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Birthday Bash increases parent involvement

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					                                                                              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-

L
     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
and professionals.
                                                                              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
                                                                                              Infant/Toddler Service
   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


                                      P
                                             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
                                 EI Program
                                                                                       S
                                                                                              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.
                                                                                       EI Provider
 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
                                             Intervention experience.
Early Intervention Technical Assistance                                                Education Program) format.
                                                The new forms are available
(EITA) consultants. Scott Crispell, one of                                             FERPA (Family Educational
                                             electronically on
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
                                                                                       training topics.
                                                                                          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
                                                                                Surprise Hunts
    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
                                                                                snacks or
    Food coloring
                                                                                stickers in
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup plaster of Paris                                                    small
    craft or popsicle sticks for                                                contain-
                                                                lay down and
    stirring                                                                    ers for
                                                                trace his
                                                                body, suggest
                                                                                your child
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
                                                                                Follow 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.
                                                                                Leader........
bean bags.
                                         • 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-
bowls.
                                             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
                                                                                             more information.
                                                        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.
                     Wilkes-Barre
                     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
                                am se




                                                                          Tuesday, September 23rd at 5 p.m.
                              gr he
                                   s!




                                                                           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
                     gr on’




                                                               CALENDAR OF EVENTS
                       D




      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?
                                                                                                     Presorted
      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-
                                                                                                    STANDARD
      tion Services, with no income guidelines or insurance involvement.                            U.S. Postage
                                                                                                        PAID
      For more information, phone 570-826-3030 or 1-800-816-1880 and ask for Early
      Intervention.
                                                                                                   Permit No. 312
                                                                                                  Wilkes-Barre, Pa.




                                                                                                                   Fall 2008

				
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