2nd Annual EPN Resident Block Party in West Ward is Tomorrow!

Easton Promise Neighborhood will host its Second Annual Resident Block Party to bring West Ward neighborhood residents together while connecting them with local public service agencies this Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. inside Cottingham Stadium on N. 11th Street next to Paxinosa Elementary School.

The free event for EPN neighborhood residents will feature partner information tables from local non-profit groups, food and beverages, music, games and activities for children, and other entertainment. It will be held rain or shine. Attendees who get their passport stamped at each partner information table will be entered in a drawing for FREE raffle prizes.

For the first time the block party will take place inside Cottingham Stadium on the grassy playing field. We’ll have a large tent where you can hang out to enjoy all of the activities.

There will be water balloons to toss, sprinklers to run through, and of course the dunk tank! Plus we will be handing out cold bottles of water to refresh you! The first 200 people will get free ice cream, and the first 300 will get ice pops!

Event partners are Family Connection of Easton and the Easton Area School District.

Parents can also register their child for school in the Easton Area School District at the event. The following items are needed for registration:

  • Proof of immunizations
  • Four doses of DPT with one dose of tetanus and diphtheria on or after the fourth birthday
  • Three doses of polio
  • Two doses of MMR
  • Three doses of Hepatitis B
  • Two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) or proof of the disease
  • A current vaccine record must be presented at registration in order to register.
  • State birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Completed school district forms
  • Student registration record
  • Home language survey
  • Health information sheet
  • A mortgage or lease agreement in the parent(s) name is mandatory, plus two of the following:
  • Current utility bill, moving permit, car registration or insurance, tax statements, current

credit card statement, check stubs from wages, public assistance, or social security.

  • If a mortgage or lease is not available in the parent(s) name, an affidavit of residency or

support is required. Contact Central Registration at 610-250-2400 extensions 35097 or

35099 for more information.

  • Custody papers or PFA order, if applicable.



Meet Community School Directors Amy and Ari of McKinley Elementary

  1. What sets your Community School apart from the others in the APN?

We are a small but happy school—we are a close-knit family, and we really value the friendships and relationships that are made here at McKinley. Thanks to the help of our wonderful partner, Rodale, we also have a beautiful community garden (and the only community school to have a garden!) This garden is  unique because all the classes really were a fundamental part of building and creating this dream.

  1. What is your school’s #1 goal for the current school year?

We have many goals and things to focus on, but our primary goal would definitely be to improve our families’ access to health services.

  1. How has your Community School’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown helped your students?

Boys & Girls Club has always played such a huge role in supporting our school—whether it was through providing Backpack Buddies to 15 of our families, or helping assist families with Christmas gifts during the holidays, we really have benefited from having BGCA as our lead partner. This year, especially, we have come to depend on the Turner Street Girls Club a lot more because so many of our students are now participating in their after school programs, which are offered 5 days a week and are great learning supports for the students.

  1. What type of educational support do students as your school need the most?

I would definitely say that many of our students do need that 1:1 attention; whether it is homework help, or just receiving assistance with improving their reading/writing or math skills, our students need that positive attention and guidance, especially since many of their parents may be working and so they aren’t getting a lot of these very necessary educational supports at home.

  1. What made you want to be a Community School Director in Allentown?

CSD - AmyAmy Jahn de Torrez was working at Christ Lutheran Church and assisting with community outreach, when she soon found herself working with many of the McKinley families. She soon realized that she loved being in a school setting, and so much of her work at CLC was so interconnected with the role of a Community School Director, that moving over to McKinley was such a natural fit. Because of Amy’s relationship with CLC, the partnership of McKinley and CLC has only blossomed every year since. Amy loves to be able to help support and strengthen families through her role as a CSD, and truly has a gift for what she does.

Ari Kantrow—After serving all of last year as an Americorps VISTA member in two of Allentown’s community schools CSD - Aariel(Roosevelt and SMMS), I realized that working in a community school is truly a unique experience, and I really loved being able to develop such strong relationships with the families and support them and help their students succeed. After Amy decided to pursue student teaching for a few months and the opportunity to fill in as a CSD at McKinley arose and I began to meet the incredible staff and families of McKinley, I realized that there was no other place that I would rather be.


Kindergarten Registration with ASD

Attending kindergarten is an important step in a child’s educational development. In the Allentown Promise Neighborhood we want to make sure that families have all the tools they need to provide and obtain quality education for their children.
Did you know in the state of Pennsylvania, families are not legally required to send their children to kindergarten? Here in the APN, only roughly 1/3 of children have a quality pre-school experience, which means there are children right here in our community that do not receive a quality pre-school experience, or attend kindergarten. This means that some children’s very first educational experience is 1st grade, where they start out performing below normal achievement levels. We want to make sure all children start out on the right foot, and get the most out of pre-school and kindergarten experiences.If you live in the Allentown Promise Neighborhood, and have not yet registered your child for kindergarten, please visit or call 484-765-4000. See the below kindergarten registration forms.
If you have a pre-school aged child that lives in the APN, please consider enrolling them in our Little School/Escuelita Home Visitation Program.  This program provides up to 12 visits of quality early learning lessons for your child, taught right in the home. For more information, please contact Cassondra Lander  610-437-6000 ext 2170, or email


K-Reg Sign up Form Spanish 2014 K-Reg  Sign up Form English 2014


Parents: continue learning with your children when snow keeps them at home

During winter storms and snow days, engage your children in pencil-and-paper games such as Sprouts, Dots and Squares, and  Tic Tac Toe. Children will enjoy the challenging activity as well as your engagement with them, and will build great problem solving skills too. All you need is pencil, paper, and an eager mind. Look below for instructions and ideas for more paper-and-pencil games to play with your children.

Categories: Draw a grid on a piece of paper – a square filled with smaller squares. The number of squares can vary, depending on the attention span of your child. Down the left side, put some letters of the alphabet (for example, you could spell out a child’s name: LISA). Across the top, write categories – for example, girls’ names, boys’ names, animals, colors, cars, places. You can make this harder or easier by changing the categories. Players take turns writing in words that fit the category and start with the letter in the left-hand column. (Next to the letter L, in this example, you might have Laura, Liam, lion, lavender, Lexus and Labrador.) Give extra points for words that nobody else thought of.

Battleship: For two players. Here’s another popular game you can play without the official version. All you need is graph paper. Each player needs two grids. Label each grid by writing numbers across the top and letters down the side, so that the squares are easily identified as A8 or F5. One grid will be for locating your own ships, the other for recording shots against your opponent’s ships. Each player places three or four “ships” on his grid, then let the guessing begin. The first person to sink all the other person’s ships wins.

Dots and Squares: Begin by drawing a grid of dots on the paper. Using lined paper or graph paper can make this a little easier. The first person draws a line connecting two dots beside each other. The second player then draws another line to connect another two dots. The goal is to be the person who draws the last side of a square. Then you put your initials inside the square (or some other abbreviation to claim your square). In some versions of this game, if you complete a square you get another turn. The player with the most squares when all the squares are drawn is the winner.

Sprouts: If you can’t quite master drawing a neat grid of dots, you might find this game easier. Draw dots randomly all over the paper. The first player draws a line between any two dots, and draws another dot in the middle of that line. The next player draws a line between any two dots, and puts a dot in the middle of that line. No lines may cross each other, but they don’t have to be straight, so they can loop around other lines. Only three lines in total can emerge from any one dot. The dots put in the middle of the lines already have two lines connecting them to the two other dots, so they can only have one more line. The game continues until no more lines can be drawn. The person who did the last line is the winner.

Foldovers: Give everyone a piece of paper. On the top section, draw a head. It can be an animal head or a person’s head, as weird as you like. Now fold that section back, so that it’s hidden, and slide it across the table to the next person. Without looking at the hidden drawing, the next person draws a chest and arms (of a person, animal, alien), folds it back as well and passes it on to the next person. Without looking at the previous pictures, that person draws a body (stomach and hips) and the final person draws the legs and feet. (You can have more or fewer sections depending on the number of people you have playing.) Finally, unfold your papers and laugh at the weird creatures you have created.


A letter from Ernest Perry, Executive Director

Eighteen months ago, we announced our Transformation Agenda—a bold blueprint for a Partnership that achieves greater alignment between our aspirations for a more vibrant Lehigh Valley, place-based investments in programs and services (i.e. Promise Neighborhoods), and a shared commitment to improving outcomes for children and families living in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton. I am overwhelmed by how much we have accomplished, together, since our announcement. Each of you can take tremendous pride in the successes we have achieved in pursuit of our Transformation Goals:

• Build a Best-In-Class Organization
• Elevate the Voices of our Neighborhoods
• Work in a way that is Scalable and Sustainable
• Innovate from our Strengths and Grow our Impact, One Neighborhood at a Time

At the end of this letter, you will find a few of the highlights from our Transformation Year. Share them with your family, friends, and colleagues whenever you talk about Promise Neighborhoods.

By now, most of you have learned that I am leaving Promise Neighborhoods very soon. I have been fortunate, in my time with you, to have experienced the power of partnerships in the Lehigh Valley. Promise Neighborhoods, like few other partnerships, has a unique opportunity to create generational change across the region. Every day, our Partners make amazing contributions to bettering neighborhoods in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, and strengthening the regional community of the Lehigh Valley. Promise Neighborhoods are the places where each of you have expressed your desires for community, anchored by great schools in neighborhoods of choice—where you want to Live, want your children to Learn, and want your organizations to Lead.

As my time in the Lehigh Valley winds down, I leave knowing Promise Neighborhoods has achieved remarkable success, and is well-positioned for the future. It has been my honor and calling to have led you during this phase of your journey. Thank you for your support and friendship.


Ernest Perry, PMP
Executive Director
Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley


Transformation Year Highlights

2012 – 2013 was a period of remarkable achievement and unprecedented growth for Promise Neighborhoods. Some of our accomplishments during Ernest Perry’s tenure.


  • Launched Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley as a nonprofit subsidiary of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
  • Secured largest foundation gift in our history from The Century Fund.
  • Secured largest corporate gift in our history from Air Products.
  • Established partnership with St. Luke’s University Hospital Network to expand access to primary and preventative dental services in Allentown Promise Neighborhood.
  • Established partnership with Allentown Art Museum to increase Arts Exposure and Education in Allentown Promise Neighborhood.
  • Hosted regional forum at Lehigh University on the role of community collaboration in Promise Neighborhoods.


  • Achieved new benchmark for largest foundation gift with contribution from The Rider Pool Foundation.
  • Launched the region’s first virtual scorecard and Promise Neighborhoods brand campaign at 
  • Established partnership with The Rider Pool Foundation to develop Common Measures for generational impact of investment in education and neighborhood development in Allentown Promise Neighborhood.
  • Created “Little School” home visitation partnership with Community Services for Children to improve access to early assessment, education, and service referral for children and families in Allentown Promise Neighborhood.
  • With support from The Century Fund, commissioned noted economist, Kamran Afshar, PhD, to conduct a landmark study of the costs and design for a high quality pre-school program guarantee in Allentown Promise Neighborhood.
  • Oversaw efforts to increase capacity of Early Learning Network to serve children and families in Allentown Promise Neighborhood, raising enrollment by 21%.
  • Matched largest corporate gift in our history with contribution from Crayola to plan a Promise Neighborhood in Easton’s West Ward.
  • Realized best fundraising year in our 5 year history, with growth in revenue from corporate, foundation, and individual contributions.
  • Reduced reliance United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, as it became a minority investor in Promise Neighborhoods.

Source: Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley