Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County is supporting the statewide effort by PennDOT to promote public awareness and education on with school bus safety with Operation Safe Stop.
On Wednesday, October 19th, 2016, during National School Bus Safety Week (October 17th through October 21st), the Pennsylvania State Police, local law enforcement agencies, school districts, intermediate units, school bus contractors and school administrators will monitor and report motorists who illegally pass a school bus while children are loading or unloading at designated school bus stops.
The Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have the red flashing lights activated and the stop arm extended out with flashing red lights.
• Pennsylvania motorist must stop when positioned behind a school bus anytime the 8-way red light system on the bus is activated and flashing until all children have reached a point of safety either inside or outside of the school bus. 
• Motorists must stop at an intersection when meeting the school bus or approaching a school bus where a school bus is stopped with the 8-way red light system activated and the lights are flashing until all children have reached a point of safety either inside or outside of the school bus.
• Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop where a school bus is stopped with the 8-way red light system activated and the lights are flashing until all children have reached a point of safety either inside or outside of the school bus.

In all cases, motorist should wait until the 8-way red light system is deactivated (turned off and the lights no longer flashing) prior passing the school bus to insure that all children have reached a point of safety either inside or outside of the school bus. 
If you are convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law, one of the following penalties could apply:
• 60 Day Driver’s License Suspension
• Five (5) points on your driving record
• $250.00 Fine

If you would like more information about Operation Safe Stop, please contact Harry Metz, Transportation Coordinator for the Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County at 724-430-4818, extension 3103 or email any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Please help us keep your children safe on the roads and report anyone who violates the Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law to local law enforcement.


Pets in the Classroom

When setting up their classrooms, teachers spend many hours to make sure it is the most beneficial for their students learning. They plan for the layout design, decorations on the wall, supplies, toys, and even for a classroom pet. At Head Start of Fayette County’s North Union classroom, Ms. Michele has her classroom setup just the way she wanted with her furniture, toys, and decorations. After browsing on the internet one evening she felt she found a great opportunity to add something to the classroom. An advertisement on the internet webpage she was visiting promoted a “Pets in the Classroom” grant from Petco. The advertisement sparked Ms. Michele’s interest in wanting a pet in the classroom for her students.
 The “Pets in the Classroom” grant allows classroom teachers from any school to apply for the grant. The grant was developed to help teach children the responsibility of caring for a pet and to promote the bond of having a pet. Pets in the Classroom allow the teachers to choose small animals such as fish, hermit crabs, or hamsters. Teachers are notified with a certificate of the approval. Coupons are sent allowing the teacher to select a small animal and the starter kit for the cage FREE!!!!!
  Ms. Michele applied for the “Pets in the Classroom” grant. She received her certificate and approval letter a week later. Ms. Michele chose a hermit crab as the classroom pet. Although, the hermit crab has not yet arrived to its new home (Petco is currently sold out) the children are busy preparing for its arrival.
 In preparation for their new classroom pet, the North Union Head Start classroom has been busy studying hermit crabs using their Smart TV and watching videos about hermit crabs. The videos have helped the class to learn about and care for the hermit crab. They have even been practicing how to care for this pet. Ms. Michele has focused on teaching the children where hermit crabs live, what they eat, and how the classroom is going to have to take care of and nurture the classroom pet. The children are voting on a name for the hermit crab.
 Ms. Michele and the entire class are patiently waiting the call from Petco so they can prepare for the delivery of the classroom pet. She plans to read “A House for a Hermit Crab” the day the hermit crab arrives. Ms. Michele, Ms. Christine, Ms. Liz, and Mr. Walter, the entire classroom team, are very appreciative to be awarded this meaningful opportunity for their students at the North Union Head Start to learn about the time and care it takes to have a pet.

The Fostergranparent Program is moving upward and onward!!!


A new team began growing the Foster Grandparent Program of Southwestern PA just a few months ago by adding two (2) new coordinators and a new Supervisor. Kaytlyne Povlik, a new Coordinator, is responsible for three (3) of the six (6) counties served - Fayette, Greene and Washington and is based out of the Lemont Furnace PIC office. Sue Pierce, also a new Coordinator, is responsible for the other 3 counties - Allegheny, Beaver and Butler and is based out of the Beaver Valley Mall PIC office. Carrie Schmucker, the Supervisor, is based out of the Greensburg PIC office. They are all committed to the incredible benefits of this program for not only the children we serve but the seniors who are the backbone of this program.


The Foster Grandparent Program of Southwestern PA is an impactful federally funded program. The Private Industry Council matches seniors 55+ who are low income (200% poverty level) with children in an educational setting that have special or exceptional needs. No prior experience is necessary but a want and love of children with the willingness to assist children in their scholastic achievements. There are benefits to being a volunteer. We provide a small hourly stipend, a daily meal allowance, traveling expense reimbursement and an opportunity to make a difference in your community.


Read more: The Fostergranparent Program is moving upward and onward!!!

Family Development Credential Class of 2015!

The Head Start/Early Head [HS/EHS] of Fayette County is pleased to announce its most recent Family Development Credential [FDC] graduating class.

