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News & Reports PNLV Blog

Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley names Hasshan Batts Director of Operations

Regional nonprofit organization Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley has named Dr. Hasshan Batts as its new Director of Operations.

His responsibilities will include developing and managing cross-sector relationships in the community; planning and launching fundraising events to support the organization; developing and implementing the organization’s programs; community organizing; and overseeing staff engagement with neighborhood residents and resident leadership.

Batts is an Allentown Promise Neighborhood resident, a community leader and committed to contributing to improving the Lehigh Valley through equity, collaboration and compassion. Batts most recently worked with the Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, where he was a member of the management team supervising the community initiative staff and oversaw interns, while providing clinical and operational consultation, training and staff development. He is also a consultant with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute based in Atlanta, and a fellow with The Rider-Pool Foundation’s Collective Impact Fellowship Program.

His professional career history includes working as a Clinical Supervisor for the Youth Services Agency of Pennsylvania in Jim Thorpe; Director of Children’s Services for NHS Human Services in Bethlehem; and an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Lincoln University in Philadelphia.

Batts has a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences from Gardner-Web University; a Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University; and a Doctorate in Health Sciences with a Global Health concentration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

After a decade of growth and development, the Board of Directors of PNLV is conducting a review and evaluation of the nonprofit organization’s community work as it plans for its next phase of growth and development. Its collective impact mission working with partner agencies, community leaders, and neighborhood residents will be reinvigorated as it continues to strengthen its neighborhood-level relationships and focus on community building in all three of its Lehigh Valley neighborhoods. Batts will work the PNLV Board on this reorganization, and will facilitate the hiring of two staff members in the coming months.

About Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Initiated in 2007 by United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and developed by community leaders, PNLV was envisioned and planned as a regional organization to address challenges facing families and children in select neighborhoods across the Lehigh Valley. PNLV’s first neighborhood is in the Old Allentown Historic District downtown, and now includes Easton Promise Neighborhood in the city’s West Ward, and two Bethlehem Promise Neighborhoods on Southside and in the Marvine-Pembroke neighborhood. The nonprofit organization unites residents and leaders from various sectors to ensure the success of children from birth through career. Promise Neighborhoods accomplishes its work through place-based, collective impact efforts. www.PromiseNeighborhoodsLV.org.

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PNLV Blog

Help PPL Stop Scammers

It seems like you can’t look at the news or social media nowadays without reading about email and phone fraud. Scammers will pretend to be just about anybody – utility employees, bank employees, even IRS agents – to try to get hold of your money or your personal information.

It’s enough to make you want to block everyone out. That’s unfortunate, because there are some genuine opportunities out there that can help you save. But sometimes it’s hard to separate them from all the scams and swindles.

At PPL Electric Utilities, we’re trying to stop scammers who steal our name so they can steal from you.

Door-to-door energy salesmen claim to represent us. (They don’t.) High-pressure phone callers say PPL will cut off power in an hour if the customer doesn’t pay. (We won’t.) Now we’re seeing reports of phishing emails that pretend to come from PPL, as well.

We’d like all these people to keep our name out of their mouths, and our security team works with police to pursue them. But, until they’re caught, the best thing we can do is share information on how to spot scammers. This advice can help you spot swindlers who might pretend to come from other companies you trust, too.

So share these signs of scams with anyone you know who can use them. We don’t want anyone to be taken advantage of.

Door-to-door energy marketing

In Pennsylvania, you have the right to buy your energy supply from a competitive supplier, rather than have PPL Electric Utilities supply it. You may be able to save money by paying a lower rate than the one we charge. (No matter who you buy your energy from, it will be delivered safely and reliably over the PPL network.)

You should know, though, that PPL Electric Utilities does not endorse any one supplier over another. And those door-to-door solicitors who promote energy suppliers do not represent PPL. In fact, they’re required to specifically tell you that they’re not working for PPL.

Our advice? Don’t be afraid of shopping for energy supply – but the best place to start is our shopping website, pplelectric.com/shopping. You can also go to the state Public Utility Commission’s site at PAPowerSwitch.com to compare our current price to those of other suppliers.

If you want to listen to door-to-door salesmen and see what they have to offer, you can. But we recommend that you not sign anything before checking PAPowerSwitch.com, where you may find a better offer. And don’t provide your PPL account number to anyone.

Phone scams

Phone callers who impersonate PPL give themselves away by doing two things we don’t.

They claim they’ll cut off power immediately if they don’t get paid, and they pressure you to pay them by buying prepaid cards. (In real life, we give plenty of notice when there’s a possible risk of shutoff, and we don’t pressure anyone to use specific payment methods.)

You can always check your account status by logging on at pplelectric.com or calling us at 1-800-DIAL-PPL. If you get a suspicious or threatening call that claims to come from another company – like a utility or a bank – do the same thing: Hang up and contact the company directly using a trusted method, like the phone number on your monthly statement.

“Phishing” emails

A “phishing” email is a message that tries to get you to share personal information, such as account numbers. Some phishing messages can look a lot like the emails sent by real companies you know and trust.

Here are ways to keep yourself off the hook: First, hover your mouse over any link in the message. Read the URL that pops up, and see where the link really goes. Does it go to a site you trust, like pplelectric.com? Or does it go someplace you’ve never seen before?

Also, if the message says there’s an urgent problem with your account, don’t click. Instead, contact the company directly through a trustworthy channel to check your account status. They’ll let you know if you really have anything to worry about.


 

 

Hoy en día, parece que es imposible ver las noticias o las redes sociales sin leer sobre el fraude por correo electrónico y telefónico. Los estafadores se hacen pasar por cualquiera, ya sea empleados de empresas de servicios públicos, empleados bancarios e incluso agentes del Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS, por sus siglas en inglés), para conseguir dinero ajeno o información personal.

Esto es suficiente como para que ignore a todos los demás. Es una pena porque realmente existen oportunidades genuinas para ayudarlo a ahorrar. Pero a veces es difícil separarlas del fraude y las estafas.

En PPL Electric Utilities, estamos tratando de detener a los estafadores que utilizan nuestro nombre para poder robarle.

Los vendedores de energía eléctrica van puerta a puerta diciendo que nos representan. (Aunque en realidad no lo hacen). Los telefonistas ejercen presión diciendo que PPL le cortará la luz al cliente en una hora si este no paga. (No lo haremos). Ahora estamos viendo informes sobre correos electrónicos fraudulentos que también simulan provenir de PPL.

Queremos que toda esta gente deje de mencionarnos; por eso, nuestro equipo de seguridad trabaja junto con la policía para perseguirlos. Pero, hasta que los encuentren, lo mejor que podemos hacer es contarle cómo detectar a estafadores. Estos consejos pueden ayudarle a detectar los estafadores que podría simular que provienen de otras empresas en las que también confía.

Por eso le pedimos que comparta estos indicios de fraude con aquellas personas que sepa que puedan utilizarlos. No queremos que se aprovechen de nadie.

Mercadeo de energía eléctrica puerta a puerta

En Pensilvania, tiene derecho a adquirir el suministro de energía eléctrica de un proveedor competitivo, en lugar de PPL Electric Utilities. Posiblemente ahorre dinero pagando una tarifa más baja que la que le cobramos. (No importa de quién adquiera energía eléctrica; será entregada de forma segura y confiable a través de la red de PPL).

Sin embargo, debe saber, que PPL Electric Utilities no apoya a ningún proveedor sobre otros. Y los vendedores puerta a puerta que promocionan proveedores de energía eléctrica no representan a PPL. De hecho, están obligados específicamente a hacerle saber que no trabajan para PPL.

¿Nuestro consejo? No tema comprar el suministro eléctrico; pero el mejor lugar para hacerlo es a través de nuestro sitio web pplelectric.com/shopping. También puede visitar el sitio web de la Comisión de Servicios Públicos estatal PAPowerSwitch.com para comparar nuestro precio actual con el de otros proveedores.

