Childhood Educators are an active and critical part of a child’s early intervention team that is often lost in the process of transition and service planning. This presentation will provide an overview of the early intervention process, as children age out of the Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Program and transition into Preschool Early Intervention Support. We will provide practical examples and resources of ways to support children and families through the transition process, as well as ways to adapt the preschool classroom environment in order for all children to be successful.

Creating and Building Inclusive Support Teams for Children

Friday, January 22, 2021, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Serena Washington, Trying Together

When thinking about what a team/collaboration approach looks like when working with children and families we must be open to asking the following questions: Why is it important to build a team for a child(ren)? What does the team/collaboration approach look like? Who and what do we need on the team/collaboration? How do we work and communicate as a team? In this workshop, join us for a robust discussion and learn strategies for creating an inclusive team to support your children.

How to Assess Your Students’ Needs: Using the ASQ through the Lens of Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Program

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Presented by: Gloria Rodriguez-Ransom, The Pennsylvania Keys

Through the expertise of the Infant Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) program, participants will receive an overview of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires with a particular emphasis on assessing children’s social and emotional development. The developmental screening tools ASQ3 and ASQ:SE 2 are designed for children ages three months to five years and designed for use by early childhood educators and health care professionals. Attendees will learn how to administer and score the screener and share the results of the screener with families and professional colleagues. In addition, recommendations for suggested resources will be shared if additional services are needed.

Overview of Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Services in Allegheny County Referral Through Transitioning Out of 0-3 Services

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presenters: Erica Balint and Vonna May-Miller, Alliance for Infants and Toddlers

In this workshop, presenters will discuss how the child’s 0-3 Early Intervention (EI) team collaborates with families and child care staff so that all have an understanding of how the EI system in Allegheny County operates and supports children. This session will give an overview of how children are referred and become part of the EI system. Information will include how a child is referred, eligibility criteria, evaluation process, service planning, and implementation along with transitioning out of 0-3 services.

Catering to The Whole Classroom: Lesson Development and Implementation That Speaks to Every Child

Friday, January 29, 2021 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Daile Fordoski, Lyasha Bishop, LaRae D. Cullens, The Learning Loft

There is not one lesson in any learning environment that is one size fits all. It is the educator’s responsibility to develop ways in which a lesson can benefit every child in a classroom. This workshop examines strategies for planning and implementing inclusive activities for children of varying developmental levels. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills by dissecting a pre-made lesson and sharing ideas and strategies of accommodation that can be applied in their setting.




This is a free Virtual UnConference. Participants must register in order to receive links to each workshop session via email. To register, complete the online registration form.

More Information

For questions about the UnConference, contact Yu-Ling Cheng at For additional information, visit our UnConference page.

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December 2, 2020

Virtual Conference: Early Literacy, Libraries, and You

Are you interested in learning how to raise lifelong readers? Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh from February 15 – 25, 2021 for their virtual conference, “Early Literacy, Libraries, and You.”


Educators and caregivers play a critical role in developing children’s reading readiness. In order to be ready to read when they enter school, young children need rich early literacy activities and interactions. Through this virtual conference, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will discuss activities, resources, and research that will enable participants to raise lifelong readers through expanded early literacy practices.

Formal and informal educators and caregivers are invited to attend. Attendees are welcome to register for one or more sessions. For individuals seeking continuing education hours, the number of hours received will correspond with the number of sessions attended. All sessions will be hosted on Zoom. Event links being sent out via email.

Featured Sessions

More Information

This Virtual Conference is presented in partnership between Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Trying Together as part of the Pittsburgh Ready project, with support from PNC Grow Up Great. To learn more, visit the Carnegie Libary of Pittsburgh website.


December 1, 2020

Fishing for a Positive Work Environment

Are you interested in learning how to create a positive work environment? Join Trying Together on Wednesday, December 16 for our online course, “FISH philosophy: Fishing for a positive work environment!


During this course, Leadership Development Strategist Allison Robinson will discuss the four principles of the FISH philosophy and assist participants in considering how each principle can become daily practice. These four concepts will help participants create and maintain a working environment that is energizing, fun, and that allows each member of the team to feel important.

Session Details

    • Session Date: Wednesday, December 16  |  1 – 3 p.m.
    • Instructor: Allison Robinson
    • CKC: Professional and Leadership
    • CDA Subject Area: Maintaining Professionalism
    • Registration Deadline: Monday, December 14, 2020


To register, visit the 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 credit is 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, please contact Jasmine Davis at


November 20, 2020

Open-Ended Questions Are For Everyone!

Are you interested in learning about using open-ended STEM questions with early learners of all ages and abilities? Join Trying Together on December 9 for our online session, “Connections and Conversations: Open-Ended Questions Are For Everyone!”


Connections and Conversations Virtual Check-Ins are biweekly interactive sessions that highlight topics of interest to the field of early childhood education. Participants engage in virtual discussions with child development experts while interacting with early learning practitioners to share questions, experiences, and expertise about the highlighted topic. Sessions offer one hour of PQAS credit. Act 48 credit will not be provided.

In this session, participants will engage in virtual discussions via Zoom with child development experts while interacting with early learning practitioners to share questions, experiences, and expertise about using open-ended Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) questioning with early learners of all ages and abilities.

Session Details

    • Session Date: Wednesday, December 9  |  6 – 7 p.m.
    • Instructors: Jasmine Davis and Wendy Brenneman
    • CKC: Curriculum and Learning Experiences
    • CDA Subject Area: Safe, Healthy Learning Environment
    • Registration Deadline: Monday, December 7, 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 credit is 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.

Session Rules and Guidelines

These virtual discussions are designed to provide educators the opportunity to grow professionally and share knowledge on early childhood topics. During the meeting, participants should follow the guidelines below to ensure a successful virtual meeting for all participants.

