Pennsylvania leads the
way in Early Intervention
LICC to host WELCOME meetings Pennsylvania is leading the way in
creating a unified system of high quality
early care and education and has already
created several of the components neces-
earn what’s happening in the Early Intervention system,
sary to make this vision a reality.
share your insights, concerns and ideas at the upcoming
The Early Learning Network (ELN) was
Local Interagency Coordinating Council meetings for family members
designed to help to create a meaningful
management information system for child
For the convenience of all family members and Early Intervention provid- information. It is simply a way to bring
ers, meetings are being held as follows together the data we are already collecting
and reporting, along with a few new data
Thursday, September 18th at 5 p.m. elements to enable us to use the data to
Luzerne County Recreation Building track progress on meeting our goals and to
2009 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort; and guide continuous quality improvement at
all levels. The network will provide a
Tuesday, September 23rd at 5 p.m. comprehensive record of each child’s
Wyoming County Family Resource Center experience within the early childhood
41 Philadelphia Avenue, Tunkhannock system in Pennsylvania.
An Advisory Committee for the ELN has
The LICC works in concert with To make your reservations, been meeting since last August, 2007 and
families, providers, and other inter- phone the Luzerne-Wyoming will continue to meet at least quarterly
ested people in sustaining and Counties MH/MR Program Office throughout fiscal year 2008/2009.
enhancing Early Intervention Services at 570-825-9441 or toll free 1-800- Judy Kresky, EI Program Specialist, is a
and supports to infants and preschool 732-6330. participant on the Advisory Committee.
children with developmental needs.
Refreshments will be served.
“Birthday Bash” increases parent involvement
Children turning three between thanks to Janine Dymond, owner
April and December, 2008 and of Encore Therapy Services, for
receiving services with Encore providing birthday cupcakes and
Therapy Services were special guests buckets full of goodies for the
at a recent birthday celebration held children.
at McDonald’s, Wyoming Valley Mall. Additional Transition Open
According to Judy Kresky, EI House events were hosted by
Program Specialist, the successful Hazleton Area School District
event, hosted by Encore Therapy, throughout the County joinder’s
was a pilot endeavor held to increase preschool classrooms.
parent and family member attendance
at transition happenings. Special
Enjoying the gathering from left: Janine Dymond,Encore Therapy; Rebecca Wojcik and Tammy Barber, Early Interven-
tion Service Coordinators, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties MH/MR Program; Mary Lou Williams, Hazleton Area School
District; Wendy Harrison, Encore Therpay, holding Jonathan Florencio; Jonathan’s parents Joseph Florencio and
Stephanie Michael, along with Jonathan’s baby sister.
About Babies and Children Fall 2008
LICC holds annual retreat
The Local Interagency Coordinat- insights, concerns and ideas.
ing Council held its Annual Retreat on One of the goals identified by
May 23 at the Kirby Episcopal House the group is increasing parent/
in Mountain Top. The event, attended family member involvement at
by over 20 individuals, afforded family LICC meetings and events. Chris
members and professionals an Granahan, the current LICC parent
opportunity to review past LICC co-chair is especially interested to
accomplishments, set new goals for see this occur.
the upcoming fiscal year and to share
Retreat participants first row from left: Rebecca Wojcik and Ranee Smith, Early Intervention (EI) Service Coordina-
tors, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties MH/MR Program; Linda Hurwitz,Scranton School for the Deaf; Carol Wilkes, EI
Service Coordinator; and Kathy Yanick, Pediatric and Adult Therapy Services.
Standing Ann Marie Tryzenski, EI Service Coordinator; Marilee McDonough, Supervisor, EI Service Coordination
Unit; Scott Crispell, LICC Parent Co-Chair; and Jim Monte, EITA Consultant.