Si quiere escuchar a los vendedores puerta a puerta y ver qué tienen para ofrecerle, puede hacerlo. Pero le recomendamos que no firme nada sin antes consultar el sitio web PAPowerSwitch.com, donde puede encontrar una propuesta mejor. Y no le dé su número de cuenta de PPL a nadie.

Fraude telefónico

Los telefonistas que se hacen pasar por representantes de PPL se delatan haciendo dos cosas que nosotros no hacemos.

Dicen que le cortarán el suministro de inmediato si no paga y lo presionan para que pague comprando tarjetas prepagas. (En la vida real, nosotros avisamos con bastante tiempo de anticipación cuando existe un posible riesgo de corte, y no presionamos a nadie para que utilice métodos de pago específicos).

Siempre puede verificar su estado de cuenta iniciando una sesión en pplelectric.com o llamando al 1-800-DIAL-PPL. Si recibe una llamada sospechosa o amenazante que supuestamente proviene de otra compañía, como una empresa de servicios públicos o un banco, actúe de la misma manera: corte y comuníquese con la compañía en forma directa usando un método de confianza, como el número de teléfono que figura en su estado de cuenta mensual.

Correos electrónicos fraudulentos o “phishing”

Un correo electrónico fraudulento es un mensaje que trata de incitarlo a que revele información personal, como los números de sus cuentas. Algunos mensajes fraudulentos son muy parecidos a los correos electrónicos que envían las compañías verdaderas que conoce y en quienes confía.

Algunas formas de evitar caer son las siguientes: Primero, desplace el mouse por encima de cualquier enlace incluido en el mensaje. Lea la URL emergente y vea hacia dónde lo dirige el enlace realmente. ¿Lo dirige a un sitio de confianza, como pplelectric.com? ¿O va hacia un sitio que nunca ha visto?

Además, si el mensaje dice que hubo un problema urgente con su cuenta, no haga clic. Más bien, contacte a la compañía directamente a través de un canal confiable para verificar su estado de cuenta. Le dirán si realmente sucede algo por lo que debería preocuparse.

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PNLV Blog

Honoring volunteers during National Volunteer Month – by PPL Electric Utilities

Time is a gift. And in April, we saluted those who give it. You see, April was National Volunteer Month.

It’s a low-key month that you might not have heard too much about. It’s not the kind of event with parades and fireworks — though, honestly, most people who give time to help their communities aren’t looking for attention anyway. Instead, it’s a more personal celebration. It’s a chance to thank people you know who give their time, and to appreciate the things they do.

And, if you haven’t gotten involved, it may be a time for you to look into opportunities to help others. (No matter how tight your schedule is, or what causes you think are most important, organizations in this area would love to have your help.)

Volunteering takes many forms. It can mean packing boxes at food banks, helping young children learn to read, leading a Scout troop, coaching a youth sports team, protecting a community as a member of a volunteer fire company, and so much more. Every gift of time makes a difference, regardless of the specific setting.

I’m proud to know and work with people who are committed volunteers. People like Steve Gelatko, director-Distribution Asset Planning for PPL Electric Utilities, who serves as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley. These folks have challenging work responsibilities, but still make time to serve others.

Volunteering isn’t the only way to support the community. Financial donations make a difference too, of course.

At PPL, our employees and retirees raised more than $1.4 million this past year to support United Ways across central and eastern Pennsylvania. Matching funds given by PPL raised our campaign total to more than $2 million. Locally, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley will benefit from those gifts.

These donations translate into real programs and services for people who need help every day in the communities we serve. Things like preschool literacy classes, programs that support healthy lifestyles, and services that help seniors stay in their homes.

We’re proud of that support, but it’s only half the picture. It wouldn’t mean as much without personal commitment – the thousands of hours our employees give to support those agencies and other community groups.

So, we take this month to salute our co-workers, neighbors and friends who volunteer. The places where we live and work are stronger as a result of their generosity.

They deserve a parade. And fireworks.

 


 

El tiempo es un regalo, y en el mes de abril homenajeamos a todos aquellos que nos brindan su tiempo.

Como saben, abril fue el mes nacional del voluntariado.

Es un mes poco llamativo sobre el cual, probablemente, no haya escuchado demasiado. No es el clásico evento con desfiles y fuegos artificiales aunque, honestamente, la mayoría de las personas que dedican su tiempo a ayudar a sus comunidades no buscan llamar la atención de manera alguna.

En realidad, se trata de una celebración más personal. Es una oportunidad para agradecer a las personas que usted sabe que brindan su tiempo y reconocer las cosas que hacen.

Y, si aún no se ha involucrado, puede ser el momento de buscar oportunidades para ayudar a otras personas. (no importa cuán ocupado esté o qué causas le parezcan más importantes; a las organizaciones de esta área les encantaría contar con su ayuda).

Hay muchas formas de voluntariado; desde empaquetar cajas en bancos de alimentos, hasta enseñarles a leer a niños pequeños, liderar un grupo de exploradores, entrenar un equipo de deportes de jóvenes, proteger a una comunidad formando parte de una compañía de bomberos voluntarios y muchas cosas más. Cada tiempo brindado marca una diferencia enorme, sin importar el contexto específico.

Me enorgullece conocer a voluntarios comprometidos y trabajar con ellos. A modo de ejemplo, Steve Gelatko, Director de planificación de distribución de activos de PPL Electric Utilities, forma parte de la junta de Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley. Estas personas tienen responsabilidades laborales desafiantes, pero, aun así, se hacen el tiempo para servir a otros.

Ser voluntario no es la única forma de respaldar a la comunidad. Obviamente, las donaciones económicas también hacen una gran diferencia.

El año pasado, nuestros empleados y jubilados recaudaron más de $1.4 millones para ayudar a United Ways del centro y este de Pensilvania. Los fondos correspondientes aportados por PPL aumentaron el total de nuestra campaña a más de $2 millones. A nivel local, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley se verá beneficiada por estas donaciones.

Estas donaciones se invierten en programas y servicios reales para personas que necesitan ayuda a diario en las comunidades a las cuales servimos. Por ejemplo, clases de alfabetización preescolar, programas de apoyo de estilos de vida saludables, y servicios que ayudan a los adultos mayores a permanecer en sus hogares.

Estamos orgullosos de esta ayuda, pero esta solo es una cara de la moneda. No sería lo mismo sin el compromiso personal: las miles de horas que nuestros empleados dedican a ayudar a estas agencias y otros grupos comunitarios.

Entonces, dedicamos este mes para honrar a nuestros colaboradores, vecinos y amigos voluntarios. Los lugares donde vivimos y trabajamos son más fuertes gracias a su generosidad.

Ellos se merecen un desfile y los fuegos artificiales.

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PNLV Blog

ACHIP Community Health Worker Profile – Jamie Santana

The Allentown Children’s Health Improvement Project (ACHIP) was launched in 2016 thanks to a $1.91 million, 30-month grant from The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust. The new program brings together Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Department of Community Health and Women and Children’s services along with the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley in a partnership. The program’s primary goal is to improve the health of pregnant women and young children in Center City Allentown through home visits for early intervention. A staff of bilingual community health workers from the neighborhood surrounding the Neighborhood Improvement Zone operates out of PNLV’s Allentown Promise Neighborhood office in downtown Allentown. APN uses its strong relationship with downtown residents to connect parents with young children and pregnant women to the ACHIP services.

The health workers are embedded in the community they serve in order to better cultivate relationships with residents, leading to trust of the local healthcare system, which is a critical component to the program’s success with this at-risk population. Here is a profile on one of them – Jamie Santana.

 

Santana_Jamie1. What made you want to work on the ACHIP program?

For the past five years I have worked as a Community Health Worker with the Department of Community Health at LVHN on an asthma program that assisted families and children ages 1-14 years old. I provided families with education on asthma medication, and assisted in the referral process to local organizations depending on the need.

What made me want to work with ACHIP is because it assists pregnant women and families with children from birth to age 5. I had already been familiar with this population and recognized that there are many young parents in Allentown in need of parenting education and guidance. I thought this would be another opportunity to continue making a difference in family’s lives. There are so many families that are broken and in need of guidance, as well as someone to trust.

 

2. What interests you most about the work you do in the community through the ACHIP program?

I enjoy listening to people’s life story. Each person has a story to tell about their life and the things they have experienced, both negative and positive. Each story is unique and I have the opportunity to take their story and express to families how some of the struggles they have encountered still have a purpose and could be used for good. These families have real struggles in their day to day life. Most feel like their stuck and can’t move forward. Others have been labelled, rejected and told they have no worth. My job is to help them see past all of that and find their purpose if not for themselves than for their children. Ultimately its empowering families to make changes to have better outcomes and look back to see how far they have come and they worked hard and can say “I did it!”

 

3. Since the home visitations started, what types of things have you been able to help the new moms and moms-to-be about with when it comes to caring for themselves and/or their child?

There are so many needs that families have. One is not having enough baby formula. I had to assist a mom who just had her newborn and WIC was not answering their phones for a week. I had a stock in my office that had been given to me before the program began because I knew this would be an issue for families.

 

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PNLV Blog

ACHIP Community Health Worker Profile – Kelly D Brown

The Allentown Children’s Health Improvement Project (ACHIP) was launched in 2016 thanks to a $1.91 million, 30-month grant from The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust. The new program brings together Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Department of Community Health and Women and Children’s services along with the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley in a partnership. The program’s primary goal is to improve the health of pregnant women and young children in Center City Allentown through home visits for early intervention. A staff of bilingual community health workers from the neighborhood surrounding the Neighborhood Improvement Zone operates out of PNLV’s Allentown Promise Neighborhood office in downtown Allentown. APN uses its strong relationship with downtown residents to connect parents with young children and pregnant women to the ACHIP services.

The health workers are embedded in the community they serve in order to better cultivate relationships with residents, leading to trust of the local healthcare system, which is a critical component to the program’s success with this at-risk population. Here is a profile on one of them – Kelly D. Brown.

 

Kelly D Brown1. What made you want to work on the ACHIP program?

I love helping people. ACHIP promotes helping pregnant moms and their young children, a population which is near and dear to my heart.

 

2. What interests you most about the work you do in the community through the ACHIP program?

To provide community resources, to empower families to become self-efficient, and to promote a healthy way of living.

 

3. Since the home visitations started, what types of things have you been able to help the new moms and moms-to-be about with when it comes to caring for themselves and/or their child?

I’m able to provide resources such as breast pumps, information on WIC, and make sure they have health insurance. I also can connect the family with childcare services if needed.

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PNLV Blog

ACHIP Community Health Worker Profile – Denisette Irizarry

The Allentown Children’s Health Improvement Project (ACHIP) was launched in 2016 thanks to a $1.91 million, 30-month grant from The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust. The new program brings together Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Department of Community Health and Women and Children’s services along with the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley in a partnership. The program’s primary goal is to improve the health of pregnant women and young children in Center City Allentown through home visits for early intervention. A staff of bilingual community health workers from the neighborhood surrounding the Neighborhood Improvement Zone operates out of PNLV’s Allentown Promise Neighborhood office in downtown Allentown. APN uses its strong relationship with downtown residents to connect parents with young children and pregnant women to the ACHIP services.

The health workers are embedded in the community they serve in order to better cultivate relationships with residents, leading to trust of the local healthcare system, which is a critical component to the program’s success with this at-risk population. Here is a profile on one of them – Denisette Irizarry.

 

Denisette Irizarry1. What made you want to work on the ACHIP program?

I know the importance of, and am passionate about, the health and quality of life for children, young mothers and families. These are exactly the community members that the ACHIP program is designed to help. I love the idea of being able to work with mothers from pregnancy and into the early years of life for their children.

2. What interests you most about the work you do in the community through the ACHIP program?

I am able to work closely with families and our community partners while serving as a role model for our clients (especially the young mothers). I am happy to serve as an advocate to our families and be involved in helping to identify and address some of the needs of our community. I am also interested in how the work we do with the ACHIP program today will benefit the families and other community-based programs tomorrow.

3. Since the home visitations started, what types of things have you been able to help the new moms and moms-to-be about with when it comes to caring for themselves and/or their child?

Our team has succeeded in connecting our families to resources for parenting and prenatal support, rental assistance programs, furniture, early education programs and child care services. With the help of the nurse navigator and counselors on our team, we’ve provided referrals to services that address physical and mental health as well any child development concerns.

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PNLV Blog

PNLV names APN Manager Amanda Raudenbush as Interim Executive Director

Regional nonprofit organization Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley has named Allentown Promise Neighborhood Manager Amanda Raudenbush as Interim Executive Director following the departure of Yamil Sanchez Rivera earlier this month. Sanchez Rivera recently took a new position with the United Way of Berks County.

Raudenbush of Kutztown joined the organization in 2014. A graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey, she holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in American Studies and Urban Studies, as well as a Masters of Curriculum and Instruction from Kutztown University, and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers. She’s also earned certificates in Geomatics and Urban Planning from Rutgers.

Most recently she had worked in education as a mathematics teacher at the I-LEAD Charter School in Reading. Prior to that she worked in community planning as Director of Planning and Building for Palmer Township; as a Senior Planner for Somerset County Planning Board in Somerville, NJ; and owned her own business, Jensen Planning, for two years in Kutztown.

“I am excited about this new opportunity to lead the staff of our nonprofit community organization and to work with our many partners and funders to continue moving the needle on the Nine Promises that impact the quality of life for our residents,” said Raudenbush. “I am passionate about the work our team does in the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton Promise Neighborhoods, and am committed to building upon the framework Yamil created for us and moving it forward in 2017.”

Initiated by the United Way and developed by community leaders, PNLV was envisioned and planned as a regional organization to address challenges facing families and children in select neighborhoods across the Lehigh Valley. PNLV’s first neighborhood is in the Old Allentown Historic District downtown. The success of Allentown Promise Neighborhood has led the organization to expand its model to the valley’s other cities, launching the Easton Promise Neighborhood in the city’s West Ward last year and the two Bethlehem Promise Neighborhoods on Southside and in the Marvine neighborhood earlier this year.

About Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Founded in 2007 by United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley unites residents and leaders from various sectors to ensure the success of children from birth through career. Promise Neighborhoods accomplishes its work through place-based, collective impact efforts. Its office is located at 1101 Hamilton Street, Suite 102 in Downtown Allentown. For more information, visit www.PromiseNeighborhoodsLV.org.

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PNLV Blog

Early Childhood Dialogues by Family Connection of Easton

Kindergarten Connection holds two-to-four Early Childhood Dialogues per year. We invite preschool and kindergarten teachers, administrators, school board members, city government officials, parents and community partners, and have begun to invite participants from across the Lehigh Valley with our understanding that successful transition cannot succeed without the support of all.

This is a professional development event and attendees are able to acquire ACT 48 or PQAS. These events are held at various locations from 6-8 pm. A light dinner is provided. We are now initiating an optional last hour for coffee, cake and discussion.

The purpose of the dialogues is to educate, and participants are surveyed after each one. The survey asks attendees for ideas for topics for future presentations. In addition to education, dialogues are a means of connecting the many partners to the transition work being done in Easton.

