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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!

About

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.

Requirements

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.

Enrollment

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

More Information

For questions, please contact ppel@pitt.edu or 412.204.6845.

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December 17, 2020

Engaging and Teaching Parents About Technology

Are you interested in learning how to teach parents about technology? Join Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Karina Gathu, and Tay Gudmundson on December 17 for “Engaging and Teaching Parents About Technology.”

About

Parents can be collaborators or obstacles when the topic of technology comes up. With more remote learning than ever, schools need parents. Educators often talk to parents when mistakes or accidents happen, as a reactionary measure. However, schools can be more proactive about preventing those mistakes by reaching out and understanding parents’ situations and worries. This webinar will draw from on-the-ground work with hundreds of parents, sharing survey results with their biggest concerns. Time for questions will be provided.

Featured Topics

In this webinar, professionals will:

    • learn the five most important things parents should know about digital citizenship,
    • learn how, when, why, and who to host a digital parenting event with, and
    • learn how to be proactive with parents, not reactive.

Registration

This webinar is best suited for K-12 teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders. To register, visit the EdWeb website.

News

December 11, 2020

New Mitigation Efforts To Take Effect 12/12

On December 10, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine introduced temporary protective mitigation measures that will take effect in Pennsylvania on December 12 at 12:01 a.m.

About

Temporary mitigation measures will take effect on December 12, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., and remain in effect until 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021. These mitigation efforts were put into place to:

    • stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth,
    • keep Pennsylvania hospitals and health care workers from being overwhelmed, and
    • help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season – and closer to a widely available vaccine – as safely as possible.

These efforts do not apply to educational instruction but do apply to school activities within and outside of the classroom that are not related to educational instruction, including, but not limited to, assemblies, school board meetings, staff meetings, and extracurricular activities. View the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on school operations.

Limited-Time Mitigation Measures

Capacity Limits for Businesses
    • All in-person businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50 percent of the maximum capacity stated on the applicable certificate of occupancy, except as limited by existing orders to a smaller capacity limit.
Indoor Gatherings and Events
    • Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 persons are prohibited.
    • Groups of people who share space within a building in the ordinary course of operations, such as in an office building, classroom, licensed child care, and non-licensed school-age programs, production floor, or similar regularly occurring operation of a business or organization, are NOT classified as events or gatherings.
    • Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations set forth on indoor gatherings during religious services. However, these institutions are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship, as in-person gatherings pose a significant risk to participants at this time.
Outdoor Gatherings and Events
    • Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 persons are prohibited.
In-Person Extracurricular School Activities
    • Voluntary activities sponsored or approved by a school entity’s governing body or administration are suspended, but these extracurricular activities may be held virtually. This includes, but is not limited to, attendance at or participation in activities such as musical ensembles, school plays, student council, clubs, and school dances.
K-12 School Sports and Youth Sports
    • All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and clubs, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports are paused.
In-Person Dining and Alcohol Sales
    • All in-person indoor dining at businesses in the retail food services industry, including, but not limited to, bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs, and private catered events are prohibited.
    • Outdoor dining, take-out food service, and take-out alcohol sales are permitted and may continue, subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law, or this or any other Order issued by the Secretary of Health or by the Governor.

More Information

To view the full list of mitigation efforts, read the full press release. Answers to frequently asked questions are also available.

News

December 3, 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.

About

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

 


Registration

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

News

November 24, 2020

Free Tutoring Available for K-12 Students

Gwen’s Girls will continue to offer its free Academic Support Initiative virtual tutoring services for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. These services are available to any K-12 student who is attending school in Allegheny County.

About

Academic Support Initiative (ASI) tutoring is a free service offered to any K-12 student in the Pittsburgh area. Available tutors have a wide skill range that includes English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, Foreign Language, Special Education, and others. Tutoring services are offered throughout the academic year.

Gwen’s Girls offers group sessions for grades K-8 that are available Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m., as well as individual sessions that are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tutoring services will be provided through remote live sessions.

Registration

To register for tutoring, visit the Gwen’s Girls website. Gwen’s Girls will assist families in getting the necessary equipment for success.

More Information

For questions, contact Gwen’s Girls at 412.904.4239 or contactus@gwensgirls.org.

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November 20, 2020

Tuition-Free Courses Available for ECE Professionals

Are you an early learning professional who is interested in earning an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or Child Development Certificate? No- and low-cost options are available for eligible professionals in Pennsylvania through the Professional Development Organization (PDO).

Professional Development Organization

The Professional Development Organization (PDO) is a grant-funded educational collaboration among four universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and numerous partner universities, colleges, and community programs across the state to advance the career pathways of the early childhood workforce. PDO funding covers tuition, expenses, and other supports to help eligible early childhood educators earn credit-bearing credentials and degrees.

Tuition-Free Courses

Tuition-free courses are eligible for early childhood professionals who:

    • are Pennsylvania residents,
    • work in a Keystone STARS program, and
    • work a minimum average of 25 hours per week over an entire work year (during non-COVID times).

To determine your eligibility, complete the online application. Once your eligibility is confirmed, a PDO Liaison from your region will contact you to discuss your professional development options.