Paula Johnston, Brenda Magill, April Linnell, Brogan DeCarlo, Sue Coller, Lisa Seese, Eric Lilley,Sara Remington, Stacey Delaney and Leslee Wettgen.

In 2013, the HS/EHS program began its first cohort of FDC classes. The FDC™ program collaborates with agencies to teach family workers how to coach families to set and reach their goals for healthy self-reliance. The National FDC Program is offered from the University of Connecticut in a joint partnership with the Center for Culture, Health & Human Development and the Center for Environmental Health & Health Promotion. To earn the FDC™, a front-line worker must take 90 hours of classes based on Empowerment Skills for Family Workers (3rd edition, Forest 2015), complete a portfolio documenting their ability to apply these concepts and skills, and pass a standardized exam.

To date, the HS/EHS program has had 30 participants successfully complete this program.  This added credential has helped us build stronger partnerships with the families we serve. This stronger partnership helps support family well-being and helps families to meet their goals for themselves and their children. Research shows that strong, healthy families give their children the best chance at success in school and in life.

For more information on the National Family Development Credential, please visit www.familydevelopmentcredential.org

Picking PIC: The Inside Scoop on Being a Summer Intern

 As college semesters and high school careers came to an end in May, a mix of graduates and students came together to be a part of Private Industry Council (PIC) as summer interns. With their diverse backgrounds and experiences, the interns brought a variety of skills to the table that allowed them to work as a team to provide the best programs and services to PIC clients.
Each PIC intern was assigned an important role in youth programming. Summer interns hold various responsibilities such as being worksite supervisors or field workers for the summer youth program, working in the IT Department, doing clerical work at the offices, or directing the STEM camps. This year’s interns included Carly Heider and John Malone, recent college graduates; Leah Glasbrenner, Allison Means, Hannah Spinetti, Denni Claycomb, RJ Reinhard, Brianna Sokol, and Natalie Artman, all current college students, and Rebekah Junk and Jimmy Malone, recent high school graduates. Each intern joined PIC for the summer for different reasons. For quite a few of the interns who are pursuing careers in the field of education the internship provided valuable experience for the future.
“As a field worker for the youth program, I was able to work directly with middle school students at three day camps, and I was able to help high school students enrolled in the work experience program achieve their goals,” says Carly Heider. “The internship allowed me to gain more organization, communication, and planning skills that will help me as a future teacher.”
Likewise, Leah Glasbrenner states, “I like my job [at PIC] because it is really rewarding. Many of the youth in our program face obstacles that hinder their ability to achieve their goals, and it is awesome knowing when I have helped someone.”
Both Heider and Glasbrenner, and the other interns, worked primarily with the summer youth work experience program that PIC provides annually. While learning organization and communication skills, the interns are responsible for managing files, leading work-site and youth orientations, monitoring worksites, and mentoring the youth. Leah Glasbrenner says that all of these responsibilities provide “real-life experience with problem solving and thinking on [your] feet” as well as “learning how to multitask, prioritize, and communicate effectively with others.”
Denni Claycomb’s internship was as a field worker. Her role allowed her to travel to various work sites as a supervisor, promoting the summer youth programs, instructing kids of varying age levels at the STEM camps, and helping out with PIC programs at the YMCA in Uniontown.
 “My favorite part of [being an intern] was making memories with the other interns and meeting the kids from the STEM camps,” she says. “I really appreciate the opportunity to work at PIC, and everyone from the Greensburg and Lemont Furnace offices as well as the Uniontown YMCA.”
Other field workers for PIC this summer have had similar experiences. Allison Means (a worksite supervisor), for example, says that one of the best parts of the internship was all of the different ways to be involved and help people in the communities that PIC serves. “Not only was I able to work with children for part of the summer,” she explains, “but I was also able to assist families in need at my specific worksite and work side by side with other professionals.”
Another summer intern, Brianna Sokol, had a different experience. She was assigned to the I.T. Department to gain more experience for her college minor of computer sciences. She worked alongside Dave Shimek, who is the IT Supervisor for PIC. PIC gave Brianna the ability to learn how to work with different software and become more acquainted with computer equipment. She learned day-to-day skills like troubleshooting errors, solving unexpected problems, and understanding the inner-workings of different technologies.
Overall, the Private Industry Council offers a unique internship that allows young adults the chance to learn valuable job skills and gain new experiences for the future. The interns at PIC perform important functions in programs like the summer youth work experience program, youth STEM camps, as well as working alongside staff in other departments. They learned how to communicate, collaborate, and problem solve in real-world situations. They had the opportunity to network with many community employers, agencies, parents, and youth and had a strong impact on all of the people that they served. The outcomes that the PIC interns experienced are fulfilling and it makes each day worth all of their hard work. Suzi Bloom and Deborah Cohen, who both supervised and worked closely with the summer interns, agreed that this summer would not have been as successful without the PIC interns. This year’s summer interns were extremely grateful for the opportunity at PIC and encourage other high school graduates or college students to be a part of the wonderful team next year.