Archive for September, 2015

Wonderful Way to Prep for Kindergarten

September 23rd, 2015
Clarion County, Stories

PA Pre-K Counts mom, Sara, writes a letter to Allegheny-Clarion Valley Elementary, expressing her gratitude.

I am writing you on behalf of, and to support, the Jefferson-Clarion Head Start Program that is held at the A-CV Elementary.

As the school year is coming to an end I wanted to express my gratitude for this program. My two daughters have taken advantage of this amazing resource; Madelyn attending last year and Gillian attending this current school year.

This program is invaluable to me as a parent of young children. It not only prepares my children to attend your school but it brings about a familiarity with the ACV school staff. Both aspects are a wonderful way to prep these new beginners to attend kindergarten.

Although Madelyn only attended half of her kindergarten year due to her medical situation, she still has a sense of belongingness to the school. She was very comfortable when starting the year and I have no doubt that this Pre-K program and it’s location had much to do with this comfort level. Both of my daughters claim the school as their own when we drive by, creating this bond at such a young age is priceless for future success as students and as a school community.

Sara S., Pre-K and Kindergartener Mom

100% for the Better

September 23rd, 2015
Clarion County, Stories

I am contacting you on behalf of the teachers of the PA Pre-K Counts located at the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Elementary, Ms. Darla Slaugenhaupt and Mrs. Kim Callander.

I have had two daughters attend PA Pre-K Counts; one last year (Madelyn) and one this year (Gillian).

Madelyn has several medical issues and is essentially a very delicate case. However the teachers made her feel like a normal kid and didn’t let her medical issues stop her from experiencing the school year. She attended when she could and when she did she was much happier. She has since moved on to Kindergarten, but hasn’t been able to keep up with the demands it requires. I can, and do, still say that PA Pre-K Counts was the best and most well rounded experience she has yet to receive. These two teachers made this possible. If I was not comfortable with their demeanor or concern for the students I would have never felt comfortable enough to allow my child to be in their care. On the contrary I have not left Madelyn with anyone I felt MORE comfortable with. Both teachers were compassionate but firm, both qualities of a good teacher in my eyes.

As my other daughter, Gillian, is finishing up her year with these same teachers I once again am thankful for this program and the teachers. Gillian is a very energetic child who I was concerned wouldn’t adapt to a school routine. However I can’t express my gratitude enough to the PA Pre-K Counts program and her teachers for the changes I have seen in her. Within days of her 5th birthday I witnessed her write the entire alphabet on her own, counted to 30 then backwards from 10, and draw some very clear and adorable pictures from her own imagination. She is still very energetic, but she has absorbed every lesson her teachers have exposed her to, and at home I’ve seen a big change in her ability to focus on tasks. Gillian’s teachers have changed her 100% for the better through guidance, flexibility and pure ability as teachers.

Both of these women are not only great teachers but overall well rounded individuals that I have always felt comfortable with. As a parent I know I could express concerns to them if needed and have felt they have communicated very well with me about the happenings in the classroom as well as my daughter’s progress. It is probably obvious that I am also a supporter of the PA Pre-K Counts program as well; both as a resource to me as a parent and it’s convenient location at the ACV Elementary. I can’t speak more highly of it and recommend it to anyone who asks.

Thank you for your time and for listening to my praises.

Sara S.

PA Pre-K Counts Student Mom

See if you’ve won the book What A Treasure!

You can start reading to your child as soon as he is born! Reading to him helps the two of you bond, and this gives your child a sense of security, intimacy and well-being. When started early, these feelings can help him develop a life-long love of reading.

Reading a book is more than just looking at awesome pictures. Reading to a child can help your child learn that words represent sounds and concepts, words are read from left to right, and stories continue from page to page. Later, he will learn to understand cause and effect, how to exercise logic, and how to think in abstract terms.

what a treasureVisit your local library for books that might interest your child. You can also build your child’s library, one book at a time.

During October 2015, PA’s Promise for Children selected one person each day to win a copy of What a Treasure! by Jane and Will Hillenbrand. This book was named the 2010 selection of the fifth annual Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child early literacy program. Since What a Treasure! was published in 2006, children have been accompanying Mole on his dig as he discovers exciting treasures for both his animal friends and for himself.

The giveaway has ended, but check below to see if you’re a winner!

For more information about reading with your child, visit the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) website.

One entry per person. One winner will be selected at random starting October 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. Winners will be posted on this page of PA’s Promise for Children website. PA’s Promise for Children is not responsible for lost or stolen books after mailing.

Congratulations to the Winners: 

October 1: Amy S. of Ardmore
October 2: Ivette G. of Philadelphia
October 3: Kali F. of Drums
October 4: Lorrie H. of Mt. Joy
October 5: Leslie A. of St. Michael
October 6: Liane U. of Ligonier
October 7: Darlene B. of Pittsburgh
October 8: Chris G. of Henryville
October 9: Anabela A. of Bath
October 10: Gloria W. of Eldred
October 11: Christine W. of Knuckletown
October 12: Susannah C. of Sellersville
October 13: Angie S. of Olyphant
October 14: Kristy V. of Bushkill
October 15: Diane M. of Chester
October 16: Gig B. of Saylorsburg
October 17: Jessica N. of Canonsburg
October 18: Nicole W. of Erie
October 19: Chase C. of Honesdale
October 20: Muhamuda K. of Pittsburgh
October 21: Jennifer J. of Mahanoy Plane
October 22: Brenda C. of Corry
October 23: Kameron R. of Boothwyn
October 24: Kallie S. of Red Lion
October 25: Heather W. of Masontown
October 26: Melissa B. of Cochranton
October 27: Caitlyn M. of York
October 28: Peggy R. of Gilbertsville
October 29: Tamera G. of Monongahela
October 30: Misty S. of Birdsboro
October 31: Karyn H. of Nanticoke

Family recommended books about jobs

September 15th, 2015
Resources, What's Happening

Teaching children about the jobs of people they meet and in their neighborhood helps them get a sense of themselves and their community.

