September 4, 2020

Early Childhood League Launch & Expansion of Recess Advocacy Team

On September 1, 2020, Trying Together and the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative were awarded grants through The Grable Foundation and Remake Learning’s Tomorrow campaign. Through this funding, both entities will work to address early childhood needs in Pennsylvania.


Trying Together is a leading advocate for high-quality early care and education in Pennsylvania and a co-founder of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Recess Advocacy Team. With funds from the Tomorrow grant, Trying Together will launch an Early Childhood League and the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative will expand the Recess Advocacy Team to engage additional youth, families, organizations, and communities as advocates to address early learning constraints in the region.

“Through the Tomorrow grants, we will be able to work with community members that we may not have previously to learn about their early learning priorities for children so we may support them in mobilizing to take action,” said Cara Ciminillo, Executive Director at Trying Together.

Trying Together

Tomorrow Campaign Project: Early Childhood League

The Early Childhood League will partner with Trying Together, its advocacy partners, and each other to transform early childhood education conditions in the region. Members of the League will include selected parents and other caregivers of young children; community organizations; and a large institution that is to be determined.

The League will achieve improvements in local early learning environments by receiving training, similar to the Early Childhood Advocacy Fellowship, from Trying Together and other experts. Training topics will include:

    • communications techniques;
    • community organizing strategies;
    • early childhood education principles; and
    • public policy processes.

With ongoing programmatic support from Trying Together and the Tomorrow grant, the League will acquire the agency to develop and implement an advocacy plan that further advances the efforts of existing statewide early childhood policy campaigns such as Start Strong PA (child care), Pre-K for PA (pre-k), and Childhood Begins at Home (home visiting).

More information and application details will be available soon. Please continue to monitor the Trying Together website, Facebook, and Twitter page for future updates.

Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative

Tomorrow Campaign Project: Recess Advocacy Team

The Recess Advocacy Team’s mission is to educate and advocate for the importance of recess; engage with children, families, and educators on recess experiences; establish a resource for recess-related advocacy, policy, and best practices; and engage stakeholders in recess advocacy efforts.

By partnering with a regional school district, the Recess Advocacy Team will utilize this funding to support efforts to conduct a needs assessment survey and develop a toolkit for children, parents, and educators who want to serve as recess champions. As a part of the toolkit, funding will also support professional development and training related to advocacy and topics such as:

    • creatively using school space for physical activity;
    • indoor recess ideas; and
    • volunteer recess supervision.

While this partnership will focus on one district, the Team’s outcomes and products will be scalable and designed to be replicated with other school districts to best meet their needs. Additional details will be available soon.

For information on how to join and more, visit the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative website.

About the Tomorrow Campaign

A $1.4 million dollar investment in organizations throughout the region, the Tomorrow campaign is an effort to #RemakeTomorrow, one where every learner is prepared to “create the future of learning” when everyone combines timeless ideas and new ways to learn.

Last spring, the Tomorrow campaign asked 17 nonprofit organizations to boldly imagine what smart risks they might take if they had research and development (R&D) funding – not for covering current activities, but for pursuing experimental ideas, testing new concepts, and finding powerful ways to move their field toward the future of learning.

“Each of these projects represents the imagination and resourcefulness not only of the 17 grantees, but also of the many partner organizations who will join them in their efforts,” says Kristen Burns, Associate Director of The Grable Foundation. “We hope these grants will provide a spark that will help move the entire field of learning forward in our region.”

More Information

For more information, read the full press release.

Image: Four young children play together in an early childhood classroom. Three of them sit at a table playing with small colorful blocks. One child stands beside the table watching the others play.