Fun activities, aligned with the PA Early Learning Standards, to help your child have a successful Kindergarten year. 
We Are Learning in April
Now that your child is in kindergarten, there are new ways you can help them learn. Try these activities, then read a book about it.   Click here to print this list.

We are learning Language and Literacy
Do it!
Help your kindergartner collect pebbles. See how many ways the pebbles can be sorted (size, color, shape, etc.) Discuss how some are alike and some are different. Assist your kindergartner in reaching grasping and collecting the stones. Provide the opportunity to feel the rocks with their hands or on their cheek. Use words to help them describe the textures, weight, shape and temperature of what they are feeling.  
Read it!
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig.  Three Pebbles and a Song by Eileen Spinelli.

We are learning Social Emotional Development
Do it!
Talk about jobs your family does. How do these jobs help others? What would happen if someone didn't do their job? Talk about the different people, services and agencies who work with your kindergartner. Explain their jobs to her. Discuss the ways this helps them and the family.
Read it!
A Day's Work by Eve Bunting.  Families by Susan Kuklin.

We are learning Scientific Thinking and Technology
Do it!
Look out a window with your kindergartner or sit in the yard and watch the birds. When finished, encourage them to draw a picture of one they saw.
Read it!
What in the World is an Inch? by Mary Elizabeth Salzmann.  What Will Hatch? by Jennifer Ward.

We are learning Mathematics Thinking and Expression
Do it!
Eat a snack of animal crackers. Have your kindergartner sort the crackers into groups by animal and count the number in each group. Substitute other foods if there are dietary or feeding restrictions. You can also adapt the activity using stuffed animals.
Read it!
Counting Our Way to Maine  by Maggie Smith.   How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?  by Jane Yolen. 
Featured Article: Building Resilience in Young Children

When Jeremiah falls down, he gets up right away and goes back to what he was doing and tries again. When Jasmine falls, she sits and cries, and refuses to try again.
What makes the difference? Why are some children able to thrive in spite of serious traumas in their lives—such as neglect, abuse, poverty, serious illness? The ability to bounce back after a crisis (as small as a fall or as significant as neglect or the death of a loved one) or thrive in spite of persistent obstacles is called resilience .
Resilience protects children from the most severe effects of stress and trauma and helps them cope more effectively. In April's featured article , discover characteristics of resilient children, how toxic stress affects us (and what we can do about it), and how families can help their young child build resilience. 
What article was featured this time last year?
Resources for Families in Pennsylvania on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s March 13, 2020, announcement of statewide closure of all K-12 Pennsylvania schools effective Monday, March 16, 2020, may leave many families seeking resources to keep children safe and learning during this time. PA's Promise for Children has a listing of resources related to:
  • General COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
  • Talking to Children About Coronavirus and Supporting Them
  • Resources for Families Affected by Coronavirus
  • Activities to Do While Children Are Home
  • Resources for Early Childhood Education Programs & Professionals
Celebrate Month of the Young Child

During April, let’s celebrate Month of the Young Child! Month of the Young Child focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognizes the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
It's Time to Respond to the 2020 Census

Homes began receiving their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20, 2020. These official Census Bureau mailings include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the Census online.

You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. Please note that if you are responding online, you must complete the census in one sitting, as you don't have the ability to save your progress. If you do not receive an invitation to respond from the Census Bureau, you may respond online or visit the Contact Us page to call the US Census phone line.
Lancaster Lebanon Families Apply for IU13 Jae Davis Parent Scholarship
Application deadline extended to April 3, 2020

Families in Lancaster or Lebanon Counties have until April 3, 2020 to apply for the Jae David Parent Scholarship which offers an opportunity for up to ten parents to attend the National Autism Conference held Aug. 3-6, 2020, in State College, PA. The scholarships are provided for parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This includes children (ages three and older) who are served by IU13 or one of the IU13's 22 constituent school districts. The scholarships cover costs for participation in the national conference, held annually at Penn State University. Visit the IU13 website for additional application information, including how to apply.
The Role a Sibling Plays in Developing Empathy

There are benefits to having a sibling! Having a brother or sister can impact how confident a child is, how well they do in school, how they interact with friends, can boost a younger siblings language development and their understanding of others point of view. It can even play a role in the development of empathy. 
Empathy is the key to understanding another's perspective and valuing people. Children who kind, supportive and understanding, influence their siblings to act and behave in similar ways. These empathetic traits develop into life-long behaviors towards friends, spouses and parents.
Although siblings can be a good support for helping raise an empathetic child, it's not required! This  article from the Making, Caring, Common Project at Harvard  shares tips on cultivating empathy. 
Helping Parents Be Parents

Parenting can be challenging. There's no such thing as a perfect parent, and there's no one set way to be a good one. 
The   Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance  (PFSA) believes that parents love their children and want to be the best parent they can be. Almost every parent can benefit from gaining a better understanding of themselves, their family dynamics, and how they handle their emotions when it comes to parenting and disciplining children. Visit the   PFSA website  for resources and support.
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The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) provides families access to high quality services to prepare children for school and life success. 
Find more information about Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania