The history of Labor Day

The holiday weekend is almost upon us, and for many people that means a three-day weekend with picnics, parties and sleeping in. But do you know the origin of Labor Day, how it came to be in this country. The U.S. Department of Labor has a page on its web site dedicated to this special day. Here are some interesting facts:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

PNLV would like to wish all of our APN residents, partners and supporters a happy and safe Labor Day!


Meet our Resident Liaison, Miguel

Miguel1. How long have you lived in the APN? What do you like most about living here? I don’t live in the APN area, but in working for APN I’m getting to know the community and I like how APN is helping the people that live in this neighborhood.

2. What made you want to get more involved in your neighborhood? I would like to see the neighborhood get better. No more crime or drugs being sold.

3. Why do you feel that you are a good candidate to represent APN? I’m a people person and self-motivated.

4. What are you most looking forward to in your role as a member of the APN Community Engagement Team? Getting to know the different people that live in the community and doing what they need.

5. What do you think of APN and what it does for our community? I feel APN brings hope to the community.


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.


Meet our Resident Liaison, Alissa

Alissa1) How long have you lived in the APN? What do you like most about living here?
I’ve been here about six or seven years. What I like most about living here is that the community is great and what they’re doing is great.

2) What made you want to get more involved in your neighborhood?
When I found out about Allentown Promise Neighborhood and what they do I wanted to get more involved. I thought it would be a good idea to go out and help other people

3) Why do you feel that you are a good candidate to represent APN?
I’m great with other people, even kids, and I’m a good leader.

4) What are you most looking forward to in your role as a member of the APN Resident Liaisons?
To be an even better leader and become an even better person.

5) What do you think of APN and what it does for our community?
I think it’s a great place and what they’re doing is great because they’re taking time out of their day to help others, and I think that is a great thing to do.


The APN survey continues!

We are continuing our survey of residents that live in the Allentown Promise Neighborhood.  The survey captures information about housing, healthcare, and other important information for people that live in the neighborhood. It will also allow for the opportunity for residents to talk to APN staff about interests or concerns they have for the neighborhood.

The survey also provides us with the needed information to determine how best to assist the APN. We will continue conducting the surveys in August and  September. Our resident liaisons and resident ambassadors are conducting the surveys, so if you see them in the neighborhood please support our cause and participate!


APN’s first-ever Block Party is tomorrow!

Our first-ever APN Block Party is almost here! The event is rain or shine tomorrow, and runs from 11 am – 3 p.m. on 8th Street between Chew and Gordon Streets. Be sure to stop in the APN office to register when you get there.

Be one of the first 100 people to register at the APN Block Party and get a free gift! The first 15 people will get a draw string APN bag, and the next 85 people will get an APN water bottle. Better get there right at 11 am when the party starts!

We’re excited to feature booths from 22 local organizations at this Saturday’s APN Block Party. Visit all 22 booths and get entered to win a $50 prize! Learn more at event registration starting at 11 am. A few highlights include:

  • Need health insurance information? Visit the AmeriHealth Caritas booth.
  • Have questions about public transportation? Visit the LANTA booth.
  • Learn how your kids can earn a bike when they visit the Community Bike Works booth.

Thanks to United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley President David Lewis for volunteering to be the first person in the dunk tank at tomorrow’s APN Block Party!  Think you can dunk him? Get there early and find out.

What part of tomorrow’s event are you most looking forward to?

  • 22 information tables from local non-profit groups
  • Cotton candy
  • games for children
  • face painting
  • bouncy house
  • dunk tank
  • basketball throw game
  • DJ/music
  • United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley President David Lewis being the first person in the dunk tank
  • Free gifts for the first 100 people who register at the event


Allentown Promise Neighborhood will host its first neighborhood block party in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley and Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Community Exchange on Saturday, July 26 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event is part of a larger downtown-wide block party being coordinated by Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley and Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown.

Created to bring neighborhood residents together, the event will feature more than 20 information tables from local non-profit groups, food and beverages, a salsa dancing demonstration, games for children, face painting, a bouncy house, and a stage for musical performances and other entertainment. The APN block party is rain or shine and will take place on 8th Street in downtown Allentown between Chew and Gordon Streets.

Founded in 2007, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley unites residents and leaders from various sectors to ensure the success of children from birth through career. The Allentown Promise Neighborhood serves a nine-square-block neighborhood of the city’s downtown, known as Old Allentown Historic District. A subsidiary of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, PNLV accomplishes its work through place-based, collective impact efforts, like Allentown Promise Neighborhood. Its office is located at 347 N. 8th Street in Downtown Allentown. For more information, visit

Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley is a non-profit organization that works to build and repair simple, decent homes for hardworking, disadvantaged families in the Lehigh Valley while helping to revitalize and stabilize neighborhoods. Habitat LV’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative concentrates resources in target neighborhoods so they can be transformed into vibrant, safe, and inviting places to live for both current and future residents. The goal of this broader community development strategy is the long-term strengthening of communities within the City of Allentown.

Community Exchange is a program of Lehigh Valley Health Network in which volunteers exchange their skills and services for someone else’s skills and services. Members can use their interactive database to find someone who can help or someone to whom you can offer help. Community Exchange is affiliated with the Time Banks USA. It originated in the U.S. in the mid-1980s when civil rights lawyer Edgar Cahn developed “time dollars” as a new currency to provide a solution to cuts in government spending on social welfare. He reasoned if there isn’t enough money to fix all the problems facing our country and society, why not create a new kind of money to pay people for what needs to be done?



We’re looking for families for our new Book Bound Family Program

If you’re looking for fun and educational activities for you and your children, please join us for the Book Bound Family Program.

This program, hosted by The Literacy Center, will include an opportunity for 30 families in the APN to make and publish their very own book.

The Book Bound Program begins July 8 and ends August 5.

To register your family for this unique opportunity, please contact the Literacy Center 610-351-0349 or the Allentown Promise Neighborhood at 610-351-4288.

Book Bound Family Program



Meet the APN Resident Liaisons

Allentown Promise Neighborhood is happy to introduce our Resident Liaisons: Alissa, Banessa, Gelmar, Isaiah, Marcela, and Yamiris.

They will be greeting residents in the community, telling them about APN events and programs, and providing information about local services.

If you see them in the neighborhood, feel free to say hello, or ask them about what wonderful things we have going on in the APN.


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