Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lax Scholarship Fund- Tuition Scholarship for up to $20,000!

(Thanks to our friends at Bread and Roses Community Fund for this important information.)

The Lax Scholarship Fund was established in 1994 by the late entrepreneur and inventor Jonathan R. Lax for the purpose of encouraging out gay men to be active leaders in their communities and to obtain higher education.  The scholarship is open to out gay men who are from the Philadelphia area or who attend school here. The deadline is right around the corner, on Tuesday, January 18th.

If you or someone you know qualifies for this scholarship, please get more information or begin an application.

Lax Scholarships are intended for tuition and can be awarded in amounts up to $20,000. This scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in accredited programs of higher education. Since its inception, the scholarship fund has awarded more than $600,000 to students in the five-county greater Philadelphia region.

Bread & Roses Community Fund administers this scholarship fund as a part of their larger mission for social justice in the Delaware Valley.

For more information about the Lax Scholarship, please visit the website, email, or call (215) 731-1107 x 204.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Health Department to Hold Statewide Vaccination Clinics during National Influenza Immunization Week

US Navy 021019-N-9593M-007 Flu shot preparations(Press Release from The Pennsylvania Department of Health)

The Pennsylvania Department of Health will mark National Influenza Immunization Week by offering free public influenza vaccination clinics on Dec. 9, 10, and 11 in communities statewide.

“Pennsylvania had a great opportunity to receive additional influenza vaccine,” said acting Secretary of Health Michael Huff. “We decided to take advantage of this opportunity and hold statewide clinics to vaccinate individuals who have not yet been immunized for influenza. Vaccination is one of the best ways for individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones against the flu.”

Thus far, flu cases seen in Pennsylvania consist of two strains: A/H3N2, a strain that disproportionately impacts older adults; and 2009 H1N1, a strain that is known to impact younger individuals. This year’s vaccine provides protection against both of these strains, as well as influenza B.

The vaccination clinics will be held at 60 state health centers on Dec. 9, 10 and 11. Thursday’s clinics will take place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday’s clinics from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Saturday’s clinics from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure vaccine is available.

Appointments can be made online at www.padohclinicappt.com, 24 hours a day, or by calling 1-877- PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258), Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 5-11, was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination and promoting greater use of flu vaccine throughout the holiday season, into January and beyond.

The flu can cause severe illness and even death. Nationally, it is estimated that over 36,000 people die from flu-related complications each year. In Pennsylvania, approximately 1,000 deaths occur each year.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices now recommends flu vaccination for all individuals six months of age and older.

Huff also suggested taking the following steps to help prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory illnesses:
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately discard the used tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve, but never into your hands or onto bare skin.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands away from your face and do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Keep frequently used surfaces such as knobs, countertops and desks clean.
  • Stay home from work or school whenever you are sick to avoid infecting others. For the flu, stay home until at least 24 hours after you are fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications.

Individuals seeking influenza vaccine are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or call 1-877- PA HEALTH. For more information on seasonal influenza, visit www.health.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Holli Senior, 717-787-1783

###

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Save The Date: The Challenge of Feeding Our Diverse Communities in Delaware County - March 1, 2011


The Challenge of Feeding our Diverse Communities in Delaware County
Tuesday March 1, 2011 - Widener University - Chester, PA
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Approved by the following for 6 hours of continuing education credit:
State Board of Social Workers Marriage and Family Therapists Professional Counselors

  • Join those concerned about hunger related issues in our community.
  • Learn about how food insecurity contributes to health disparities across the lifespan.
  • Explore how cultural and ethnic differences may affect food security.
  • Network with others addressing hunger to find solutions to your client’s greatest needs.

Planning Committee
Abundant Life Empowerment Missions - Bernardine Center - Community Action Agency of Delaware County - DCIU Head Start - Delaware County Interfaith Hospitality Network - Delaware County Office of Adult Services - Family and Community Service of Delaware County - Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry – Neumann University - Nutritional Development Services - PathWays PA - Penn State Cooperative Extension-Delaware County - Philabundance - Rocky Run YMCA - United Way of Southeast Delaware County - Widener University - Women, Infants and Children Program

Friday, November 19, 2010

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Helps Child Care Workers and Youth Work Professionals Earn Coursework Toward a Credential, Certificate, or Degree