Cross systems’ training held
Staff from Early Head
Start, Early Intervention
Preschool Program and our
local Early Intervention
Wyoming Valley Children’s Coordination Unit came
Association, after 77 years at together recently for a cross
the Kirby Health Center, will systems’ training held at the
move to their new facility located Early Head Start Program,
at 1133 Wyoming Ave., Forty Beekman Street, Wilkes-
Fort for the start of the Fall 2008 Training participants first row from left: Karen
Steltz, Jessica Kiwak, Nancy Oliver, Tammy Barre.
preschool program. The annual event has
The agency provides services Barber, Ann Marie Tryzenski, Cheryl Farkaly,
and Rebecca Wojcik. proven highly successful in
for both the Early Intervention sharing information on the
Infant/Toddler and the EI Pre- Second row: Juanita Rodriguez, Marilee
McDonough, Silmeria Sierra, Lora Brudnicki, Sherri supports and services offered
school programs in Luzerne by all parties involved.
County, as well as orthopedic Dzurishan, Gail Kauffman, Lynne Ruskoski, Carol
and early identification clinics. Wilkes, Marisue Sack, Jessica Shaver, Kristi Lyons,
Mary Jean Mullen, Linda Lispi, and Ranee Smith.
Effects of class/poverty focus of recent training Ms. Bein also provides service for
children with speech and language
rofessionals from the Northeast delays at the Tulsa Health Department
Counties in Pennsylvania attended Child Guidance Program in Oklahoma.
“Bridges Out of Poverty – Strategies In addition, she teaches American
for Professionals and Communities” at the Sign Language and special education
Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in courses for Northeastern State
Scranton. Ms. Monica Bein from the AHA University and Tulsa Community
Process, Inc facilitated the event. College in Oklahoma.
The AHA Process, Inc. is devoted to Monica collaborates with several
educating professionals and communities community agencies, including
about the effects of class and poverty on Children First program, Sooner Start
our society. early intervention program, Tulsa
Community Service Council, and local
Pictured is Monica Bein, guest presenter, schools and libraries.
and consultant with AHA Process, Inc.
Page 2 Fall 2008
Campaign to focus on
from HASD Preschool increased EI referrals
uccess By 6 of United Way
of Wyoming Valley has
Area School District, Lake Lehman, created a public awareness
The Hazleton Area School District’s Northwest, Dallas, Hanover, and campaign titled “Milestones Matter.”
(HASD) Preschool Early Intervention Wilkes Barre (Dodson Elementary “Milestones Matter” will increase
Program would like to wish Service and Kistler Elementary); Karen public awareness of child develop-
Coordinator, Molly Tracy, the best of Christein (570-883-9333) Pittston ment and the importance of reach-
luck on her recent retirement. Area School District, Wyoming Area, ing developmental milestones with
A warm welcome is extended to Wilkes-Barre (Plains and Solomon the goal of increasing physician
Karen Christein and Laurie Imbt, both Elementary Schools); Lisa Krzywicki referrals to Early Intervention.
of whom have recently joined our (570-718-6943) Nanticoke Area Be on the look out for television
Service Coordination team. School District, Valley West, Wilkes- and radio public service announce-
We have recently redistributed Barre (Heights and Dan Flood ments as well as developmental
territories for our Service Coordinators: elementary schools); and Joleen (survey) tools at your local pediatri-
Mary Jean Mullins/Laurie Imbt (570- Verbonitz (570-459-6669) Hazleton cian office.
824-8914) will serve the Tunkhannock and Crestwood.
New evaluation and plan formats Roundtable set
On Friday, August 29th, the
now in place As a result, Luzerne-Wyoming
Counties Infant/Toddler EI Program
local Early Intervention provider
To encourage a smooth transition when network and staff from the Service
became one of seven programs
children and their families move from the Coordination Unit and the pre-
across the Commonwealth which field
Infant/Toddler EI Program into the Pre- school program are invited to
tested the pilot version of the Evalua-
school EI Program, a group of stakehold- participate in a full day training at
tion Report (ER), Individual Family
ers were brought together by the Office of the Kirby Episcopal House in
Service Plan (IFSP), and Individual
Child Development and Early Learning Mountain Top. Registration begins
Educational Plan (IEP) from Novem-
(OCDEL) to create an evaluation and plan at 8:30 a.m.; training session
ber 2007 through January 2008.
document that would meet the require- opens at 9 a.m. and concludes at
On July 1, 2008 both EI Programs
ments of both programs. 3 p.m.
will begin to use these standardized
Subsequently, the Committee for a The primary focus of the day
evaluation and plan documents to
Cohesive Early Intervention (CCEI) was will be to review and hold open
provide consistency and continuum
formed comprised of parents, infant/ discussion on the new ER/IFSP/
for Pennsylvania’s families and
toddler and preschool staff, OCDEL/ IEP (Evaluation Report/Individual
children throughout their Early
Bureau of Early Intervention staff and Family Service Plan/Individual
Early Intervention Technical Assistance Education Program) format.
The new forms are available
(EITA) consultants. Scott Crispell, one of FERPA (Family Educational
our former ABC LICC parent co-chairs, Rights and Privacy Act) and
www.dpw.state.pa.us and at
mandated reporting are other
represented families on this committee. www.pattan.net
The busy schedule also
EI verification tool record review and service delivery includes time to brainstorm on
observations, will occur with all local strategies to assist with the
The Office of Child Development and entities every other year. According to challenges of progress monitor-
Early Learning (OCDEL) is committed Judy Kresky, EI Program Specialist, ing, writing good session notes
to creating a uniformed approach to the our local Infant/Toddler Program is and service support plans,
management of both the Infant/Toddler scheduled for verification in August utilizing community resources
and Preschool EI Programs. 2008 while the local Preschool during service delivery and
The EI Verification Management Tool Program’s verification is slated for providing routine based interven-
is the result of an effort to develop October 2008. tions.
focused monitoring and build coordina- The new format is available at the The attire for the day is casual
tion between the two programs. On site
DPW and PDE websites. and lunch will be provided.
verifications, which will include child
Page 3 Fall 2008
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
Make homemade sidewalk chalk using plaster of Paris and food
It doesn’t have to be a
coloring. This is an inexpensive activity and the plaster can be found in
holiday to hide goodies.
craft and hardware stores. Use candy molds, ice cube trays or paper or
plastic cups as molds. While in the yard or at the
park, hide preferred
1 cup water
1/2 cup plaster of Paris small
craft or popsicle sticks for contain-
lay down and
stirring ers for
Add a few drops of food coloring that he draw to hunt.
to water. Follow mixing directions clothes and Small
on the plaster with the exception features food storage containers
of using colored water. Pour the (eyes, nose, mouth). Make a simple would work well.
mixture into the molds. When dry hopscotch board and encourage your While your child is
peel off the mold. child to hop on one foot, then two. searching, describe what
Have your child use one then Decorate the squares and suggest he or she is doing (looking
both hands to draw rainbows, they jump to a specific square under/in/over, bending
circles and lines. Have your child (colored, blue, full of hearts).
over, reaching up). Name
trace their name. Have your child
objects for your child.
Challenge them to open the
Bean Bag Toss Water Play container.
Fill a basin, bucket, or child’s
Use socks or stockings filled pool and provide a variety of
objects for exploration in the
with dry beans or rice and tied
at the end to make your own water. Sponges or cloths are
fun for children to squeeze.
• Paintbrushes can be used to This is a favorite childhood
Targets can be set at
paint the sidewalk with game that works for a group of
varying distances in your yard.
water. children with varying ages.
Targets can be made from
• Offer a variety Played outdoors, this can chal-
cardboard, laundry baskets,
of sized cups lenge your child’s motor skills to
empty boxes or large mixing
for filling and imitate another’s actions, navi-
pouring. gate across a variety of sur-
• Provide two faces, hop, jump, turn. Play will
buckets and also reinforce these vocabulary
help your child words.
empty one with Tie a clothesline or jump rope
a cup while around an old pillow or stuffed
filling the other. animal. Hang the pillow or animal
Remember to always expand from a tree branch. This will
their vocabulary by talking provide a safe target for your
about what they are doing. Add child to catch, throw, reach and
dish detergent to make bubbles. push. Vary the height to chal-
Use straws to blow bubbles in lenge your child in different
the water. ways.
