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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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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!

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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.

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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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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.

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A busy summer at Promise Neighborhoods

Our summer has been a busy one so far. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to this past week:

  • We were happy to volunteer yesterday at McKinley Elementary School’s Summer Enrichment Celebration. APN helped at this lunch to celebrate teachers, volunteers, and children who participated in the school’s summer program for kids.
  • Allentown Promise Neighborhood, PPL, and Central, Cleveland, and McKinley schools held a planning meeting last week to explore a collaborative after school program to enhance children’s learning in math, science, and the arts, as well as physical activity.
  • Allentown Promise Neighborhood and Little School representatives handed out supply bags and information about our initiatives and programs, and enrollment in them, yesterday at Senator Pat Browne’s Community and Family Expo at Bucky Boyle Park.
  • We attended the Central Elementary Community Partners Meeting yesterday to learn about upcoming school events and programs for the school year, as well as opportunities for community partnership.

APN Open HouseAnd we held our first Open House event for the Allentown Promise Neighborhood at our office on Wednesday along with representatives from our partners Community Services for Children, St.Luke’s University Hospital Dental Van, and two neighborhood elementary schools. We even made it onto the WFMZ evening news broadcast! Watch us on this link:

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/allentown-promise-neighborhood-reaches-out-to-community/-/132502/21266980/-/3td0nfz/-/index.html

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Allentown Promise Neighborhood Open House Event

The non-profit Allentown Promise Neighborhood organization will hold an Open House for residents of its nine-square-block neighborhood in the Old Allentown Historic District on Wednesday, July 31 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to help connect them with local early learning information and services for their children.

APN partners will assist parents and children with a variety of services including enrollment in Head Start classes, home-based preschool, dental services for kids, and more. Participating partners include:

  • Community Services for Children/Head Start of the Lehigh Valley
  • St. Luke’s Hospital Mobile Dental Services
  • Little School/Escuelita Home Visitation Program
  • Representatives from Central and McKinley Elementary Schools

The first 25 parents to sign up for home-based preschool or dental services get at $25 Visa gift card. Also, parents that enroll for any of the preschool, dental or community school opportunities get a gift bag of assorted books and school supplies for their child/children.

Allentown Promise Neighborhood office is located at 347 N. 8th Street in Downtown Allentown