News

February 1, 2022

2022 Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community

The Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is an annual fundraising walk that benefits local health and human service agencies.

The primary goal of the walk is to help participating organizations raise money for their individual missions. One hundred percent of the funds raised through this event go directly back to the participating organizations.

Please share this flyer with your networks.

Join Our Team

If you’re interested in walking or donating, join Trying Together’s team! Registered virtual walkers will have the option to sign up as an individual, join a team, create a new team, or pull up team information from a previous event. Thanks to Highmark’s online platform, participants can donate and track donations made, send templated email reminders to your teammates, and more!

Visit our registration page to sign up and learn more!

Donations

One hundred percent of the donations received will go directly to the participating organizations. All donations must be received no later than June 30, 2022. Trying Together will accept donations via the online donation platform or mail. If you would like to submit a check or cash donation, please complete a Walker Donation Form. All forms and donations must be mailed to Trying Together at the following address:

Trying Together
5604 Solway Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Ask your networks to help fundraise, too! Utilize our social media toolkit to share information about the Highmark Walk on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

All registered walkers who raise or donate $30 or more will receive a Walk for a Healthy Community t-shirt while supplies last. For every $50 you raise for participating organizations, you will receive one chance for raffle prizes.

Will you help Trying Together reach its fundraising goal? For more information, contact Maria Pisano, Director of Communications, at maria@tryingtogether.org.

COVID-19 Information

In an abundance of caution, and for the protection and safety of our Walk participants and volunteers, the decision has been made to modify all seven 2022 Highmark Walks for a Healthy Community to an online only fundraiser and virtual walk for this year’s campaign.

A virtual walk is a real walk, but allows for more flexibility! Whether on a treadmill or at the park, participants can choose their start and stop times, and then share photos and videos on social media to raise awareness!

More Information

For more information and answers to common questions, visit Highmark’s FAQ page.

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.

Share this flyer with your network.

News

November 19, 2020

Join Us In Celebrating #GivingTuesday

Join Trying Together, your neighbors, and the global community on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, in celebrating kindness, collaboration, and generosity. Join us in #GivingTogether this #GivingTuesday.

What Is GivingTuesday?

First established in 2012, GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. It’s also an opportunity for people to stand together in unity—to use their individual power of generosity to support and champion the organizations and causes they care about.

Why Should You Participate?

2020 has been a difficult year, and it has been especially difficult for our nation’s families. Due to job loss, financial strain, education challenges, and limited access to child care, families have been working tirelessly to make ends meet and support the learning and development of their children. However, they cannot do it alone.

That’s why Trying Together’s mission to reinforce the work of early childhood is more important than ever before. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trying Together has:

    • mobilized our advocates to ensure child care businesses receive the emergency funds they need to stay in business and provide services to families;
    • distributed critical health and safety supplies to early learning programs that serve essential workers and their families;
    • developed an online search tool to assist essential workers and families with quickly finding and choosing early learning programs that meet their needs;
    • created an online community for families to connect, discuss, and support one another in their care and education planning for the 2020-21 school year; and

During the COVID-19 pandemic and after, Trying Together will continue to develop our programs, resources, and services to meet the needs of our communities. Will you join us in this work by showing your support on GivingTuesday?

What You Can Do

We all have gifts to give, and thanks to social media, online giving, mail, and phones, there are limitless ways to use your generosity to reinforce the early childhood field. For examples of how you can give this giving season, see the list below!

Submit A Donation

If you would like to support Trying Together’s work directly, consider submitting a financial donation! We appreciate donations of any size. However, for those looking for recommended amounts, Trying Together has identified the following tiers:

    • Early Childhood Supporter ($60)
    • Early Childhood Sustainer ($120)
    • Early Childhood Champion ($1,000)

Thanks to the generosity of Trying Together’s Board of Directors, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2,000. Help us secure these matched dollars by donating!

Share Your Story

When you think of a good teacher, who do you think of? Take time this GivingTuesday to thank that person via social media, phone, or email and let them know how their work has positively impacted your life or the life of your child.

SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Join the larger community in celebrating gratitude by posting your thank you message, picture, or video on social media using #GiveThanks or #GivingTogether.

    • Example: I’d like to say thank you to @amymiller for the wonderful work she’s been doing to support my child’s learning and healthy development! Ashton still can’t stop talking about the caterpillar craft he did last month! 🐛🦋 #GiveThanks #GivingTuesday

2. Set a goal for how many educators you’d like to thank this giving season and share it out on social media using #GiveThanks or #GivingTogether!

    • Example: This #GivingTuesday, I’m celebrating gratitude by thanking three early learning professionals who have had a positive impact on my life and child. Will you join me? #GiveThanks 📞💌

#GivingTuesday is on December 1 this year and to celebrate, I’d like to #GiveThanks to the early learning professionals who work tirelessly to make sure my child is safe, supported, and cared for. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you!CLICK TO TWEET

PHONE OR EMAIL

If you have their phone number or email, contact your early learning professional and let them know how much you appreciate the work they do to support your family.

Share Our Fundraising Page

Another great way to support Trying Together is by sharing our fundraising page with your network. To help get you started, we have created a GivingTuesday Social Media Toolkit that features sample social media posts and more!

More Information

For questions, please contact Trying Together at info@tryingtogether.org.

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.

News

DHS Warns of Potential Pandemic EBT Benefit Scam

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is warning of a possible scam concerning Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits and reminding Pennsylvanians to be skeptical of unsolicited or random calls or text messages about public-assistance programs – especially when the calls or text messages solicit personal information, such as Social Security numbers.

About

DHS is investigating a report of individuals receiving calls with pre-recorded messages advising them to expedite their P-EBT benefits issuance by providing their Social Security number and case record number. In the message, the speaker claims to be from a County Assistance Office (CAO).

DHS and other government agencies do not ask for information about P-EBT, SNAP, or any other public-assistance programs via unsolicited or random calls or texts, and Pennsylvanians should not reply to such a call or text or share any personal information if they are contacted in this way. If you or anyone you work with receive unsolicited or random calls or text messages telling you that you qualify for assistance and then asking for personal information, it is most likely a scam. Do not respond. Delete the message so you do not get caught in an identity theft scam.

Pennsylvanians who have questions about whether a call, text, letter, or other communication is legitimate should contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. Clients in Philadelphia should call the Philadelphia Customer Service Center at 215.560.7226. Clients in all other counties can call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1.877.395.8930.

Apply for Benefits

Applications for the SNAP and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.

More Information

For more information, read the full press release. To learn about food assistance resources for people around Pennsylvania impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying economic insecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture’s food security guide.

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

News

November 10, 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.

Share this flyer with your network.

News

Supporting Fathers Who Were Sexually Abused as Children

Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center and Hassan Daniel, Founder and CEO of The Father Factory, on November 18 for “Supporting Fathers Who Were Sexually Abused as Children.” This is an online event.

About

During this discussion, Brazelton Touchpoints Center Executive Director Joshua Sparrow, MD, and Hassan Daniel, Founder and CEO of The Father Factory, will discuss fathers with childhood histories of sexual abuse and how they can heal and become the fathers they want to be and their families need them to be. Join Hassan for a live and interactive discussion following the event. Live Spanish translation will be available.

Registration

To register, visit the event webpage.

News

October 30, 2020

Strategies to Support DLLs and Their Families

Are you interested in learning strategies to support dual language learners (DLLs) and their families? Join presenters Lea Ann Christenson, Ph.D., and Nadia J. Jones, Ed.D., on November 10 for “Strength in Diversity: Practical Theory and Strategies to Support DLLs and Their Families.”

About

This webinar will cover practical theory, easy-to-use advice, and strategies to support dual language learners and their families. In addition, participants will learn how to cultivate empathy, perspective, and high expectations for all children. The content of this webinar can also benefit English-only (EO) young children and their families. Time for questions will be provided.