Attention child care workers and youth work professionals! Are you interested in going back to school to earn a credential or degree that will further your career? You may qualify for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Pennsylvania Scholarship Program which assists child care workers and youth work professionals in achieving their educational goals and securing increased compensation in their respective fields. The T.E.A.C.H. scholarship website lists the four key components of the program as follows:
  • Scholarship. The scholarship covers most of the cost for tuition and books. Recipients also receive a travel stipend each semester they are enrolled in class. T.E.A.C.H. requires that the sponsoring child care program or afterschool/youth program offer paid release time for the student to attend class, study, or handle personal needs. Participants are assigned a counselor to assist them in scholarship management and career development.
  • Education. In one scholarship year, each participant must successfully complete a required number of credit hours (usually 9-15) toward a degree or credential in early childhood education, school age/afterschool child care, youth work, or appropriate related field.
  • Compensation. At the end of the scholarship year, if they complete their educational requirement, participants are eligible to receive either a bonus or a raise.
  • Commitment. Participants agree to continue working in their child care program or afterschool/youth program for one year after each scholarship year.
Child care workers must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the scholarship:
  • be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • work about 25-30 hours a week as classroom staff or center director* at a DPW-certified child care facility in Pennsylvania for at least one year, or Pre-K Counts Head Start Program
  • have a high school diploma or GED
  • earn an income of less than $19.00 per hour
  • possess a commitment to remain in the early childhood field
  • have an interest in pursuing a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, PA Director's Credential, Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (or equivalent)
  • work at a program participating in Keystone STARS level 1 and above
  • Bachelor’s degree applicants must have already earned an Associate’s degree in ECE or have at least 55 transferable credits toward a Bachelor’s in ECE, be eligible for admission as an in-state student and have worked in child care in PA for at least one year
*Scholarships for center directors do not include release time; however, sponsoring centers must be flexible in releasing the director to attend class.

Youth work professionals must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the scholarship:
  • be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • be employed at least 15 hours per week in a DPW certified school age child care program or in a self-regulated afterschool/youth development program*
  • be employed by sponsoring program for at least one year and maintain employment for at least 9 months out of the year
  • be eligible for college/university admission
  • earn less than $15.00 per hour for direct care staff and less than $19.00 per hour for program directors/coordinators
  • possess a commitment to remain in the afterschool/youth development field
  • have an interest in pursuing a credential, certificate, or degree in School Age/Afterschool child care, Youth Work, or appropriate related field
  • work at a program participating in Keystone STARS level 1 and above
*A self-regulated program is one that is licensed, accredited, or certified by a governing agency, organization, or board. The program may also be actively participating in or pursuing a national, statewide, or locally-based quality improvement process or system.

To find out more information on the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program or to download an application, visit http://www.pacca.org/teach or call the Pennsylvania Child Care Association at (717) 657-9000.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Tool Helps Consumers Find "Best Buys" on Prescription Drugs

With the wide variety of prescription drugs available on the market today, knowing which drugs are safe, effective, and reasonably priced is not always easy. However, an online tool recently launched on AARP's website can help. AARP's new Drug Savings Tool guides consumers through the confusion of prescription drug choices in three easy steps.
  1. First, you are prompted to enter the name of the drug you are looking for (the tool has information on 500 prescription drugs).
  2. Next, a list of prescription drug options is produced that allows you to compare the price of the drug you searched with the prices of comparable prescription drugs that are on Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs list.
  3. Finally, the tool provides information on the safety and effectiveness of the prescription drugs on your list of options, giving "Best Buy" recommendations in addition to offering drug reports and summaries that can be downloaded in English and Spanish.

AARP hopes to see the information offered through the Drug Savings Tool facilitate discussion between patients and healthcare providers concerning prescription drug options. Patients are encouraged to bring the list of drug choices produced using the savings tool to their next doctor's appointment to review with their healthcare provider. In doing so, a patient and doctor can work together to make the best prescription drug choice for the patient.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family Financial Play Pack

MonopolyClick here to be connected to the Family Financial Play Pack, a resource that is easy to print and use with your child to help them learn about counting, saving, borrowing, earning and giving dollars & cents as well as banking and credit. These simple activities and concepts are presented in a fun and child-friendly way to help parents provide early financial education for their children.

This resource was put together by the National Endowment for Financial Education and the National Center for Family Literacy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Need Help Finding Health Care? Use These Tools!

Doctor's Office (Tools of The Trade)
If you are looking for help finding healthcare, Healthcare.gov has some great tools for you to use.  Using their website, you can compare coverage and pricing on health insurance in your area

In addition, if you are looking for a health clinic, Healthcare.gov offers a portable version of the "Find a Health Center" tool available online from HHS.  The portable version is available for free download from iTunes.  Federally-funded health centers provide checkups, treatment, pregnancy care, immunizations, dental care, prescriptions, mental health, and substance abuse care, even if you don't have insurance.

Finally, as a recent article pointed out, new high-risk pools that have opened up in many states have room for new individuals.  If you have a pre-existing condition and have not been insured in six months, please check out PA Fair Care or the insurance option in your state.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Diabetes Awareness Month Resources in Delco

During National Diabetes Month, there will be several special events in the Delaware County area. Please read below, and look for events in your area as well!

Do You Have Pre-Diabetes?
A special “Lunch and Learn” educational session featuring a guest appearance by NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins
Wednesday, November 10, Noon-1 p.m., Healthplex® Sports Club, Basketball Court

In recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month, Mary Jane McDevitt, R.N., B.S.N., CDE, program coordinator for the Crozer-Keystone Center for Diabetes, will discuss:
  • Nutrition and diabetes prevention
  • Exercise and its relationship with diabetes
  • Obesity and its relationship to insulin resistance
  • Understanding diabetes terminology
After McDevitt’s presentation, Dominique Wilkins, who has type 2 diabetes, will speak about his experiences of living with the disease and his recommendations for following a healthy lifestyle. The nine-time NBA All-Star, nicknamed the “Human Highlight Film,” will greet attendees following the presentation.

For more information, call 610-328-8920. Learn more about the Center for Diabetes at http://diabetes.crozer.org.


 Healthy Living with Diabetes
Saturday, November 13, 2010, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Springfield Hospital, 190 West Sproul Road, Springfield, PA

The Crozer-Keystone Health System Center for Diabetes is proud to recognize American
Diabetes Month with a free, comprehensive, community education event. The event will feature a health fair that will include free screenings and information about diabetes risk factors provided by Crozer-Keystone departments and national vendors. FREE FLU SHOTS WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE!
  • 8-10 a.m. Free Glucose and Cholesterol Screenings: Patients are required to begin fasting at midnight in order to have the screening done at the health fair. Free screening vouchers will be given after 10 a.m., and to those who forgot to fast.
  • 9 a.m. Treating Diabetes: Featuring Ruth Ann Fitzpatrick, M.D., CKHS Endocrinologist
  • 10:15 a.m. The Effect of Diabetes on the Eye: Featuring Christopher Williams, M.D., chief of Ophthalmology at Crozer-Chester Medical Center
  • 11:30 a.m. How Do You Eat an Elephant? Knowledge is Power: Overcoming the Emotional Impact of Diabetes: Featuring Patty Haney, mid-Atlantic regional manager for Johnson and Johnson
This event is a must for:
  • Those who have pre-diabetes or diabetes.
  • Those who have a loved one with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
  • Those who just want to learn more about the disease.
To register for the event call 1-800-CK-HEALTH (1-800-254-3258)

Nursing professionals are eligible to receive 3 continuing education credits for attending the three lectures.
Crozer Keystone Health System Nursing Education is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Help Payless Give Away $1.2 Million in Shoes!

Boot sector
(h/t People's Emergency Center)

Every year, Payless invites nonprofit organizations serving children in need to apply for their program which gives coupons for new, free shoes at Payless. The application is open until Friday. November 5, and all qualified nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply.  Organizations are chosen based on their nonprofit status, work with children, and geographic proximity to a Payless store (usually within 100 miles of a store).

Even if you don't work for a nonprofit organization, please share this with nonprofits you know and support.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Expedited Career Path to EMT

New Article in Delaware County Daily Times: PathWays PA’s symposium focuses on the need to take advantage of refund

This Sunday's Delaware County Daily Times featured an article on a recent symposium held by PathWays PA, and specifically on the need for more families to learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit:
Thousands of tax filers are reaping millions of dollars in earned income tax credit here in Delaware County, although about a fifth of those eligible don’t take advantage of this refund.

“$76 million came back to workers in this county alone,” John Wancheck of the Washington-based Center on Budget & Policy Priorities said at PathWays PA’s Network for Strategic Asset Building Symposium at the Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center.

In Pennsylvania, through Oct. 21, 905,123 filers received the earned income tax credit to the tune of $1.8 billion. That’s a 13 percent increase over the previous year, compared to the 4 percent increase between 2008 and 2009.

Wancheck added, however, that 20 to 25 percent of the workers who qualify for the earned income credit don’t apply for it.

“There’s a lot of dollars left in Washington — $10 billion,” he said. “So, there is this critical need for outreach like PathWays PA is doing.”
To read the rest of the article and see the video taken by the Times, please visit their website. To learn more about PathWays PA's work on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, please visit our website.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Veterans Job Fair and Support Services - November 9, 2010

Veterans Job Fair and Support Services

When: Tuesday November 9th, 2010, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Delaware County Community College, 901 Media Line Road, Media, PA 19063-1094


You are invited to the Veterans Job Fair and Support Services at Delaware County Community College. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to talk to Veteran Support Groups and a variety of Employers!

Employers and Support Service Providers scheduled to attend:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Home Depot
  • Cintas
  • PA State Civil Service
  • Aqua America
  • UPS
  • Wawa
  • Comcast
  • Maris Grove
  • Harrah’s Casino
  • SEPTA
  • Wal-Mart
  • Eaton Corporation
  • Kimberly Clark
  • FedEx
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Veterans Administration
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Veterans Education
  • Small Business Administration
  • Social Security Administration
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • And many more…

Bring a resume and dress for success! For resume assistance please call PA CareerLink® Delaware County at 610-447-3350 or 610-723-1220

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Help Your Employees, Clients, and/or Constituents Meet Their Financial Goals

RSVP for our Philadelphia event at http://philansab.eventbrite.com/
RSVP for our Delaware County event at http://delconsab.eventbrite.com/

Please join us on October 26!

PathWays PA, a nonprofit organization serving the Greater Philadelphia region, is pleased to present the First Annual Network for Strategic Asset Building Symposium, to offer financial education and asset building in the workplace.

