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Corbett Administration Awards $2.7 Million in Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grants
More than 250 schools register to use Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory in 2014-15
Retired Generals Call for Better Access to High Quality Pre-K
How modeling and mimicking actions can help young children learn

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CIZCorbett Administration Awards $2.7 Million in Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grants
The Corbett Administration is awarding nearly $2.7 million in Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grants to 12 communities to expand local programs that help bridge the achievement gap for at-risk young children, the Pennsylvania Departments of Public Welfare (DPW) and Education (PDE) announced on October 6, 2014.
"This grant will provide communities with much-needed funding to expand their successes and ensure children are entering kindergarten ready to learn," Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq said. "Preparing students for school success requires collaboration of the family, school and community. We all want our children to succeed, and we all can play a part in building a bright future for our students."
The grants will target innovations for individual at-risk communities serving select elementary schools.
Grantees will receive up to $75,000 annually to build upon and expand successful programs to connect early childhood providers, families and schools. Grantees include: school districts, nonprofit organizations, universities, social services agencies, foundations and early childhood education programs.
Each grant recipient will partner with other schools, early childhood and community organizations serving children, and families near the target elementary school.
"What's unique about these grants is their laser focus on individual at-risk elementary schools," DPW Secretary Bev Mackereth said. "Grantees can intensify and expand their successful programs and receive more intensive state supports and assistance. These grants are almost incubators to learn more about what's working and how we can make these successes a reality for similar communities throughout the commonwealth."
The Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grants are part of Pennsylvania's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. In December 2013, Pennsylvania was awarded the $51.7 million grant. This grant builds upon Pennsylvania's successes to provide high-quality early learning opportunities to close the achievement gap for at-risk children such as those in low-income families, English language learners, children with disabilities and developmental delays, and children experiencing homelessness.
Pennsylvania will award 38 additional three-year grants in 2015-16. 
This initiative is part of Pennsylvania's Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grant. For more information on other initiatives funded by this grant, visit the Department of Education website.
A list of grant recipients is below. The grants cover the period of Oct. 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. 
  1. Allegheny County - Pittsburgh Public Schools, serving Pittsburgh Arsenal Elementary School (Pittsburgh Public Schools) - $75,000
  2. Allegheny County - Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, serving Faison Elementary School (Pittsburgh Public Schools) - $75,000
  3. Chester County - Chester County Intermediate Unit, serving Jordan Bank Elementary School (Oxford Area SD) - $75,000
  4. Dauphin County - The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, serving Downey and Foose elementary schools (Harrisburg SD) - $74,830
  5. Fayette County - Private Industry Council of Westmoreland / Fayette, Inc., serving Masontown Elementary School (Albert-Gallatin Area SD) - $70,287
  6.  Greene County - Community Action Southwest, serving Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School (Jefferson-Morgan SD) - $75,000
  7. Lebanon County - Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, serving Northwest Elementary School (Lebanon SD) - $75,000
  8. Luzerne County - Greater Nanticoke Area School District, serving KM Smith and Kennedy elementary schools (Greater Nanticoke Area SD) - $27,738
  9. Montgomery County - Pottstown School District, serving Barth, Franklin, Lincoln, Rupert elementary schools - $75,000
  10. Philadelphia County - Drexel University, serving Alain Locke, McMichael Morton, Samuel Powell, Martha Washington elementary schools (Philadelphia SD) - $74,914
  11. Philadelphia County - Parent Power (What Will You Do With Yours?), serving General George Meade Elementary School (Philadelphia SD) - $73,316
  12. Venango County - Child Development Centers, Inc., serving Hasson Heights Elementary School (Oil City Area SD) - $75,000  
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KEI2More than 250 schools register to use Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory in 2014-15

More than 250 schools in 26 school districts have registered teachers to be able to use Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory. The tool provides a snapshot of children's skill levels as they enter kindergarten this year. Download a list of participating schools.

Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory is a reliable reporting tool that provides a consistent statewide measure to identify a child's cognitive and non-cognitive skill levels and evaluate aggregate data for better P-3 alignment. As part of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, the Inventory is available to all Pennsylvania schools at no cost. The Kindergarten Entry Inventory is not designed as a high stakes assessment for comparison among early childhood programs, of teacher effectiveness or for placement of children. Download an infographic for more information

Using the Kindergarten Entry Inventory, teachers observe and report a child's skills in the first 45 calendar days on 30 standards-based indicators that address cognitive and non-cognitive skills. These indicators directly align with the Pre-Kindergarten Early Learning Outcomes Framework.  Having a comprehensive picture of the strengths and needs of students and classroom trends, teachers can adjust their instruction, access resources and professional development, and partner with families to meet the unique needs of their students.
This touchpoint of a child's skills when they enter kindergarten provides an opportunity for families, teachers, schools and communities to work together to improve student achievement. For example, schools and early childhood programs can evaluate aggregate information to align expectations, curriculum, professional development and family involvement to best prepare students for kindergarten.

This initiative is part of Pennsylvania's Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grant. For more information on other initiatives funded by this grant, visit the Department of Education website.
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radioRadio show guest shares mimicking, modeling and their role in early learning

The October 3 Quality Early Learning Radio welcomed librarian Darlene Marshall from the Mengle Memorial Library in Brockway, who shared how young children learn through mimicking or modeling the actions of those around them.
Also discussed was the research of Dr. Jill Stamm to prevent dyslexia, as well as the "Brain Boxes" containing toys, books and other activities developed by Dr. Stamm and used by parents with their children when they visit the Mengle library.
The show is part of the Ask the Expert series broadcast every other Friday morning on WCED 1420 AM, 96.7 and 107.9 FM in DuBois and Past episodes include spotlighting early education and money saved.

