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Meet our Resident Liaison, Banessa

Banessa1) How long have you lived in the APN? What do you like most about living here?

I have been an Allentown resident for approximately six years. What I enjoy most about living in Allentown is its suburban communities. Before moving to Allentown, I was a New York resident and it was very noisy and it lacked communal atmosphere. A lot of parts of Allentown still have strong communal energy.

2) What made you want to get more involved in your neighborhood?

I have always wanted to get involved in my neighborhood; I think that I just didn’t have the right resources or know the right information to get started. Now that I work with Allentown Promise Neighborhood I have motivation and more goals to reach and complete, and that is very exciting to me.

3) Why do you feel that you are a good candidate to represent APN? What qualities or abilities do you possess for this role?

I feel that I am a good candidate to represent APN because I am very professional and have leader qualities. I am able to work effectively in a team and get the job done. I have taken a public speaking course and feel that I am a very good speaker. In addition, I am very compassionate and I know that this is critical when speaking to APN residents.

4) What are you most looking forward to in your role as a member of the APN Community Engagement Team?

I am looking forward to seeing change and more community involvement in our residents. Our goal is to bring information and services to our community and I am looking forward to see great impact in doing so.

5) What do you think of APN and what it does for our community?

I think that the work that APN does is phenomenal. I take great pride in working with this team because the services it offers to its residents are very beautiful.

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PNLV Blog

It’s Back to School Time!

The sales have started and that means back to school is just around the corner! Follow these tips from this Web MD article to help prepare your child for back to school:

Help Your Child Prepare for Back to School

WebMD Feature

By Joanne Barker

Reviewed By Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

When summer winds down, it’s time to get ready for a new school year. Buying notebooks and scoping out sales is the easy part. There are less tangible things you can do as well.

Here are 9 ways you can help your child — and yourself — get ready to go back to school.

1. Re-Establish School Routines

Use the last few weeks of summer to get into a school-day rhythm. “Have your child practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time every morning,” suggests school psychologist Kelly Vaillancourt, MA, CAS. Start eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks around the times your child will eat when school is in session.

It’s also important to get your child used to leaving the house in the morning, so plan morning activities outside the house in the week or two before school. That can be a challenge for working parents, says Vaillancourt, who is the director of government relations for the National Association of School Psychologists. But when the school rush comes, hustling your child out the door will be less painful if she has broken summer habits like relaxing in her PJs after breakfast.

2. Nurture Independence

Once the classroom door shuts, your child will need to manage a lot of things on his own. Get him ready for independence by talking ahead of time about responsibilities he’s old enough to shoulder. This might include organizing his school materials, writing down assignments, and bringing home homework, says Nicole Pfleger, school counselor at Nickajack Elementary School in Smyrna, GA.

Even if your child is young, you can instill skills that will build confidence and independence at school. Have your young child practice writing her name and tying her own shoes. “The transition to school will be easier for everyone if your child can manage basic needs without relying on an adult,” Pfleger says.

3. Create a Launch Pad

“Parents and teachers should do whatever they can to facilitate a child being responsible,” says Pfleger, who was named School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association in 2012. At home, you can designate a spot where school things like backpacks and lunch boxes always go to avoid last-minute scrambles in the morning. You might also have your child make a list of things to bring to school and post it by the front door.

4. Set Up a Time and Place for Homework

Head off daily battles by making homework part of your child’s everyday routine. Establish a time and a place for studying at home. “Even if it’s the kitchen table, it really helps if kids know that’s where they sit down and do homework, and that it happens at the same time every day,” says Pfleger. As much as possible, plan to make yourself available during homework time, especially with younger kids. You might be reading the paper or cooking dinner, but be around to check in on your child’s progress.

5. After-School Plans

School gets out before most working parents get home, so it’s important to figure out where your children will go, or who will be at home, in the afternoons. You might find an after-school program through the school itself, a local YMCA, or a Boys and Girls Club. If possible, try to arrange your schedule so you can be there when your child gets home during those first few days of school. It may help your child adjust to the new schedule and teachers.

6. Make a Sick-Day Game Plan

Working parents also know the trials and tribulations of getting a call from the school nurse when they can’t get away from the office. “Most of our parents, because of the economy, are working,” says Pfleger. Before school begins, line up a trusted babysitter or group of parents that can pinch hit for each other when children get sick. And make sure you know the school’s policy. You may have to sign forms ahead of time listing people who have your permission to pick up your child.

7. Attend Orientations to Meet and Greet

Schools typically hold orientation and information sessions before the start of each academic year. These are good opportunities for you to meet the key players: your child’s teachers, school counselors, the principle, and most importantly, front desk staff. “The secretaries know everything and are the first people children see when they arrive at school every day,” says Vaillancourt.

