June 2021
Fun activities, aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, to help prepare children for school success!
We're Learning in the Neighborhood!
The activities below can all be done in the neighborhood while practicing social distancing.

Encourage your baby to explore different textures by providing them with items to feel, like bare feet in the grass or hands touching trees. Talk about what they are feeling and use words to describe the item (soft, rough, hard, smooth, etc.) Tell what they are feeling as it relates to their neighborhood. "This trees is in our backyard and gives us shade from the sun." If you cannot take your baby outside, bring the outside in. Put grass in a plastic container. Allow them to play with their fingers or toes. Pick up a blade of grass and tickle hands, arms, legs, feet, or face. Smell the grass and talk about the color. Read more!

Encourage your toddler to still (just for a second or two!) and listen to the noises around them. What do they hear? Help identify the noises they are hearing. Listen for birds singing, dogs barking or church bells ringing. Try a verbal and/or visual cue to stop and listen. You may need to guide the listening, "What is that? I hear a bird. Do you hear it? Where is it?" When you are out in the community, listen for those sounds you may not hear at home. (Traffic, church bells, horns, etc.) Read more!

Compare large and small as your preschooler moves throughout their neighborhood. Help them decided if items are larger than they are (like a tree) or smaller (like a dandelion) by having them stand next to the item. Now it's your turn. Have them help you decide if items are larger or smaller than you. Read more!

Go for a walk with your kindergartner and have them help identify different items that begin with each letter. For those more difficult letters (like Y or Z), can they name items they'd like to see that begin with those letters? (Wouldn't they like to play with a yo-yo?) Take along homemade flashcards or a list of the letters of the alphabet so they have a reference to the letter and then the object that starts with the letter. Have them match the card with the correct letter by the object. Read more!
9 Books About the Neighborhood
My Neighborhood by Johnny Bregar
Keat's Neighborhood by Ezra Jack Keats
Curious George Neighborhood Friends by H. A. Rey
Welcome to My Neighborhood by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Shino Arihara
What Do You See in Your Neighborhood? by Bracha Goetz
Only One by Marc Harshman
Jobs Around My Neighborhood by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza
Night on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield
In Lucia's Neighborhood by Pat Shewchuk

First Step: Kindergarten Registration!
The first step to a great school year is getting your child registered for Kindergarten! Registering your child now means that you, your child and your child's school will be ready when Kindergarten begins.

Plan Now for July 4 Pennsylvania State Parks Fish-For-Free Day 
A Fish-for-Free Day is a great way for families to catch the fun of fishing! The July 4, 2021, Fish-for-Free Day allows anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on Pennsylvania waterways with no fishing license required. All other fishing regulations still apply.

Don't have the equipment for fishing? Check out the Borrow a Rod & Reel Fishing Tackle Loaner Program. The public can go to the locations identified and borrow rods, reels and a tackle box full of hooks and other terminal tackle. This equipment is borrowed in much the same way books are borrowed from a library. Those wanting to borrow gear complete a form and the loan is made. At the end of the loan period the equipment is returned to the site.
Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRSA) Study
The Collaborating Center for Questionnaire Design and Evaluation Research (CCQDER) is recruiting participants for research projects being conducted for the federal government. The Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRSA) study is open to adults aged 18 or over who have a child aged 3 to 5 years old and who work multiple jobs, work as temporary employees or contractors, or are not currently employed. Families may answer questions that may be asked on a national survey. The interview via Zoom will take no longer than 60 minutes and participants will receive $40. For more information or with any questions, please call Amanda at 301-458-4579 or send an email to RecruitmentTeam@cdc.gov.
Families, join Camp BOOK IT! and keep rewarding your kids all summer long. Track and reward your kids' reading for June, July and August in the digital dashboard at the BOOK IT! website. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they'll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® from Pizza Hut! BOOK IT! will also share fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer. Enroll today!
Pennsylvanians Having Trouble Paying Rent - Apply for Assistance Today!
Pennsylvanians who are behind on rental payments or are having trouble paying upcoming rent and landlords with tenants should apply for assistance available through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Households may be eligible for up to 12 months of assistance to cover past-due or future rental and/or utility payments. Assistance can be provided to a tenant for future rental payments, and for unpaid rental or utility arrears that were accrued on or after March 13, 2020, on a residential rental property. Counties may choose to provide additional assistance to eligible households if funds remain available.

For more information on ERAP and to apply online or via paper application, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/erap
Help Paying for Internet Services 
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Learn more.
PN3 Parent’s Corner Newsletter 
Pennsylvania’s Prenatal-to-Three (PN3) Collaborative has released the first edition of the family newsletter, PN3 Parent’s Corner, available in English and Spanish. This newsletter will be released every other month and provide families with news, resources, and opportunities for engagement around various issue areas. The newsletter is being published in conjunction with the prenatal-to-three collaborative and United Way of Pennsylvania. Click here to subscribe.
Pennsylvania's KinConnector
Pennsylvania's KinConnector provides guidance, advice and support for kinship care families though out Pennsylvania in numerous ways, including:
  • Connecting caregivers to health, financial, and legal services;
  • Connecting Caregivers to training and parenting support Identifying local physical or behavioral health services;
  • Identifying support groups Guiding caregivers on how to apply for federal, state, and local benefits such as CHIP and Social Security, and other services designed to support caregivers; and
  • Providing access to a compassionate KinConnector who will listen and provide supportive guidance.
New Website Helps Pennsylvanians Find Vaccination Sites
The Department of Health recently transitioned to using Vaccines.gov to help Pennsylvanians find a COVID-19 vaccine location. The new map allows users to search for providers by the type of COVID-19 vaccines they offer. Vaccines.gov, also known as Vaccine Finder, is a free, online service that provides the latest vaccine availability at providers and pharmacies across the United States. This trusted website has been used previously for various other types of vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.
June is National Safety Month
Learn how to keep everyone safe where they live and play and all points in between. While the places your family spend time can be filled with wonderful experiences, they can also contain hidden dangers. By learning what environments are safe for your family and child, you can help prevent accidents and keep your children healthy and happy.  Learn how to be safe where your family lives and plays.
Summer Sun Safety
A few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Protect your child's skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays anytime they’re outdoors with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and shade. Get sun safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Juice and Your Child
How much juice should your child drink? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children less than one year of age should not have fruit juice. Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit to children less than one year of age. The evidence is clear that over-consumption of juice can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. Click here to see if and how much juice your child should drink.
Six Tips for Summer Safety
Sun shining, warmer temperatures, it's almost time for summer fun! Help keep your child safe while having fun this summer season with these six tips.

  1. Prevent heatstroke
  2. Secure pool areas
  3. Protect from bug bites
  4. Use sunscreen
  5. Stay hydrated
  6. Keep cool
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The PA 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
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