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PNLV Blog

APN Leadership Institute

Live in downtown Allentown? Love your community and want to help make it better? Then APN wants YOU to join our new Leadership Institute!
 
We want to help cultivate the next generation of community leaders in Allentown and need residents to register for our free, 8-week training program starting in early 2018.
Leadership Flyer
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PNLV Blog

We’re hiring! PNLV Community Manager

POSITION: Community Manager

ORGANIZATION: Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley

POSITION LEVEL: Management

REPORTING STRUCTURE: Reports to Director of Operations

DESCRIPTION:

The Community Manager will be an effective leader in the development, implementation, management coordination, assessment and on-going administration of services provided by partners to children and families in the Promise Neighborhoods across the Lehigh Valley.

Responsibilities of the position include but are not limited to these duties:

  • Serve as lead staff on committee work related to the 9 promises
  • Supervise community organizers, case managers, resident liaisons, interns and volunteers.
  • Develop, lead, and facilitate cross-sector networks related to our work (early learning, youth development, health, housing networks)
  • Use data to inform practice and decision making
  • Actively participate in a collaborative process for addressing issues of social isolation, health disparities, early childhood education, racism, and poverty in the Allentown Promise Neighborhood.
  • Assist with volunteer recruitment, block level organizing and other resident leadership development.
  • Advocate for the best interests of the Promise Neighborhoods on issues of social isolation, health disparities, early childhood education, racism and poverty.
  • Help coordinate neighborhood improvement projects and volunteer service efforts.
  • Assist with the creation and distribution of communications on APN activities and issues, including website and newsletters.
  • Contribute to maintenance of APN calendar of events, organizational databases, and all records and reports for APN, and community stakeholders.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Resident of Promise Neighborhood highly desired
  • Master Degree in social work, public health, education, sociology, criminal justice, or related field preferred.
  • Minimum of five years human service, social services, education, early childhood or healthcare leadership experience
  • Eagerness to establish relationships with neighborhood residents
  • Detail and task oriented
  • Community organizing principles
  • Group facilitation skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Good analytical, negotiation, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong time and task management skills
  • Genuine commitment and sensitivity to residents and community issues
  • Respect for economic and cultural diversity, experience working with diverse groups of people
  • Highly motivated and independent, yet team-oriented
  • Must be able to work long hours, weekends and evenings
  • Computer and other standard office equipment skills sufficient to prepare flyers and other communications, maintain databases, email, and website posting.

Bilingual English-Spanish is a huge asset and highly desirable

Salary: $35,000-$42,000 depending on education and experience plus competitive benefits package

Fax or email resume and cover letter to: Hasshan Batts, Director of Operations hasshanb@nullpromiseneighborhoodslv.org 610-351-4275.

 

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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

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.

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PNLV Blog

Where are they now? Former APN Resident Liaison Carla Ortiz

IMG_08691. When did you work for PNLV and what was your role/job?

I worked for PNLV in summer of 2015 as an APN Resident Liason.

2. Tell us about your business and the work you do as a local Realtor in helping families find an affordable home.

As a local Realtor my priority is to educate the community about the process of buying a home. Also, my passion is to let the community know that the “American Dream” of being a homeowner is possible. I provide information about first-time homebuyers programs that are available in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas.

Also, and most important, is to make sure that every person that required my assistance completely understands every single step of the process. From obtaining and understanding the loan process, to showing them properties, to getting the offer ready, to doing the inspection, and finally getting them to the settlement table and obtaining the key of their first home!

3. How does your time working with PNLV/APN and what you learned about your community during that time affect the work you do today?

During the time that I worked with APN I had the opportunity and the blessing to speak to families in the area. It was the best experience I have had in a long time. This opportunity gave me the chance to see the need of my services within the community. I was able to reach out to the families in the area, some of whom shared with me their fears and their needs. This experience helped to keep me motivated and to continue to serve and help our neighborhood and our community.

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PNLV Blog

Save money on your electric bills with PPL energy efficiency programs

Summer has faded. Cooler, more comfortable temperatures are here. It’s time to get out those flannel shirts and hoodies.

Autumn – before the snow flies and the weather grows cold — is a great time to improve the energy efficiency of your business or home. Put in some time and investment now, and you can get the work done before really cold weather sets in. Then, save energy and money all winter.

Over the past six years, PPL Electric Utilities customers have saved more than 2 billion kilowatt-hours a year by taking advantage of our energy efficiency programs – the equivalent of taking more than 206,600 homes off the grid for a year.

If you’ve been part of that, good work. If not, now’s a great time to join the team.

To learn more about home rebates and improvements, visit www.pplelectricsavings.com. Available programs, to name a few, include discounted, PPL-funded LED lights available at participating stores; mail-in rebates on ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators and heat pump water heaters; and our popular appliance recycling program.

If you own a multifamily property, you can visit the same website to learn about programs available specifically for your needs.

Businesses can also get help with the up-front cost of making energy efficiency improvements with our rebates. If you want to know how your business or facility can benefit, here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Are your lighting levels adequate? Have you upgraded to LEDs? Upgrading lighting can improve safety, productivity, and employee and customer experience, in addition to saving on your electric bill.
  1. Are controls installed or updated for your requirements? Adding occupancy sensors and other types of controls can help you save.
  1. Is your HVAC equipment close to the end of its life? If you’re in the market for new HVAC equipment, higher efficiency models are widely available and many qualify for rebates.
  1. Do all your employees shut down their computer at the end of the day? Nearly half of employees in the United States fail to shut down before they head home for the night. Rebates are available for PC power management and smart surge protecting power strips. (Of course, this is great advice at home as well.)
  1. Are you using equipment qualified as ENERGY STAR® or DesignLights Consortium (DLC)? If not, consider these qualifications during your next purchase because most of these products qualify for rebates.

For more info on business-specific programs, visit www.pplelectricbusinessavings.com.

These programs and rebates are there to help you save energy and money – just like flannel shirts and hoodies are there to keep you warm.

So before the birds fly and the leaves join them, why not take a look?


 

El verano ha desaparecido. Y llegaron las temperaturas más frescas, más cómodas. Ahora es tiempo para sacar las camisas de franela y sudaderas.

El otoño – antes de la nieve y que el tiempo se ponga frío–es un buen momento para mejorar la eficiencia de su negocio y hogar. Dedique algún tiempo e invierta ahora, y entonces puedes ver el trabajo realizado antes de que el tiempo se ponga realmente frío. Así ahorraras energía y dinero durante todo el invierno.

En los últimos seis años, los clientes de PPL Electric Utilities han ahorrado más de 2 billones de kilovatios-hora al año por tomar ventaja de nuestros programas de eficiencia energética – el equivalente de quitar más de 206,600 casas fuera de la red eléctrica durante un año.

Si has sido parte de esto, buen trabajo. Si no, ahora es un buen momento para unirse al equipo.

Para aprender más sobre reembolsos y mejoras del hogar, visite pplelectricsavings.com. Programas disponibles, para nombrar solo unos de ellos, incluyen descuentos de luces LED financiado por PPL y disponibles en las tiendas participantes; reembolsos por correo para refrigeradores, calentadores de agua y bomba de calor certificados por ENERGY STAR; también nuestro programa popular de reciclaje de electrodomésticos.

Si usted es dueño de una propiedad multifamiliar, usted puede visitar la misma página del web para aprender acerca de programas disponibles específicamente para sus necesidades.
Empresas también pueden obtener ayuda con el costo inicial de hacer mejoras de eficiencia energética con el uso de nuestros reembolsos. Si usted quiere saber cómo su negocio o lugar de servicio puede beneficiarse, aquí hay algunas preguntas para empezar:

1. ¿Son los niveles de iluminación adecuados? ¿Se ha actualizado a los LEDs? Mejoramiento de iluminación puede mejorar la seguridad, la productividad y la experiencia de los empleados y los clientes, además de ahorrar en su factura de electricidad.

2. ¿Están los controles instalados o actualizados para sus requerimientos? La adición de sensores de ocupación y otros tipos de controles les pueden ayudar a ahorrar.

3. ¿Está el equipo de HVAC (calefacción, ventilación y aire acondicionado) cerca del final de su ciclo de uso? Si está buscando en el mercado por nuevos equipos de climatización, modelos de mayor eficiencia están ampliamente disponibles y muchos califican para reembolsos.

4. ¿Todos sus empleados apagan su computadora al final del día? Casi la mitad de los empleados en los Estados Unidos no las apagan antes de irse para la casa. Reembolsos están disponibles para administración de energía de la computadora y el uso de tiras de protección de sobrecarga eléctrica que sean inteligentes. (Por supuesto, esto es un gran consejo para los hogares también.)

5. ¿Estas utilizando equipos calificados como ENERGY STAR® o DesignLights Consortium (DLC)? Si no, considere buscar estas calificaciones durante su próxima compra porque la mayoría de estos productos califican para reembolsos.
Para obtener más información sobre programas específicos para negocios, visite www.pplelectricbusinessavings.com.

Estos programas y reembolsos están ahí para ayudarle a ahorrar energía y dinero—así como las camisas de franela y sudaderas están ahí para mantenerte caliente.

Antes que los pájaros y las hojas vuelen, ¿por qué no da una mirada a esta información?