8. Talk to the Teachers

Of course, teachers are the reason your child is there. When you talk to your child’s teachers, ask about their approach to homework. Some teachers assign homework so kids can practice new skills while others focus on the accuracy of the assignments they turn in. Ask for the dates of tests and large assignments so you can help your child plan accordingly. For instance, if you know a big test is coming up on Friday morning, you will know to keep things simple on Thursday evening.

9. Make it a Family Affair

Together, you and your child can plan for success in school. For instance, sit down with your child to create a routine chart. Ask your child what she wants to do first when she first gets home from school: play outside or do homework? Her answers go on the chart. “The more kids have ownership in creating a routine for themselves and setting expectations, the more likely they are to follow it,” says Vaillancourt.

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PNLV Blog

Join us on July 26 for our first APN block party!

We’re excited to hold our first APN Block Party on Saturday, July 26 from 11 am – 3 p.m. in conjunction with a larger downtown-Allentown block party event being planned by our friends at CACLV.

Live music, food vendors, activities for the kids, and MUCH MORE! Save the date and plan to join us!

APN Block Party
APN Block Party
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PNLV Blog

Join us on June 13 for Donuts for Dad!

This month we celebrated moms and in June we get to do the same for dads!
Join us on June 13 for Donuts for Dad.

Donuts for Dad

 

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PNLV Blog

Earth Day 2014 recap – colorful tulips and lots of smiles!

APN staff met with neighborhood residents and handed out over 250 tulips and pinwheels to celebrate Earth Day and reach out to the community.

Men, women, and children all received plants. Colorful pinwheels and plants could be seen all over the neighborhood.

Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley was also there to spread awareness about free health services they provide in Center City Allentown.

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to the employees of the Home Depot in Whitehall for donating the volunteer hours and pots to plant the tulips!

 

Earth day 2014

Earth Day flowers

 

earth day 2014 flowers

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PNLV Blog

Allentown School District Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration will be happening April 28 – May 9. If your child will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2014 make sure they are registered with your neighborhood elementary school. Please see the dates, times and locations below.

For detailed questions, please contact the Allentown School District at www.allentownsd.org or 484-765-4000.

Kindergarten, as well as pre-school, are important stepping stones in a child’s social and academic development. Don’t let them miss out!

Also, for families registering their children for kindergarten that will attend Central, Cleveland, or McKinley Elementary Schools, you will receive a Kindergarten Readiness bag full of books, crayons, games, and materials to help promote kindergarten readiness for your child.

ASD 2014 Kindergarten Registration

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PNLV Blog

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is April 24

National “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day” is coming up on Thursday, April 24. If you are a parent or adult looking to take a young person with you to work, note the 2014 theme “Plant a Seed, Grow a Future.”

Preparing our youth for a rewarding future is not just a responsibility, it is an opportunity for adults to “plant seeds” in their young minds about the steps necessary to reach and exceed academic, extracurricular, and personal goals. It is also an opportunity for us to learn about our child’s expectations for their own future.

Make “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” a valuable experience for you and your child. Even if it isn’t a once-a-year practice you can still take your daughter or son to lunch or even on a walk. The opportunities for planting these seeds are in everyday moments, and are invaluable to their future.

For more information visit: http://www.daughtersandsonstowork.org/wmspage7d10.html?parm1=936

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PNLV Blog

Reminder: Affordable Care Act deadline is 3/31

For those eligible to enroll for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, don’t delay!  If you want healthcare coverage for 2014, you must enroll by March 31, 2014. Don’t miss out on 2014 coverage!

If you have questions about eligibility, income guidelines, or cost you can visit  https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/b/welcome/ , call 1-800-318-2596, or contact Lehigh Valley Health Network (http://www.lvhn.org/), Sacred Heart Hospital (http://www.shh.org/), or St. Luke’s  University Hospital (http://www.slhn.org/en/Patients-Visitors/Health-Insurance-Enrollment-Assistance.aspx)  for local enrollment assistance.

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PNLV Blog

PNLV to once again support McKinley’s Odyssey of the Mind team

McKinley's Odyssey of the Mind team 2013Next Monday, October 21, begins the McKinley Elementary School team Odyssey of the Mind practices for the 2013-2014 competition.

Dawn Robinson-Weldon of PNLV will be coaching the McKinley Elementary team for the second year in a row.  For those who aren’t familiar with OOTM it is “an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.

Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.”

The McKinley Elementary team will be beginning their third year of competing.  The last two years the team has been able to compete at the regional level, and this year will strive to compete at the state and national levels, as well.

Please support Allentown schools participating in Odyssey of the Mind by volunteering. For more information, visit http://www.paodyssey.com/.