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570-836-2350

41 Philadelphia Avenue
Tunkhannock, PA 18657

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HANDS of Wyoming Co: Helping children in NE Pennsylvania

Every moment of a young child's life is a chance to learn about the world. It's a time of enormous opportunities -- a time when children grow, learn, strive, dream and build the foundation for their future. It's up to Wyoming County citizens, as parents, educators, policymakers, community leaders and concerned adults, to make these early years count.

HANDS' mission is to strengthen the lives of families and children for the future of the Wyoming County community. Without a strong basis, children can't thrive. HANDS' objective is to provide as many options as it can to help children succeed.

HANDS promotes positive child development and early learning experiences by providing materials and information to any Wyoming County parent or early childhood educator. HANDS provides parents and educators with a Parent Lending & Learning Library, Educators Lab, Resource Library, community information, training and support groups.

Collaboration with other agencies is also a key component of HANDS. Such agencies and groups such as CCIS Early Intervention, Communities That Care, Cooperative Extension, Tunkhannock Area School District, Wyoming County United Way and others have been involved. Check HANDS' links area for references.

 

 

Parents are the key

parents are the keyBeing a parent is the most important and possibly the hardest job anyone will ever have. HANDS strives to support parents in this role with resources, information and services. Each family in Wyoming County has unique strengths and needs. When families interact with HANDS, they are not told what they need, but are asked what will help them. HANDS staff listens and strives to respond to each and every family as resources permit. As a 501(c)3, each and every donation is valued and tax deductible.  

HANDS provides opportunities for parent and child activities, training and workshops, educator resources, and opportunities to meet and support each other. Parent support groups such as Special Needs Parents and Parents Seeking Support in Raising Children are available.

Programs & Resources

Educators' Lab

The Wyoming County Family Resource Center Educator's Lab provides Early Childhood Educators and Parents equipment to create materials they can use with their children. Die cuts and a die cut machine along with a variety of art materials can be used to create educational materials.

A Resource Library of books and videos on a variety of subjects from classroom management to parenting skills are available for Educators and Parents to borrow.

A large heat laminator, binding machine and digital camera with a printer port can be used to promote school readiness skills.

Lending and Learning Library

The Wyoming County Family Resource Center houses a Parent/Educator Learning & Lending Library. The purpose of this library is to provide a variety of educational materials that can be borrowed similar to a public library. Materials can be signed out for two weeks at a time following filling out an application form.

Two sets of backpacks designed to help encourage parent/child interaction include a book, manipulative and activity cards.

Following is the list of backpacks:

  • Insects 
  • Nutrition
  • Farm
  • Positional Words 
  • Size
  • Shapes
  • Sounds
  • Ball Activities 
  • Camping 
  • Addition & Subtraction
  • Alphabet
  • Opposites
  • Vacations
  • Fairy Tales
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Birthday
  • Careers
  • Wild Animals
  • Transportation

A variety of materials can be borrowed by Early Childhood Educators including Theme Boxes which include all the materials for a week's worth of lessons on a variety of subjects.

Following are a list of the Theme Boxes:

  • Health & Safety
  • Space
  • Seasons & Weather
  • Careers
  • Numbers & Counting
  • All About Me
  • Transportation
  • Wild Animals
  • Insects & Spiders
  • Colors
  • Sea Life

The Parent Lending and Learning Library allows parents and educators the opportunity to borrow items to use with their children.


Following is a list of Toddler Theme Boxes:

  • Ocean Animals
  • On The Farm
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • Things That Go
  • Me And My Family

Items focus on school readiness skills such as learning the alphabet, numbers. colors, shapes and concepts.




Parents as Teachers

The Parents As Teachers Program has been added to the programming offered through the Wyoming County Family Resource Center.

Our mission is to provide the information, support and encouragement that parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life, from ages two through five. This program is available to all families in Wyoming County. There are no income guidelines for participation in this program.

  • We provide personal home visits twice a month by the Parent Educator to improve knowledge of age appropriate child development.
  • We provide access to screenings (developmental, vision and hearing) to help identify strengths and abilities as well as possible delays.
  • We provide group meetings for parents and children to interact and to share information about parenting issues.
  • We provide a resource network to help families identify and connect with needed community resources and organizations that serve families.

For more information contact:
Parents As Teachers Office
Located in the Family Resource Center
41 Philadelphia Ave.
Tunkhannock, PA 18657
Phone: 570-836-2350


Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts

Providing high quality pre-kindergarten to thousands of young children across the Commonwealth because every child is Pennsylvania's future.

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, is bringing quality half day and full day pre-kindergarten to 11,000 3 and 4 year olds in Pennsylvania.

Why does my child need to attend a high quality pre-kindergarten program?

Children who come to kindergarten without all the skills they need often stay behind and struggle in school. Quality pre-kindergarten prepares children for reading and math, but also for paying attention, following directions, and getting along with others. Pre-Kindergarten gives children a chance to learn, become excited about school and be better students.

By enrolling your child in quality pre-kindergarten, your child has a better chance of being ready for kindergarten and grade school. This strong early start in pre-kindergarten means they have a better chance of doing well in school, going to to college or career training, and getting a good job. All of this can start by enrolling your child in a PA Pre-K Counts Classroom!

What can I expect from a PA Pre-K Counts classroom?

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts classrooms will:

  • Have teachers with the education and expertise to teach young children
  • Use a curriculum that will help your child grow, academically and socially
  • Regularly review your child's progress and choose teaching and learning activities that are best for your child
  • Help you and your child adjust to pre-kindergarten and smoothly move on to kindergarten
  • Offer a small class size (20 students per one teacher and one aide) so that your child can have plenty of one-on-one time with the teachers

Who is eligible for PA Pre-K Counts?

Each program offering PA Pre-K Counts classrooms will have their own guidelines, but PA Pre-K Counts is designed for children who:

  • Are between age 3 and until they enter kindergarten
  • Eligible families are families who fall in the income guidelines of 300%.

For more information visit www.pde.state.pa.us



School Readiness

HANDS of Wyoming County created a School Readiness Tool in the form of a calendar. Through focus groups and a Pre-Kindergarten forum a tool was created that would help parents and Early Childhood Educators prepare their children for Kindergarten.

HANDS distributes the calendars at Kindergarten Registration and to Early Childhood Programs throughout the County. If you are interested in receiving a copy please contact us.

Preparing Young Children for Entering Kindergarten

The first five years of a child's life is a period of incredible cognitive, emotional and social growth. Experiences during these early years can set children on pathways that have lifelong emotional, social and academic consequences.

HANDS is funded by a grant from the Department of Public Welfare whose purpose is to improve the quality of education and services provided to young children in Wyoming County. The Early Childhood Initiative has expanded its focus to include making sure all children are prepared to enter Kindergarten ready to learn.


Links

Nurse-Family Partnership

Nurse-Family Partnership helps transform the lives of vulnerable first-time moms and their babies. Through ongoing home visits from registered nurses, low-income, first-time moms receive the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, provide responsible and competent care for their families.


Link


Car Seat Safety

NHTSA, established in 1970, directs highway safety and consumer programs and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. And for more than 30 years the agency has set the standard for safety, helping consumers find safer cars with its 5-Star...


Tunkhannock Area School District

Tunkhannock Area School District is a school district serving most of Wyoming County in northeast Pennsylvania in the United States. The district operates six schools - Roslund Elementary in Tunkhannock, Mehoopany Elementary in Mehoopany Township, Mill City Elementary in Dalton, PA, Evans Falls...


Link


Lackawanna Trail School District


Link


Tunkhannock Public Library

The Tunkhannock Public Library was established in 1890. It moved into the old Triton Hose House on Marion St. in 1911 with just 338 books. In the spring of 1999, the Board of Trustees began a Capital Campaign to raise $1,500,000. Groundbreaking took place in August of 2000 and a new 12,500...


Link


Early Intervention Services

Since the establishment of the Luzerne-Wyoming Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program (MHMR) through the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Act of 1966, our mission has been and continues to be to promote opportunities for persons with mental and emotional disabilities to be part of and participate...


Link


Keystone Stars

Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, Keystone STARS, is one of the most mature systems in the country to improve quality in child care / early learning programs. As Pennsylvania strives to increase access to high-quality services, now is the time to refine Keystone STARS so that it is more efficient for providers to participate and more effective at improving child outcomes. Revisions to the Keystone STARS system will begin roll-out for the 2017-18 program year.


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Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children

Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children is a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of providing Pennsylvania’s young children with access to quality early learning opportunities. Sponsored by the PA Build Initiative, Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and William Penn Foundation, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).


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Files

Healthy Family Partnership Brochure

A helpful brochure. Download this pdf.


Link


Healthy Family Partnership Client Referral Form

Are you an expectant mother?  Find out more about how we can help you give your baby the best possible start!


Link



FANS Camp

For six weeks in the summer, children ages 5 to 12 years old, have the opportunity to attend FANS Camp. Children from low-income families or with disabilities, including autism, visually impaired, hyperactive, and many more are welcome. Children will learn how to interact with others and make new friends, as well as learn about nature, science, math, engineering, art, and so much more. Every day they will participate in yoga and enjoy a nutritious snack and lunch provided by Commission on Economic Opportunity. Every year special guests are invited to teach the children how to draw, make yummy and nutritious snacks, and how paper is made. Children are also given the opportunity to attend field trips, at no cost, such as to the fire house and zoo. For more information, give HANDS a call: 570-836-2350.

Contact us

Cathy Franko, Executive Director
570-836-2350

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