How to Protect Yourself on the Internet

How to Protect Yourself on the Internet

Have you ever realized how many hackers there are on the Internet trolling for your confidential information? There have been 6.4 million user passwords stolen from the LinkedIn website and 250,000 Twitter accounts hacked per abcnews.com. I don't want my personal data stolen, so the first thing I would do is to install some sort of antivirus program on my computer, tablet and smartphone. This will help guard against attacks. Secondly, use different passwords for every account. It is easier to keep track of one password, but when you have multiple accounts, hackers will try the known password on these accounts. Thirdly, what is a password if it isn't strong? By strong, I mean hard to guess. It is a good practice to use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. I also would change your password every six months. Lastly, watch what information you are transmitting over a public WIFI network like Starbucks and Panera Bread. You never know who is around the corner stealing your precious information!

Look at me…I can vote at age 3!!

Look at me…I can vote at age 3!!

Students in the Pre-K Counts classroom at Wharton Elementary School got a chance to experience voting just like the adults did on Election Day this year.  The project originated when Instructor, Kimberly Brown, heard somebody comment that a 3 year old could never understand the concept of voting.  She and support staff Amy Ace-Feher decided that while their students were age 3-5 years, that was no reason they could not comprehend the voting process.  Their early childhood education wheels began to turn….soon the classroom was transformed into a mock election site.  Children began creating campaign signs (which had to be removed in a timely manner after the election), receive a voter number, sign in the voter registration, vote and cast ballot for their favorite choices and graph the results from their classroom election.  It was an exciting day when the winners were announced….Chocolate milk overwhelmingly won over white and strawberry AND another landslide victory resulted for cereal over muffins and toast!!!!  

Technology for the Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs

Technology for the Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs

The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. strives to enhance the knowledge of the children who participate in our Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs. During the summer we have purchased Smartboard projectors and iPads to be used in our classrooms. With this technology, there is more interaction of the whole class by having the children manipulate objects on the board and use of the special pens. The iPads are connected to the smartboard projectors so the teacher can display what is on the iPad to the whole class. The teacher can use this as a basis of discuss with the children. The projectors are also connected to the Internet so staff can access a number of early learning sites, such as PBS.org. The goal is to make learning fun and ensure all children are being prepared for their transition to kindergarten.

This technology will expose the children to a new way to learn. With this interactive technology, the child is more motivated since they can actually touch and move objects that are being projected. There is more socialization in the classroom when the lessons are being taught to the whole group. The interaction will enhance "Team Building" skills.

In our Early Head Start program the staff will have iPads to take to the homes to support the curriculum and visits with the families. They will be able to assess the child's motor and vision skills.

The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. has always strived to enhance the knowledge and abilities of the children we serve. We will keep working on this goal so children in our programs can easily transition to kindergarten, and hopefully continue to be motivated to learn throughout their education.

Volunteer to Outwit Feeling Old

Volunteer to Outwit Feeling Old

We only feel old when we do nothing.
You have the power to change that right now -- through volunteer service. A core value of our country, volunteering can impact the community we live in. If you want to volunteer but you're not sure where to start think about your passions. Organizations that share similar passions would love to have you support their cause by offering your skills, expertise, experience and time. Your selfless act of giving may transform the organization, or help a member of your community. What's your passion? Helping a homeless family? Raising funds for charity? Helping a neglected animal? Helping a child learn? The community benefits of volunteer service are numerous, but did you know it can benefit you too?

People who volunteer:
• Make friends, connect to others
• Strengthen relationships
• Gain person satisfaction
• Make a difference
• Enhance social networks
• Increase relationship skills
• Gain valuable experience, even job skills
• Combat depression and isolation
• Exercise mental well-being
• Boost self-confidence and self-esteem
• Reduce stress levels, elevate mood
• Advance in career contacts
• Explore interests in a fun and easy way
• Stay active
• Gain independence
• Pass knowledge on to others

There are volunteer opportunities through the Private Industry Council's Foster Grandparent Program.

Recruiting Seniors 55+
Support children in educational settings
Join Today!
Call 724-728-2110 or 724-437-2590

Establishing a Back to School Routine

Establishing a Back to School Routine:

It was another fast summer and most students regardless of the age are back in school. The start of school tends to be an adjustment for the entire family until everyone gets used to the new school schedule. The sooner a parent or guardian starts the transition from summer mode to school mode is better for the whole house. Here are some suggestions so everyone has a successful 2015/2016 school year: 

• Establish an appropriate bedtime for each family member. (Most important stick to it even on the weekends or holidays!) 

• Set goals to start making healthy food choices. (There are numerous community farmer's markets and/or stands setup that sell inexpensive locally grown fruits and vegetables.) 

• All family members need to keep hydrated so drink plenty of fluids which are good for the body and skin. (Try to reduce the caffeinated and sugar based drinks that are not good for the body or teeth.) 

• Create good study, homework habits and work environment. (Make sure your work environment is well lit, no music, television or interruptions. Purchase a calendar or planner so you can write down your due dates and finish assignments on time and not at the last minute.) 

• Participate in a hobby or activity that helps you release your stress. (Stress is not good for the young or old so everyone needs a release when they feel like they're hitting their breaking point.) 

• Ensure there is an open line of communication with your child (ren)'s teachers and school(s). (Make sure to complete initial paperwork on time. Attend open houses, meet and greets and other functions to support your child (ren) in their learning environment.)