This free Symposium will help you offer your workers strategies and tools to build financial knowledge and resources-at no cost to you!

If any of these tools are right for you, PathWays PA will be happy to help you implement them in the workplace without charge.

Featured national and state experts include:
  • John Wancheck,Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, EITC Expert
  • Holly Chase, PA Office of Financial Education
Topics will include:
  • How to find free tax preparation during tax season
  • How to improve credit
  • How to save money through banks/credit unions, prepaid debit cards, U.S. Savings Bonds, and Individual Development Accounts
  • How to access economic security programs such as SNAP, CHIP, and LIHEAP
  • How to plan ahead before home buying
This FREE Symposium will be offered in two locations on October 26:

In Philadelphia:
  • At the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
  • 8:30 am - 11:00 am
  • Register at http://philansab.eventbrite.com/
In Delaware County:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Need Help Locating Elder Care Services and Programs in Your Area?

If you need help locating elder care services and programs in your area, try calling the Administration on Aging's improved Eldercare Locator. The Locator now connects callers to a live human being for assistance when they dial the toll-free number at 1-800-677-1116 between the hours of 9 AM and 8 PM Eastern time on weekdays.

Previously, callers would have to make their way through a recorded routing system to find information and services. Starting today, however, information specialists and elder care counselors will be available to answer callers' questions on elder care in both English and Spanish (there is a separate "language line" to help those who speak other languages).

Call the Eldercare Locator to find elder care services and agencies in your area as well as to find out general information on:
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Social Security
  • Food Stamps
  • Food Delivery Services
  • Transportation
  • Long-term Care
  • Caregiver Support
  • Protection Against Elder Abuse
  • And More!
Calls received after hours will be directed to a message recorder where callers can leave a name and telephone number. Calls will be returned the next business day.

You can also visit the Administration on Aging's website anytime at www.eldercare.gov to search the Eldercare Locator database to find services and resources in your area.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Online Tool Lets Consumers Find and Compare Available Health Insurance Options

The Department of Health and Human Services recently unveiled a new tool on its HealthCare.gov website to assist consumers in finding health insurance options best suited to their individual health needs. This easy-to-use tool, found at http://finder.healthcare.gov/, provides information on private health insurance plans as well as public programs available to individuals, families, and small businesses.

To find the best health insurance plan for you, the tool will prompt you to provide information on the state you live in, the type of consumer you are, your current health insurance circumstances, your age, and your general health status. Taking into account the answers you provide, the tool presents and explains multiple options for obtaining health insurance that will cover your needs.

If you are in the market for individual or family insurance plans, you can compare out-of-pocket costs, premium estimates, and coverage of all private insurance plans that apply to you as a consumer. The tool even includes important information on individual insurance companies such as how accurate the estimates provided by the insurance company are likely to be and the percentage of people denied insurance by that company. The tool also provides information on small employer plans available in your local area.

You can visit the main HealthCare.gov website to learn more about health prevention topics, compare quality of care among hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis centers, and gain a better understanding of current healthcare reform under the Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

PathWays PA presents the First Annual Network for Strategic Asset Building (NSAB) Symposium on Financial Education & Asset Building in the Workplace


How can you help your employees build assets to boost their financial stability during these challenging times?

PathWays PA presents the First Annual Network for Strategic Asset Building (NSAB) Symposium on Financial Education & Asset Building in the Workplace on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010.

This free symposium will be held in two locations. Attend the symposium at the location/time that is most convenient for you!
  • 8:30-11:00am at the United Way of Southeastern PA at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or
  • 2:00-4:30pm at the Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center at 4700 Drexelbrook Ave, Drexel Hill, PA 19026.

This unique Symposium will offer free or low-cost strategies employers can implement to boost the financial stability of their employees and their families. National and local experts will share new and proven tools for building financial knowledge and assets. Implementing these strategies in the workplace can increase worker productivity, decrease absenteeism, and improve worker retention and loyalty. Connecting employees with financial education and asset development tools and services builds employee goodwill and morale – so important during these challenging times.

PathWays PA offers free onsite tax preparation through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which can play a key role in building financial stability for individuals and families, even when employers cannot offer wage increases. During tax season, PathWays PA’s IRS-trained and certified volunteers prepare taxes at sites throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. PathWays PA’s free tax service helps filers apply for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds, Childcare tax credits and any other applicable credits, and also offers valuable asset building services that will be discussed in the Symposium … all absolutely free!

All employers hosting PathWays PA VITA mobile sites are encouraged to attend , as well as employers who may be interested in offering free tax preparation services for their workers . For additional information, please call Ann DelCollo at 610-543-5022 x221 or email adelcollo@pathwayspa.org.

Friday, September 17, 2010

You're invited to the PathWays to the Stars 32nd Anniversary Celebration Sports-tacular!

To buy tickets (which include refreshments), contact Pam Przybylski by email or at 610-543-5022 x234.  Tickets may also be purchased online.  Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Teen Parenting Classes Mondays 4-6 PM in Philadelphia

Teen Parenting Classes - Mondays 4-6 PM at 3617 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia

Children are welcome! Tokens and light refreshments will be available.
Participants of our Teen Parenting Class will:
Learn how to improve their parenting skills - Hear how other teens handle parenting - Learn how to increase communications skills with their child - Have an opportunity to help other teens with their difficulties in parenting by sharing their experiences.

For more information or to register, please contact the Project Peace program at 215-549-2686.

Do You Need Help with Education, Childcare, Welfare Benefits, Parenting, or Support?

The Project Peace Teen Parent Program is designed to assist pregnant adolescents and teen parents complete high school and plan for advanced education; learn how to become a better parent; and obtain appropriate community resources such as: childcare, therapeutic services, TANF, life skills and employment.

For more information, call 215-549-2686 or visit our website!

A special day at the IRS for Veterans and People with Disabilities



On Saturday, September 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the IRS office located at 600 Arch St in Philadelphia will be open to help resolve tax issues. This marks the 5th IRS open house this year.

The event is open to the public, but the IRS is especially encouraging veterans and people with disabilities along with their families and friends to come to the IRS Offices to not only have their tax issues resolved, but to also learn about IRS resources and community services available to them from civic and government organizations.









See the following bulletin for more information and locations: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0By1FxhL179U8MGMwN2VkZjAtODVmZi00ZDE3LTgwMTYtYmUyMGRlN2JiNjk0&hl=en

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guide for Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents in Philadelphia

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) has released A Guide to Outpatient Behavioral Health Services for Philadelphia County’s Children and Adolescents Enrolled in Medical Assistance and CHIP. If you or someone you know has a child or adolescent with behavioral health problems, this guide is for you.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 20% of all children and adolescents have behavioral health concerns. If you are concerned that your child may belong to this group, there is help for you! This guide can help you determine whether or not your child may need behavioral health services and how to go about obtaining these services for your child. This guide also addresses common questions, such as:
  • What is outpatient treatment?
  • How do I access behavioral health treatment?
  • How long will my child wait to access outpatient services?
  • How long will my child be in therapy?
  • What resources are available for drug and alcohol treatment for children and adolescents?
  • What if my child needs medication?
  • And more...
This helpful guide also lists locations of Behavioral Health Centers and other parenting support groups and resources.

For more information, contact:
Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Sixth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-563-5848
Email: info@pccy.org
Website: www.pccy.org

New Website for Anti-Bullying Effort

(from our friends at PHENND)

The US Department of Education has launched a new campaign to combat bullying in schools centered on a new website, http://www.bullyinginfo.org, a centralized location where state and local agencies can find resources on anti-bullying educational materials and connect with the Office of Civil Rights, the entity responsible for investigating allegations of bullying.

The website contains useful information for parents, teachers, administrators, caregivers, and other professionals that work with youth on identifying and stopping bullying.

The Department has also made available a variety of studies and current statistics on the bullying problem, as well as a map of anti-bullying programs and resources searchable by zip code.

The National Service Learning Clearinghouse also offers bullying and service-learning resources here: http://www.servicelearning.org/taxonomy/area-service-bullying

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Learn About Changes to Medicare at Philadelphia Event

Health care reform is going to expand Medicare and make other changes starting this year!

Want to learn all about them?
Come to a short presentation this Monday, September 13th in Center City, Philadelphia at 10:00 AM hosted by the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.

Learn about:
  • The closing of the 'donut hole'
  • Why you may receive a $250 check
  • Changes to Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Free Preventive Benefits
  • And more...

PHAN has been working with AARP and the Alliance for Retired Americans to educate Seniors on the changes the new health care law brings to Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

If you or someone you know is on Medicare join us
Monday, September 13th at 10:00 AM
at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project's office
112 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia 19102.

Email Athena w/questions or to RSVP.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Find Information and Resources for Women in the Five County Area

The Women's Resource Center, located in Wayne, PA, offers a variety of information and services in the five-county area around Philadelphia.

The Information and Referral Call Center is a help line for a vast number of support services for women including abuse (domestic and otherwise), job training, child care, family counseling, senior services, financial management, health and mental care, emergency and transitional housing, and legal information. The Call Center connects hundreds of women each year with services, support groups and information to support women, strengthen families and build communities.

WRC also offers a wealth of its own programs run by experienced professionals, both paid and volunteer, all for low or no cost around the Delaware Valley:

Free Legal Consultations
One-on-one consultation with an attorney to discus legal options for divorce, custody, child support or other family law matters

Free & Low-cost Counseling
Confidential consultations with a professional counselor in a safe, supportive environment on any issue; drop-in hours available

Affiliate Therapist and Attorney Referral Program
Referrals from pre-screened professionals sensitive to women's concerns; rates are offered on a sliding scale to those who qualify

Single Parenting Support Groups
Classes and support around anger & stress management, decision making, single parenting, nutrition and career planning

Coming out of Marriage & Relationships Support Group
Women who are considering or already in the process of divorce or separation can learn about the emotional and legal stages of divorce in a supportive and confidential environment

Individual Career Consultations
Free one-on-one consultations with a career expert for women who are re-entering the workforce, changing jobs or just starting their careers

Career Guidance Over Coffee
An informal group led by a career counselor that affords women the opportunity to discuss job search strategies and share tips; held at the Gryphon Cafe in Wayne, PA

Girls' Leadership Program
Offered to middle school girls to encourage them to develop leadership abilities by providing support through skill building programs


Call 610-687-6391 for Information & Referral and WRC Programs or visit WRC’s website to learn more.
Monday-Friday
9:00am-5:00pm

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Student Aid Website

As thousands of Pennsylvania college students head to college, they and their parents will have access to a new and improved student aid and debt management website, YouCanDealWithIt.com, from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

The site provides information and resources on
  • ways to pay for school, including grants, scholarships and loans,
  • student aid basics, including commonly used terminology, information on repaying student loan debt, options for borrowers having trouble making monthly payments, and money management,
  • budgeting tips and the benefits and dangers of credit cards, including access to calculators and other resources to help estimate loan payments and create personal budgets.

The free site offers students and parents with practical and easy-to-understand advice and information on how to deal with common financial situations in today’s college and post college environment.

Department of Health Urges Pennsylvanians to Get Immunized Against Whooping Cough

From our friends at the PA Department of Health:

Department of Health Urges Pennsylvanians to Get Immunized Against Whooping Cough; Clinics Slated in York, Delaware Counties

Harrisburg – With some areas of the state seeing an increase in whooping cough, known medically as pertussis, the Department of Health urges all Pennsylvanians to ensure they are protected against the vaccine-preventable disease. The department will soon hold public vaccination clinics in York and Delaware counties, where cases of pertussis have been rising. Pertussis is an infection of the respiratory system and is characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a "whooping" sound when the person breathes in.

The pertussis vaccine is required for children to enter school. Because immunity from the vaccine fades over time, most adolescents and adults are susceptible to the disease. In addition to the typical childhood series of pertussis immunizations at 2, 4, 6, 15-18 months and a booster at 4-6 years, the Department of Health recommends the adolescent-adult pertussis vaccine, Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis, or Tdap, booster for:

  • individuals 10-64 years of age who are not fully immunized;
  • women of childbearing age, before or immediately after pregnancy;
  • people who have contact with pregnant women or infants too young to have received a full series of vaccinations; and
  • all family members and caregivers of infants.

Individuals should talk to their doctor to discuss their current vaccine status or request the vaccine.

The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold including runny nose, sneezing, mild cough and low-grade fever. After about one to two weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells that can last for more than one minute and can lead to vomiting.

For more information about immunizations, visit www.vaccinesforlife.com or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

Public vaccination clinics will be offered in York and Delaware counties at the following dates and times:

York County
Aug. 25

9 a.m. – noon; 1 – 3 p.m.
Albert S. Weyer Health Center
435 W. Philadelphia Street
York

9 a.m. - noon
1750 N. George Street
York

Delaware County
Aug. 25

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Delaware State Health Center
151 W. Fifth Street
Chester

Aug. 30

3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Penn State - Brandywine Campus
Commons/Athletic Building
25 Yearsley Mill Road Route 352 (enter at Campus Drive traffic light)
Media

Friday, August 27, 2010

Delaware County State Health Center Offers Free Services

All of the following FREE services are provided at:

Delaware County State Health Center
151 West 5th Street, Suite 1
Chester, PA 19013
(610) 447-3250

Free HIV Counseling and Testing Site (No appointment necessary)

  • Every Wednesday of each month
  • 9:00am - 11:30am (must be there before 11:00 to be tested)
Free CD4 and Viral Load Testing Site (By appointment only)
  • Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Free Sexually Transmitted Disease Site (No appointment necessary)
  • Every Wednesday of each month
  • 1:00pm-4:00pm (please try to arrive as early as possible to be tested)
Free Tuberculosis Disease Clinic (By appointment only)
  • 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month
  • 8:30am-11:00am
Free Childhood Immunization (By appointment only)
  • Delaware County State Health provides shots at no cost for children up to 18 years old who have no insurance or whose insurance does not cover immunizations
  • Call (610) 447-3250 for information and to make an appointment

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Budgeting Worksheet

Budgeting your money can be a daunting task, especially when your resources become tight and you need to start cutting back on things. But fear not! This Budgeting Worksheet is the perfect tool to help you organize your spending.

Use this helpful worksheet to list all of your monthly income and expenses. Then, set some goals for areas where there may be room for cutbacks. The worksheet will calculate your totals automatically*, you don't even need to use a calculator! You can also click on the "Chart" tab at the bottom of the worksheet to see a list of totals for each budgeting category.

When you have completed your budget, you may also print a copy to keep with you as a reminder for the goals you have set.


*In order to enter information on the worksheet, you must first download it to your desktop or make a copy:
  • To download to your computer, open the link and click File --> Download as --> Excel (or your preferred data software). Then you can save it to your computer and make your entries!
  • To make a copy, open the link and click File --> Make a Copy. This may only work if you already have a Gmail account.

Action Verbs for Resumes

Do you want to make your resume sound more professional? Then spruce it up with some action verbs!

Using action verbs like "communicated," "developed," or "supervised" to exemplify your job skills will help employers to take notice of your experiences, and might give you a step up above another competing candidate.

Here are some examples of weak resume statements, which can be improved by using action verbs:

Example #1:

Weak: Report writing and editing

Action: Wrote and edited reports varying in length from 5 to 100+ pages

Example #2:

Weak: Good communication skills

Action: Communicated effectively with clients and staff to achieve desired outcomes

Example #3:

Weak: New hire training coordinator

Action: Coordinated various training activities for new hires

It is important to remember that action verbs and details like the ones in the above examples make your resume much more interesting and appealing to employers. Check out the links below for some suggestions for finding the right words to use:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PA Fair Care - Coverage for Uninsured Adults With Pre-Existing Conditions

PA Fair Care is Pennsylvania’s new health plan for uninsured adults with pre-existing conditions. This temporary plan offers insurance for those eligible until federal health insurance reform takes effect in 2014. PA Fair Care is available on a first come basis, which means once the program is full, we will create a waiting list.

To learn more about eligibility for the program, please visit the program's websiteAnswers to frequently asked questions are also available.  PA Fair Care will begin taking applications on August 4, 2010.  The Insurance Department suggests that people apply online.

The Insurance Department is accepting emails with your questions. In addition, a toll-free number, 1-888-767-7015 (TTY 1-888-767-7018), is available to help you throughout the application process. This call center will be open Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Next Week is National Health Center Week

(from our friends at the USDA)

National Health Center Week is August 8-14, 2010, and many communities during the month of August are sponsoring health fairs and health screenings. These events target low-income individuals and families without access to adequate health services.

State and community SNAP outreach staff can sign up to volunteer at these events and offer a table with information on SNAP and nutrition materials as there is a direct connection between our diet and our health. Most events have no fee. You can find out about local events at http://www.healthcenterweek.org/join.html.  Clients can also use this site to look for events in their area that they may want to attend.

If you do not see an event in your state today, try again in a few days. Events are posted daily.

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Automatische_bloeddrukmeter_%280%29.jpg

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Facebook Site to Highlight State Services

From our friends at United Way of SEPA.

A new facebook page titled HelpinPA has been launched to provide greater access to Pennsylvania's health and human services.

The site provides current information and updates about a variety of PA's health and human service programs, events, and resources. Citizens and community organizations can learn more about:
  • Health Insurance Programs
  • Special Health Care Needs Services
  • Prenatal Services
  • Breast Feeding Support
  • Services for Older Pennsylvanians
Each week, the Departments of Insurance, Health, Public Welfare and Aging will highlight and share information about their programs and services.

For more information you can visit the HelpinPA facebook page or go to www.helpinpa.state.pa.us.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Budgeting for a New LPN Salary

The Budgeting Post-school presentation is a helpful budgeting guide for learning and/or educating others on how to budget expenses with the salary of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Although this tool specifically references LPNs, it is also applicable to all workers who need help with budgeting.

Use this presentation for:
  • Identifying expenses (rent, utilities, child care, savings, etc.)
  • Reviewing a sample monthly budget for an LPN (single with no children)
  • Considering needs vs. wants
  • Information on paying back student loans
  • Different ways to save money

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Attention First-Time Homebuyers!

You may still be able to claim the first-time homebuyer credit! The recently enacted Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010 extends the closing deadline for first-time homebuyers from June 30 to September 30, 2010.

What does this mean? It means if you entered into an agreement to purchase your home on or before April 30, 2010, and are set to close on the purchase of the home before September 30, 2010, you can still receive the credit.

Special filing and documentation requirements still apply. In order to receive the credit, eligible taxpayers must complete Form 5405 and provide one of the following documents:
  • A copy of the settlement statement;
  • A copy of the executed retail sales contract (for mobile home purchasers only); or
  • A copy of the certificate of occupancy (for newly constructed homes that do not have a settlement statement).
There are 3 options for claiming the credit on a qualifying 2010 purchase:
  • If you haven't filed your 2009 taxes yet, you can claim the credit on Form 1040 for the 2009 tax year. You can use IRS Free File to prepare the return, but you must print the return and mail it to the IRS with a copy of the required documentation described above;
  • If you have already filed your 2009 taxes you can claim the credit on an amended return using Form 1040X; or
  • Regardless of whether or not you have filed your 2009 taxes, wait until next year and claim the credit on your 2010 taxes using Form 1040.

More details on claiming the credit can be found in the instructions to Form 5405, as well as on the First-Time Homebuyer credit page on the IRS.gov website.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Foreclosure Guides

The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition has published two publications aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure can be a stressful and complicated process. These guides were produced to help homeowners understand the process so that they can take control.