8 family recommended kid's books about jobs | PA's Promise for ChildrenShare your favorite songs and books about jobs  and we will add them to the list for other families to try out. Add a comment below or email us your recommendations. Did you make up your own song or book? Send us a pic or link to a video!

Take a look at these favorites!

  • Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo by Rebecca Janni and Lynne Avril
  • Firefighter Frank by Monica Wellington
  • Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Lloyd
  • Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen and Eric Thomas
  • My First Trip on an Airplane by Vic Parker
  • What do People do all Day? by Richard Scarry
  • Jobs People Do by DK
  • Busy, Busy Town by Richard Scarry

Visit the Early Learning GPS and check out question 6 in the GPS quiz and the Activities tab in your child’s map for more ways to talk about jobs with your child.

Click here to print this book list!

Want more book suggestions? Check out the Family Recommended Book Lists!

Family Recommended Books about the Seasons

September 14th, 2015
Resources, What's Happening

8 family recommended books about seasons | PA's Promise for ChildrenTalking about the changes of the seasons helps teach your child social skills, science, and social studies among other things.

Share your favorite songs and books about the seasons like what happens with the weather, fun things you can do, how our clothes and routines change, and we will add them to the list for other families to try out. Add a comment below or email us your recommendations. Did you make up your own song or book? Send us a pic or link to a video!

See some favorites here!

  • Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone
  • By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead
  • When the Wind Blew by Alison Jackson and Doris Barrette
  • Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow by Jacky Davis and David Soman
  • Not a Buzz to be Found by Linda Glaser and Jaime Zollars
  • Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld
  • Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham

Click here to print the list!

Want more book suggestions? Check out the Family Recommended Book Lists!

Family recommended books about going to the doctor

September 14th, 2015
Resources, What's Happening

Going to the doctor can be scary for everyone, especially little ones. Reading about it and in the doctor’s office can help calm your child and build your bond together. And may make the waiting go more 10 family recommended books about going to the doctor | PA's Promise for Childrenquickly.

Share your favorite songs and books about going to the doctor and we will add them to the list for other families to try out. Add a comment below or email us your recommendations. Did you make up your own song or book? Send us a pic or link to a video!

Here are some favorite books about going to the doctor:

  • Never take a shark to the dentist by Judi Barrett and John Nickle
  • Going to the doctor by Anne Civardi and Michelle Bates
  • Miss Dose the Doctor’s Daughter by Allan Ahlberg
  • Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish and Lynn Sweat
  • Daisy the Doctor by Felicity Brooks and Jo Litchfield
  • Do I have to go to the hospital? by Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker
  • A day with a doctor by Jan Kottke
  • Franklin goes to the hospital by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark
  • My friend the doctor by Joanna Cole
  • The Berenstain Bears go to the doctor by Jan and Stan Berenstain

Click here to print the list of 10 family recommended books about going to the doctors.

What can you do when you don’t understand what the doctor is saying? Answer question 8 in the Early Learning GPS quiz (Start at the You and Your Child section) for tips and links to helpful resources.

Want more book suggestions? Check out the Family Recommended Book Lists!

Family recommendation: Books about going to child care/ school

September 14th, 2015
PA Counties, Resources, What's Happening

You can make a child’s transition to child care or school a bit easier by reading about what to expect and asking your child to share their feelings about this new adventure! See what books families recommended to read with a child to help the transition to a new child care or school.

11 family recommended books about going to school | PA's Promise for Children

  • Do I have to go to school? by Lesley Harker and Pat Thomas
  • Dinosaur Roar! by Henrietta Stickland and Paul Stickland
  • My teacher sleeps in school by Leatie Weiss
  • First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love
  • Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee and Harry Bliss
  • The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom
  • If you take a mouse to school by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and Ruth E. Harper
  • My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells
  • Look out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson
  • The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing and Amy Wummer

Click here to print this list!

Share your favorite songs and books about getting ready for child care or school and we will add them to the list for other families to try out. Add a comment below or email us your recommendations. Did you make up your own song or book? Send us a pic or link to a video!

Want more book suggestions? Check out the Family Recommended Book Lists!

Secretaries Dallas and Rivera Discuss Importance of Early Education with Community Innovation Zone Grantee

September 14th, 2015
News, Newsroom, PA Counties, What's Happening

On September 9, 2015, Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas and Department of Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera visited Downey Elementary School in the Harrisburg School District which is operating a successful Head Start program and Parents and Partners Initiative, as part of an Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone grant.

The Parents and Partners Initiative is a collaboration between The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, the Harrisburg School District and Capital Area Head Start.  The Foundation, as lead partner, received a Community Innovation Zone grant in 2014, part of Pennsylvania’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant from the U.S. Departments of (more…)

Happy Grandparents Day!

September 11th, 2015
All Counties, Resources, What's Happening

Thank you to all grandparents for the role you play in the life of your grandchild!

Grandparents day 1


Grandparents Day 3


Grandparents Day 2