Available Pathways

The following pathways are available to advance your academic and professional development:

    • Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA)
    • Associate’s Degree, Early Childhood Education
    • Bachelor’s Degree, Early Childhood Education

Steps To Take

If you are interested in taking advantage of this limited-time opportunity, complete these three steps:

    • Apply for Tuition Assistance 

      Complete the application. Once submitted, an ECE Liaison will contact you to confirm your eligibility for tuition assistance, guide you through the application at a PDO partner university, college, or program, and help you register for classes. Be sure to check your spam folder as it may contain an email from your ECE Liaison.

    • Register for Classes 

      Class offerings at all schools and programs may change each semester. Check with an ECE Liaison or the school for details. View this document for examples of available classes.

More Information

For more information, contact Mimi Loughead at mimi@tryingtogether.org.

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November 19, 2020

Supporting the Voices of Grieving Children

Join the Highmark Caring Place on November 19 for their webinar “Can You Hear Us Now? Supporting the Voices of Grieving Children” to learn about unique grief responses seen in children, ways to practice self-care, and opportunities to elevate the voices of grieving children.

About

Children’s Grief Awareness Day provides an opportunity for all to raise awareness of the painful impact that the death of a loved one has in the life of a child, and an opportunity to make sure that these children receive the support they need. It’s a day on which often-unnoticed kids can become heard for a change. A day when all of us can take the time to realize how much it can help grieving children for them to get support.

In this webinar, presenters will work to educate the community about children who are grieving, equip peers and adults to become companions for grieving children, and honor the children and their loved ones who have died.

Featured Topics

During the webinar, participants will:

    • learn about the background and vision of Children’s Grief Awareness Day;
    • gain knowledge of the unique grief responses seen in children;
    • understand the ways that encountering grief and offering support can be challenging, and explore ways of practicing self-care; and
    • identify one to two ways they can elevate the voices of grieving children by raising awareness in their own school, community, or place of work throughout the year.

Registration

To register for this event, visit the event webpage.

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Mindfulness-Based Skills to Promote Resilience and Connection

Are you interested in learning how mindfulness practices can impact a child’s ability to deal with stress, anxiety, and trauma? Join Megan Davis on November 19 for “Compassionate Classrooms: Mindfulness-Based Skills to Promote Resilience and Connection.”

About

The goal of this webinar is to introduce mindfulness skills that educators, therapists, and paraprofessionals can integrate into the classroom to build resiliency, distress tolerance, and connection. At the end of this session, you will have gained insight into how simple mindfulness practices directly impact our body’s ability to downregulate in the face of stress, anxiety, and trauma. You will be able to integrate concrete skills into your classroom to support students’, as well as your own, wellness.

Featured Topics

In this webinar, Megan Davis will:

    • define a basic understanding of how stress impacts the nervous system and our ability to self-regulate,
    • demonstrate breathing exercises to calm and balance an activated nervous system,
    • demonstrate mindfulness exercises to regulate and widen the “window of tolerance”,
    • help professionals plan for how and when to integrate skills into a typical school day (virtual or in-person),
    • and provide opportunities to reflect on current self-care practices and how they translate to the culture of classroom wellness.

Registration

This webinar is best suited for K-12 teachers, librarians, school leaders, therapists, and counselors. To register, visit the EdWeb website.

News

November 18, 2020

School’s Out! Challenges and Solutions for School-Age Programs

Are you interested in exploring common challenges and solutions for school-age programs? Join presenters Tracy Galuski, Ph.D., Arlene Rider, Ph.D., and Nadia J. Jones, Ed.D. on November 18 for “School’s Out! Challenges and Solutions for School-Age Programs: Meaningful Activities.”

About

Professionals who work with school-age children in out-of-school environments often struggle with ways to keep the children engaged in programs that run before and after the structured school day. Children have varied needs, and program staff are often dealing with challenges such as a restrictive environment, mixed groupings, and varied schedules.

Within the context of child development, this webinar offers a child-centered approach to developing activities that engage and enhance the program. Participants will explore a number of common challenges along with some possible solutions that can be adapted and applied in their work. Time for questions will be provided.

Featured Topics

This webinar will:

    • review typical learning centers in school-age programs,
    • explore developmental stages and how child development informs practice, and
    • discuss challenges and solutions related to the environment and activities.

Registration

This webinar is best suited for practioneres in before- and after-school programs in a variety of settings. To register, visit the EdWeb website.

News

November 16, 2020

Support Available Through Family Hotline

Need assistance in navigating the academic and personal needs of those in your household? Call this Family Hotline offered by the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative.

About

In August 2020, A+ Schools, ARYSE, Lawrenceville United, the Latino Community Center, the Boys & Girls Club, and Heinz Fellows launched their new Family Hotline to answer questions and offer support to families as they navigate the academic and personal needs of those in their household.

The Hotline is available in 14 languages, including English, Spanish, Uzbek, Swahili, Nepali, Tigrinya, Kinyarwanda, Mandarin, Hindi, Burmese, French, Dari, Portuguese, and Arabic. Calls can be received 24/7. A representative may answer your call, but if not, please leave a voicemail. You will receive a call back within 48 hours on weekdays. Voicemails can be left in any language.

Hotline Phone Numbers

    • For calls in any language: 412.256.8536
    • Para llamadas en Español: 412.335.7446

Share these flyers with your network: English, Español, Uzbek, Swahili, Nepali, Tigrinya, Kinyarwanda, Mandarin, Hindi, Burmese, French, Dari, Portuguese, Arabic.