Fall 2008 Page 4
New LICC parent co-chair encourages involvement
My name is Chris Granahan and I
am very excited to be the new parent As the new parent co-chair, I
co-chair for the LICC. My husband, would really like to get more parents
Ken, and I were born and raised in involved. I am amazed by what I
the area. I moved to Virginia after have learned from interactions with
finishing college and Ken followed a other parents who have children in
few years later. After we were mar- Early Intervention programs.
ried, we stayed in Virginia. We, as parents, can learn so
In 2005 our daughter Mckenna was much about the system and getting
born. Mckenna has Pallister-Killian our needs met from others who have
Syndrome, a rare chromosomal already experienced the same
disorder that drastically changed our issues. I often do not know what I
lives. After a year of struggling to get should even be asking for until
help with services for her, we were told another parent shares what he or she
Chris and her husband, Dan, have learned. Therefore, I urge
that other states have better pro-
are pictured with daughter, parents to get involved and attend
grams. We found out Pennsylvania
Emma, and youngest daugh- events so we can all help each other
had some wonderful options for us,
ter, Mckenna. to get the best for our children.
and since our family members were
here, we decided to make the move I look forward to meeting you and
back to the Wyoming Valley after being away for over 20 years. your children and brainstorming how
Mckenna has received wonderful services through Early Intervention and we can get others involved.
transitioned to the 3-5 year old program in February of 2008. I am impressed
with her therapists and teachers and she has made amazing progress.
Head Start promotes healthy outcomes
Luzerne County Head Start is and their families through education Interested
currently accepting applications for the and partnerships with school districts families may call
2008-2009 school year. and the community. Program options the preschool
Head Start is an early childhood are designed to meet family needs. program at 570-
development, school readiness, and Head Start has nationally accredited 829-6231 and
family support program for children from (National Association for the Education Early Head Start
birth to school age, their families, and of Young Children) and state accredited for pregnant
pregnant women in Luzerne and (Keystone STARS 4) inclusive class- women and
Wyoming Counties. The program rooms. The organization has been children from birth to three at 570-824-
promotes family self-sufficiency, fosters recognized as one of the “40 Outstand- 9050 for more information or an appli-
healthy outcomes for children, and ing Head Start Programs in the Nation.” cation.
enhances the quality of life for children
4th Annual Buddy Walk set
The fourth annual Luzerne basket raffle, this year’s Buddy
County Down Syndrome Walk features $1500 gas card
Network Buddy Walk will be raffles, including a $1,000-card
held Saturday, September 13 grand prize.
at Kirby Park.Registration Visit the Luzerne County Down
begins at 10 a.m. with the Syndrome Network web site at
Buddy Walk set for 11a.m. downsyndromenetwork.org
In addition to the annual to register or call 287-3430 for
Pictures from Buddy Walk
2007 set the stage for the
upcoming 2008 walk. Meet
your friends and join the fun!
About Babies and Children Fall 2008 Page 5
Thursday, August 21st from 3 - 4 p.m. Saturday, September 13th at 10 a.m.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Universal Health Procedures/Precautions 4th Annual Buddy Walk at Kirby Park
(see Pg. 5 for more information)
Luzerne-Wyoming Counties MH/MR Program
Suite 300, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Thursday, September 18th at 5 p.m.
For Early Intervention providers and Welcome to the LICC event (see Pg. 1)
Service Coordinators,interested family members/ (Luzerne County residents)
caregivers Dr. Sharon Falzone will facilitate. Luzerne County Recreation Building
No registration necessary 2009 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort
Friday, August 29th - (Full day) Monday, September 22nd from 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
EI Provider Network Roundtable Training Dental Health Awareness Day
(see Page 3 for more informaton) Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke
A brochure will be mailed in the near future
Tuesday, September 23rd at 5 p.m.
Welcome to the LICC event (see Pg. 1)
ro s t
(Wyoming County residents)
Wyoming County Family Resource Center
t p is
ea t m
41 Philadelphia Avenue, Tunkhannock
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Do you have concerns about a child’s ability to move, see or hear? Express their
needs or care for themselves? Relate to others or learn?
If the answer is YES, call the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Early Intervention
Program for a FREE evaluation. The child may be eligible for FREE Early Interven-
tion Services, with no income guidelines or insurance involvement. U.S. Postage
For more information, phone 570-826-3030 or 1-800-816-1880 and ask for Early
Permit No. 312