Featured Topics

Participants will walk away with the conceptual understanding of the content which they can put to use in their classrooms, schools, and centers immediately. Educators will learn:

    • demographics of young DLLs in classrooms today,
    • the basics of second-language acquisition theory,
    • effective teaching strategies and principles of instruction,
    • how and why honoring the home language supports English acquisition, and
    • tips for engaging the families of DLLs.

Registration

This webinar is best suited for anyone in the early childhood field, including teachers, instructional aides, administrators, and district office personnel. To register, visit the EdWeb website.

News

October 23, 2020

2020 Family Support Needs Assessment

On October 22, the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) released a new Family Support Needs Assessment that covers the needs and challenges experienced by families with young children and opportunities to address these needs and better serve families.

Overview

Developed in partnership with PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the assessment found that substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and mental health challenges are among the most pronounced issues facing young families across urban and rural communities. The assessment also shows an overall improvement in maternal and child health outcomes across many of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties since the last statewide needs assessment in 2014.

Assessment Findings

Informed by community surveys, interviews, and statewide data sets, the 2018-2020 Family Support Needs Assessment categorizes Pennsylvania’s counties as having “elevated need,” “moderate need,” and “low need,” across six domains: maternal and child health; socioeconomic status; substance abuse; child safety and maltreatment; community environment; and child care.

Overall, the findings show that 44 counties have elevated need in at least one of the domains and 15 counties across the state met elevated need thresholds in three or more domains. Importantly, the data collection occurred prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, and the researchers anticipate that the pandemic will exacerbate many areas of community need.

Despite the elevated need recorded in the report, maternal and child health outcomes have dramatically improved across much of the state since the 2014 federally-mandated statewide needs assessment. For example:

    • nearly every county (63) saw improved rates of preterm birth and teen birth;
    • 60 percent of counties saw improvements in infant mortality rates;
    • half of the counties saw a reduction in the percentage of children under age five living in poverty; and
    • more than half of the 2,220 individuals surveyed for the needs assessment have a favorable view of the availability and quality of health and social services in Pennsylvania for families with young children.

The assessment also includes a review of the capacity and scope of the state’s home visiting programs, which provide voluntary, in-home services to under-resourced pregnant moms and families of young children. Pennsylvania significantly increased its investment in evidence-based home visiting over the last four years so that today, six evidence-based home visiting models serve a total of 10,150 families.

More Information

For more information, read the full press release and review the 2020 Family Supports Need Assessment Report.

News

October 13, 2020

CARES Funds Available For Eligible Families

Individuals and families who are unable to meet basic and urgent needs on their own due to loss of income, reduced income, or insufficient income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive Community Services Block Grant CARES Act supplemental funds.

About

Assistance is available to help individuals and families cover costs associated with rent or mortgage, utilities, transportation, home repairs, food, child care, household supplies, and other needs as identified by the eligible individual/family. This assistance is capped at $1,000 and payments will generally be made to third parties on behalf of the eligible individual or family.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, applicants must live in Allegheny County outside of the city of Pittsburgh and be 18 years of age or older. Additionally, their household income for the 30-day period prior to applying must not exceed 200% Federal Poverty Level. For a household of one, this equates to $2,127 per month or $25,520 annually. For a family of four, this equates to $4,367 per month or $52,400 annually.

More Information

For more information, contact the appropriate community service agency below:

    • For residents of Allegheny Valley communities:
      Allegheny Valley Association of Churches; Beth Kendra; 724-226-0606, ext. 10; beth@avaoc.org
    • For residents of Mon Valley and eastern suburban communities:
      Human Services Center Corporation, Anna Hudson, 412-436-9537, ahudson@hscc-mvpc.org
    • For residents of northern and western communities:
      North Hills Community Outreach, Stephanie Kobert, 412-408-3210, sdkobert@nhco.org
    • For residents of southern communities:
      South Hills Interfaith Movement, Elizabeth Henninger; 412-854-9120, ext. 104; ehenninger@shimcares.org