Listen to the October 3 Quality Early Learning Radio.
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MissionReadinessRetired Generals Call for Better Access to High Quality Pre-K

A new report, The Military Gets It by Mission Readiness highlights how high-quality pre-kindergarten for all children is essential for the future of our military, with retired PA generals who call for better access to high-quality pre-k and promote the military's universal access early learning system as a model.

The report also encourages Pennsylvania policymakers to follow the military's lead and ensure that all of Pennsylvania's children have access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs.

For additional details, see the report, The Military Gets It.  
More Trends & Reports

Watch, Share, Educate: Two videos demonstrate the impact and importance of early learning

Two new videos with familiar messages but engaging presentation formats may be useful in trainings and professional development and to share with families, community partners, and those interested in early childhood education.

With the message relayed in a simple, understandable fashion, a new four minute video, How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development, produced by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative, sends a very important message about a child's brain development as it is impacted by a caregiver relationship.

The video, Ten Minutes a Day Could Change Everything by Save The Children, takes two minutes to bring a real-life view of the importance and long term impact of early literacy.
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October Learning is Everywhere: Now that the temperatures have finally started dropping, get tips and books titles to help your child learn while outside. Also get ways to help your child understand and cope with some scary sights of the season.
ECE Music Therapy resource: The 2014 issue of Imagine Magazine, a resource for early childhood music therapy, focuses on family-centered practice and includes great information on musical development, early childhood music programs, and current research in early childhood music therapy. This evidence-based magazine includes 44 text-based articles on 132 pages with 14 videos, 13 audio files, 9 audio podcasts, 4 photo stories, and numerous hyperlinks that invite additional exploration.
Enter to Win a 2014 PA One Book! PA's Promise for Children is giving away a book a day during October! Each day during October, PA's Promise for Children will select at random someone to win a copy of the 2014 PA One Book, Stripes of All Types! Entering is easy--just click this link and share why your child is special!
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Whole Kids Foundation Accepting Applications for School Garden Grant Program: The Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for its School Garden Grant Program. The annual program supports school garden projects designed to help students learn about complex topics such as nutrition and health, sustainability and conservation, food systems, and community awareness. Applicants must be a nonprofit K-12 school (public, private, or charter) and/or a 501(c)(3) organization that is developing or currently maintaining a garden project on school grounds to interest children in fresh fruits and vegetables. Deadline: October 31.
Take Your Family to School Week: National PTA is gearing up for Take Your Family to School Week on February 16-20, 2015, and will be sending a new PTA Take Your Family to School Week Kit to 200 local units. Celebrate your week's event and receive a $1,000 grant!  Deadline: November 3.
American Association of School Librarians Invites Applications for Innovative Reading Projects: Projects should promote the importance of reading and facilitate literacy development by supporting current reading research, practice, and policy. In addition, projects must be specifically designed for children (grades K-9) in the school library setting, encourage innovative ways to motivate and involve children in reading, and should demonstrate potential to improve student learning. Deadline: February 1, 2015.
October 8, 2014
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Community Events 


October: Celebrate PA's Promise for Children Month!

October: Parenting Plus Workshops, Chester

October: Young Children's Art Display, Susquehanna Valley Mall

October: How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk, Butler

October-November: Kindergarten Registration Mifflin County School District

October 8: Early Childhood Education Caucus Press Event, Harrisburg

October 8: Capital Beginnings Early Childhood Engagement Group Meeting, Harrisburg

October 9: Plymouth Meeting Friends School's Open House, Plymouth Meeting

October 9: The Magic of Reading, Bloomsburg

October 9: Lawrence County Early Learning Summit, Early Learning: An Economic Development Issue, New Castle

October 11: Kinship Care Fall Gathering, Erie

October 11: 5th Annual Fall Family Fun Day, Portersville

October 11: Mercer County Fall Festival, Hermitage

October 13: H.A.N.D.S. of Wyoming County's Fall Festival! Tunkhannock

October 13: PA Promise for Children Day at the Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia

October 14: Quality Time with Me Series, Quality Time with Me, Harrisburg
October 17: Quality Early Learning Radio features guest Leslie Swope

October 17-18: Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking Early Intervention, Pittsburgh

October 18: Senator McIlhinneys Kids Fest 2014, Morrisville

October 18: Touch a Truck, Lititz

October 18: 2014 Apple Fest, Erie

October 18: Day of Play, Indiana

October 21: Quality Time with Me Series, Quality Time with Me, Harrisburg

October 21: PICs Family Literacy Program, Parent/Child Evening Interactive Literacy Activity, Uniontown

October 22: PICs Family Literacy Program, Parent/Child Evening Interactive Literacy Activity, Greensburg

October 23: Child Growth and Development, Johnstown

October 23: Lights on Afterschool Open House Event, Fayette County

October 28: Quality Time with Me Series, Quality Time with Me, Harrisburg

October 29: Webinar: Competence and Confidence Partners in Policymaking (C2P2): Family Leadership for Inclusive Education in Non-Traditional Settings

November 11: Early Childhood Linked in Learning, Grove City

November 14-15: Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking Early Intervention, Pittsburgh 




February 27-28: Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking Early Intervention, Pittsburgh


April 24-25: Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking Early Intervention, Pittsburgh

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