• May 2024

    Fun activities, aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, 

    to help prepare children for school success!



    We're learning in the grocery store!



    Select different food items as you prepare a meal and describe to your baby what they are seeing. Use different words to describe the colors, shapes, smells and noises they may experience. Tell them what you plan to do with the items. Use facial expressions to enhance your experiences. Read more.



    With items in your pantry or cabinet, have your toddler help you decide which item is largest, smallest, heaviest, etc. For example, compare the size of a lemon and a grapefruit, or a can of soup and a can of tuna, and help them decide which item is larger or smaller. Read more.



    Talk about grocery items that were purchased and are now at home. Help your preschooler describe each item--hard, soft, rough, smooth, red, green, etc. How many different words can they use to describe the item? Create a shopping page on paper or a tablet with pictures and descriptive words. Read more.



    Have your kindergartner create a grocery list. Draw or cut out from a magazine different types of food. Talk about where different foods come from--do they grow in the ground, on a bush, or on trees--and if they are fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. Which item is their favorite to eat? Read more.



    11 books about the grocery store


    Grandpa's Corner Store  by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

    Out and About at the Supermarket  by Kitty Shea

    Put It On the List  by Kristen Darbyshire

    A Visit to the Supermarket  by Blake A. Hoena

    Our Corner Grocery Store  by Joanne Schwartz and Laura Beingessner

    A Busy Day at Mr. Kang's Grocery Store  by Alice K. Flanagan

    To Market, To Market  by Anne Miranda

    Shopping with Dad  by Matt Harvey and Miriam Latimer

    What's in Grandma's Grocery Bag?  by Hui-Mei Pan

    Just Shopping with Mom  by Mercer Mayer

    Maisy Goes Shopping  by Lucy Cousins


    Print this list!!



    What can you do with the monthly book lists?


    Each month Learning is Everywhere  provides a list of books that compliment the activities. What can you do with this list?

    ·    Make a short video of your child reading or giving a book review of one of the books on the list. What was their favorite part of the book? Share the video with family and friends. Tag PA's Promise for Children on Facebook or Instagram!

    ·    Share the list with your friends who have children. You can forward this email to them or they can sign up to get the email.

    ·    If you are a teacher, print this list and give it to the families of your students, or post this list where families can see it. They'll know which books are being read in your classroom.

    ·    If you are an early learning community partner, host a special reading event for families using the monthly book lists. Each month has a different focus--find them at PA's Promise for Children. Include an activity from the monthly list to engage families.

    ·    Print the list and take it to your local library. Your librarian can help you find the books on the list. Then read the books with your child. Help your child circle or cross out the books on the list as you read them.


    How do you use this book list? Share on PA's Promise for Children, the Facebook page, or send it to Mary at marhal@pakeys.org



    Register now for the Lifting Family Voices Through Storytelling Workshop


    Families are invited to register for the Lifting Family Voices Through Storytelling Workshop on May 23, 2024, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the PaTTAN Harrisburg, 6340 Flank Drive, Harrisburg. 


    This workshop will focus on developing your family story to make an impact. The workshop is designed for pregnant and parenting families of children, ages birth to five, receiving any material and/or early childhood services in Pennsylvania, including Early Intervention.


    Seats are limited on a first come, first serve basis. American's with Disabilities Act accommodations requests can be made during registration. Registration and requests must be received by May 3, 2024. Honorarium and reimbursement for child care and travel expenses such as lodging and mileage within guidelines will be provided. 


    For more information, contact Sadia Batool at c-sabatool@pa.gov.



    Enroll Now for PA Pre-K Counts


    Quality pre-kindergarten can give your child a strong start in school and in life. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides free half-day or full-day pre-kindergarten for at-risk children throughout Pennsylvania.


    Children and their guardians must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the PA Pre-K Counts program:


    1.   They must be residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    2.   They must meet the income eligibility requirements of at or below 300% of the federal poverty level for their family size

    3.   The child must be between the age of 3 and younger than the Kindergarten entry age for the district in which they reside.


    Once these eligibility requirements are met, enrollment procedures are based on local community needs. These procedures may contain other considerations for enrollment, such as; diagnosed disabilities or developmental delays, English as a second language, or any other factor that the program deems as a priority to ensure that their communities’ needs are being served.


    There are PA Pre-K Counts classrooms in many Pennsylvania counties. To find PA Pre-K Counts programs near you, contact your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) and they can help you locate your local PA Pre-K Counts program. Find your ELRC at raiseyourstar.org.



    The Importance of Independent Play


    Sara, 18 months old, stacks blocks on top of each other, then knocks them down, only to build them again.


    Chen, two and half years old, takes books off the shelf, looking through pages and sharing the story with stuffed animals.


    Jamal, four years old, hooks play trains together and runs them along imaginary paths.


    What do all of these have in common? They’re all examples of independent play!


    Research has shown the importance of play. Play can enhance brain structure and function and promote executive function (the process of learning). While interaction with adults and other children during play builds important cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills, independent play also has benefits. When a child plays alone, it can foster imagination and creative play, build persistence and problem-solving skills, and teach patience and resilience. Find out how you can help your child develop independent play skills.



    Is Your Child Registered for Kindergarten?


    It's not too late to register your child for Kindergarten! Registering your child now means that you, your child and your child's school will be ready when Kindergarten begins.


    PA's Promise for Children can help you find Kindergarten Registration information.



    National Children's Mental Health Awareness Month


    May is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Month, a time everyone to learn about and promote positive youth development, resilience, recovery, and the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth their families.


    Children’s mental health is important because it affects how they think, feel, and behave. It can impact areas like:

    ·    Foundation for Lifelong Well-being

    ·    Academic Performance

    ·    Social Relationships

    ·    Physical Health and more!


    How can you help support your young child’s mental health? Check out these resources and supports, collected by PA's Promise for Children.


    Pennsylvania CHIP offers care for children by providing benefits to cover behavioral health care. Click here for more information on the mental health services covered by PA CHIP and how to apply.



    Watch: Videos to Help Preschool Kids Recognize Their Emotions


    The Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Pre-K Project is a video series, based on mental health research, created to make important mental health skills available to preschool children (age 3 to 5). These videos introduce important ideas, taught the way young children learn best: through entertaining, relatable stories set in a vivid, imaginary world. Each video features a memorable song that reinforces the key messages.


    Watch the complete series with your child. You can also download the free companion guides that summarize key ideas and include an activity that can help kids practice the skills they’re learning. For older children, explore more free evidence-based video resources for K-12. Each video in the series is available in both English and Spanish.



    Our Kids....To Infinity & Beyond! Group


    The Our Kids....To Infinity & Beyond! on Facebook is for family members who have, and professionals who work with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The focus is on advocacy, self-advocacy, self-determination. This is a safe place to ask questions, get advice, or share stories!


    Join more than 1,000 families connecting and engaging through the Our Kids....To Infinity & Beyond! Facebook Group



    Finding Dental Care


    This flyer from the Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health is available in English and Spanish and lists high-level resources in Pennsylvania to help everyone find dental care. 



    Easy to Read Childhood Immunization Schedules Now Available


    CDC’s 2024 Easy to Read Childhood Immunization Schedules, or Parent-friendly Schedules, are now available both in English and Spanish:


    ·    Vaccine Schedule for Children 6 Years or Younger | CDC

    ·    Vaccine Schedule for Children, 7 to 18 Years Old | CDC



    Calendar of Activities for Early Learning Providers


    During May, celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Month and spread awareness about the importance of children's mental health and the need for services that support recovery, resilience, and success for youth.

    Check out the May Calendar of Activities for Early Learning Professionals with activities and information to help prepare children and their families for school success.