Initially our presentations attracted a group of about 20 and our presenters were preschool/kindergarten teachers. We have grown in number to nearly 70 attendees and our recent presenters have come from institutions of higher education. Each dialogue opens with a few words from a community partner in order to familiarize the group with the work of these transition team members.

A review of some of our topics and presenters includes: Ken Smythe Leistico from the Reddy Freddy/University of Pittsburgh who spoke on the importance of Kindergarten Transition work. We had a presentation by the IU on fine motor skills. The Director of NYU’s preschool program presented the Reggio philosophy. Northampton Community College has been an invaluable partner, presenting on The Importance of Play and two recent presentations (back a second time due to teacher request) on Reading and Writing Skills (Portfolios) for Preschool and Kindergarten students.

On March16, Lehigh University will provide some help with behavior issues, which is a growing problem in classrooms everywhere.

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PNLV Blog

Partner Profile – Grace Montessori School

This month we are profiling Grace Montessori School in Allentown.

1. What is Grace Montessori School and what is its history?

Grace Montessori School is an outreach of Grace Episcopal Church, established in 1992. We are a not-for-profit, school and childcare center. We are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and registered as a private, non-public school with the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Grace Montessori School has worked successfully to build what Dr. Montessori has called a cohesive community for children and their families. We cater to the needs to children between the ages of 18 months – 11 years of age. We are a richly diverse student body and faculty, and our children learn in a prepared Montessori environment with well-educated and experienced professional teachers.

2.How does the school work with Allentown Promise Neighborhood to help the children that live there?

We work with Allentown Promise Neighborhood, which promotes early childhood education in the neighborhood adjacent to the school, by participating in events for parents sponsored by the APN and their home-teacher who works with 3 and 4 year olds and promotes preschool education.

3.How will Montessori School and APN be working together in the future?

We can work together to increase awareness about preschool education in the neighborhood. We value the contribution APN had in promoting our Toddler program which was started in the 2015-16 school year. We would like to see such partnering in the future and help provide a safe learning environment for children.

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PNLV Blog

Where are they now? Elena DeSantis

Elena headshot1. What was your past role with PNLV and how long did you work for the organization?

I was a Community Fellow at PNLV from summer 2014–summer 2015. When I was at PNLV, we were in the beginning stages of our expansion into Bethlehem. We then organized over a dozen town hall meetings, where we presented our data to residents across Bethlehem.

My favorite part about the town halls was always the discussion that would happen after, where people who had never met before would bounce different ideas off each other, and help us identify what PNLV’s role would be. Ultimately, using resident input from the town halls, coupled with data from the environmental scan, we made a recommendation as to where BPN should be. It has been amazing seeing how far BPN has progressed since then!

2. You are currently attending Georgetown University Law Center and also had an internship over the summer. Tell us what you are studying and where you interned.

I am currently a second-year law student at Georgetown. During the first year of law school, we take only doctrinal classes, which provide us with a valuable and necessary foundation before we get to jump into the fun stuff. Over the summer, I interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office back in the Eastern District of New York. This year, I am taking courses in Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice, among other more doctrinal courses. I am also in a Renewable Energy Practicum course, where I am working part-time with local agencies to develop consumer protection and empowerment policies within the solar energy industry.

3. How do you think your time working with PNLV and specifically BPN will impact your work in the future as well as your role in the community?

More than anything, working with PNLV has given me perspective. It’s really easy to get bogged down in the work and bustle that is law school, but working with PNLV has enabled me to place law school in the context of the communities around us. It serves not as an end, but rather a means of affecting whatever you are passionate about.

Working with BPN specifically highlighted the value of diversity of experience. Everyone I had the opportunity to speak with came from different backgrounds and had different experiences. Those experiences informed how each person participated throughout the early stages of BPN. Each data point I presented had its own unique story behind it, which I was only able to learn through these different perspectives. Having multiple sets of eyes on the same thing will highlight gaps, lead to deeper conversations, encourage listening, and, ultimately, produce better solutions. I have loved learning throughout my time at PNLV, and I know I will take these lessons with me into my future legal career.