    • Please allow all participants a chance to speak. Listen respectfully and actively.
    • Commit to learning about each other, not to debating the topic.
    • Embrace differences of opinion as healthy and support each person’s authentic self-expression.
    • Participants will be muted for the beginning portion of the session.
    • Participants may use the “Raise Hand” feature in Zoom to request an opportunity to comment or ask a question. Individuals will be temporarily unmuted by the moderator.
    • Participants may type a comment or question in the Chat or may send comments or questions directly to the moderator for them to share.
    • To receive PQAS credit, you must complete an evaluation at the end of the session and include your PD Registry number.
    • Have fun, make connections, and engage in the conversations!

More Information

For questions or more information, please contact Jasmine Davis at


November 13, 2020

Fifth Annual Healthy Schools Summit

Are you interested in translating research into action to create green and healthy schools? Join Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) on Thursday, December 3 for the Fifth Annual Healthy Schools Summit.


During this virtual conference, national, state, and local experts will tackle the following questions:

    • How are school stakeholders coming together to realize their shared goal for green, safe, and healthy schools for students and staff to return to?
    • How are school leaders translating public health research into action to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
    • What resources are available for educators, nurses, parents, and students to respond to existing and emerging school health needs?

For information on the Summit sessions, please see the list below or view the full Summit Agenda.



Morning Sessions

    • “From Research to Action and Knowledge to Practice”: Keynote Address
      by Tracy Enger, Program Manager, U.S Environmental Protection Agency
    • “Public Health Decision Making for School Leaders: A Panel Discussion”
      with panelists Dr. Farhad Ahmed (PA Dept of Health), Aimee Eckmann (Perkins + Will), Dr. Megan Freeman (Children’s Hospital), and Dr. Robert Scherrer (Allegheny Intermediate Unit
    • “Clearing the Air: Indoor Air Quality in the Time of COVID-19”: Expert Panel
      with panelists Nina Hwang (Green Seal), Al Pater (Riverview School District), Lynn Rose (Environmental Health Consultant), and Raj Setty (Setty & Associates)

Afternoon Sessions

    • “The Future of Green and Healthy Schools” Afternoon Address
      by Anisa Heming, Director, Center for Green Schools, US Green Building Council
    • Celebrating Five Years of Success through Our Healthy Schools Recognition Program: Virtual Awards Ceremony
      • Option A – Learning Through Pandemics Past: Bringing Public Health and Civics into the Classroom
      • Option B – “It’s Just a Cold” Navigating Student Health During COVID-19: Panel Discussion
      • Option C – Civic Engagement Through Climate Literacy



To register for the Summit, visit the Eventbrite page. For questions, please email Kara Rubio, Healthy Schools Manager at


November 12, 2020

Educators: Join the Leap into Science National Network

Are you an educator in Pennsylvania who is interested in receiving training and materials to lead science and literacy workshops for children and families? Join the Leap into Science National Network! Applications must be submitted by December 14, 2020.


Leap into Science is a nationwide program developed by The Franklin Institute Science Museum that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books, designed for children ages three through 10-years-old and their families. The program empowers educators to offer workshops in community settings like libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs to engage underserved audiences in accessible and familiar settings.

Leap into Science provides workshops on a science theme for three possible audiences: early childhood, elementary, and/or family groups. If your organization was already trained in the Leap into Science Wind curricula, you are NOT eligible to attend this training.

Organization Benefits

Each organization that participates in Leap into Science will receive:

    • a two-hour virtual training on high-quality science and literacy curriculum and facilitation strategies for two or more educators;
    • ongoing support during program implementation as part of a Leap into Science National Network;
    • access to the national Leap into Science leadership team and online resources; and
    • a curriculum and materials kit (valued at $300).

Participation Commitments

As a Leap into Science partner organization, participants commit to:

    • scheduling and leading at least three Leap into Science workshops for children and/or families living in underserved rural or urban communities by September 2021, including an event during National Leap into Science Week (June 7 – 13, 2021);
    • posting each workshop to The Connectory, a searchable directory for STEM programs across the country;
    • completing a workshop report following each workshop; and
    • participating in quarterly calls with other trained educators in your state.

Available Workshops

The Pennsylvania Leap into Science Team is hosting a free two-hour virtual training on the Leap into Science Light & Shadow workshops at the following times:

    • Friday, January 29, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, March 16, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    • Thursday, May 13, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Submit An Application

To participate in the national network and attend one of the trainings listed above, please complete this brief application form by December 14, 2020.

Priority will be given to organizations that can send at least two educators to the training and who serve traditionally underrepresented audiences. If selected, you will receive an email notification of your acceptance by the end of December with details about the training you will attend.

More Information

For questions, contact Betsy O. Saatman at or 484.955.5909.


November 5, 2020

Early Literacy Virtual Conference

Are you interested in learning actionable strategies for teaching the five pillars of reading, especially in distance and hybrid learning environments? Join Learning Ally on December 4, 2020 for the “Early Literacy Virtual Conference.”


Join Learning Ally on December 4 for a full day of early literacy professional learning featuring keynote speakers Kai-leé Berke and Barbara Steinberg, in addition to 12 other experts. By attending, professionals will:

    • Discover actionable strategies for teaching the five pillars of reading, especially in a distance or hybrid learning environment.
    • Understand the milestones in early literacy development so you can better meet the needs of all your students.
    • Learn what it means to be intentionally anti-biased and culturally relevant when teaching literacy in a diverse classroom.
    • Connect with the experts and other educators to share first-hand experiences to drive lasting change in your teaching practice.


To register for the conference, visit the Learning Ally website. Attendees will be able to earn up to 16 Continuing Education (CE) hours live or on-demand through January 31, 2021.