GPUAC’s Summer/Fall 2010 Foreclosure Prevention Guide was developed to assist professionals such as housing counselors, attorneys, and lenders. It was created by the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, a group of bankers, housing advocates, government officials, and community leaders working to combat the foreclosure crisis. Another guide is Navigating the Slippery Slope of Foreclosure, which is a brochure that provides step-by-step instructions homeowners should take, based their individual circumstances, to avoid losing their homes.

Both guides can be used by social workers and case managers when homeowners at risk of foreclosure turn to them for help.
 

Image courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/respres/2539334956/

Friday, July 9, 2010

Text4Baby

Pregnant women and new mothers have a new way to get health information – a nationwide free text message service. This service, called “Text4Baby,” grew from a coalition of mobile service providers, health professionals, and government agencies. Mothers will receive text messages timed to where they are in their pregnancy or the baby’s age up to the baby’s first year.

Topics covered in the text messages include seasonal flu prevention, nutrition, prenatal care, oral health, smoking prevention, immunization schedules, and safe sleep. Mothers will get no more than three text messages per week. Messages can also connect mothers to clinics and support services for prenatal care.

You can sign up for messages by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish messages) to 511411. To learn more, please visit text4baby.org.

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonjon_2k8/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Insurance Coverage and Information About Insurance Options

Starting today, new insurance coverage and information is now available to most people throughout the country.
  • New Information: Starting today, a new website, www.healthcare.gov, is available to answer questions about insurance coverage options by state as well as information on prevention, care quality, and understanding health care reform.

    Get the College Prep Services You Need at CACDC

    The College Access Center of Delaware County (CACDC), located on the Widener University Campus, provides a wide variety of services for preparing for college, including:
    • SAT/ACT Prep and Exams
    • Extensive College Prep Resources
    • Wired for Learning - Academic Atmosphere
    • Year Round College Prep Advising
    It is never too early to early to start preparing for college, and CACDC provides college preparation for even the middle school level. CACDC focuses on ensuring optimal success in the college application process.

    You can find out more about CACDC, sign up for their mailing list, and check out their calendar of events by following this link: http://www.collegeaccessdelco.org/

    Free Training to Earn EMT Certification

    If you are at your best in an emergency, this training might be for you.

    PathWays PA, a Holmes-based nonprofit organization, has partnered with Delaware County Community College to offer free training for Emergency Medical Technician certification.

    Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) respond to situations that can vary from heart attacks to automobile accidents. “EMT training is a great way to combine a desire to help others with the ability to earn a good, family-supporting income,” said Lyn Kugel, Director of Self-Sufficiency Projects for PathWays PA. On average, EMTs in Delaware County earn $30,000 per year.

    PathWays PA’s training prepares technicians for any situation they might face. The program combines a six-week class study support class focusing on math and English skills with the certification trainings. Participants first complete CPR certification, and then complete First-Responder training (50 hours of training over four weeks) and 77 hours of EMT training through the community college.

    EMT classes at PathWays PA are open to individuals who are currently unemployed, who have limited employment, or who meet income eligibility requirements. People who are interested in serving others, who can think and take action quickly, and who are willing to work with everyone are encouraged to apply.

    In addition to quick reaction times and a willingness to work with others, EMT participants should also be able to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry it for 10 feet.

    For more information, email Jennifer Oglesbee .

    Philadelphia Summer Meals Directory Available

    Each summer tens of thousands of Philadelphia children go without the school breakfasts and lunches they rely on. To ensure that children do not go hungry, free meals or snacks will be available to low-income children at more than a thousand recreation centers, churches, schools, parks, and community centers through out Philadelphia.

    The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has published a directory of programs offering free meals for children in Philadelphia this summer. To find a summer meals program you can:

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET)

    The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET), an online tool available to all Pennsylvanians, can tell you if you qualify for certain public benefits and link you to important state programs.

    The Self Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania (2010-2011) demonstrates that a single adult with one school-aged child needs to earn between $12.98 and $24.55 per hour to be economically self sufficient. For an adult with a child facing unemployment, this reality can be daunting. Work supports and public benefits can reduce this amount, and during periods of unemployment they can play a crucial role in helping a family maintain financial stability.

    Using the Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET), families now have the opportunity to determine what income they need to support themselves and what public benefits are available for their use. The OTBET is an easy to use tool that determines eligibility for multiple programs including food stamps (SNAP), child care assistance, and CHIP. Families can print out their eligibility information and use it when applying for services or tracking their income needs. Additionally, the OTBET provides links to the COMPASS system (where families can apply for benefits), CareerLink, and other important services.

    Who can use the OTBET?

    You can use the OTBET for yourself or as an advocate, service provider, client, employer, policy-maker, or researcher. Just follow the steps below:
    1. To begin, use the drop-down menus and boxes to show whether you are using the OTBET for yourself, a family member, a client, or as a researcher, the county you live in, and the name of the family. **PathWays PA does not save any data except the county and user-type chosen.**
    2. Continue by adding information about your family size, ages of family members, and employment data.
    3. Add additional income and expenses.
    4. Answer a few more questions about any services you may currently use.
    5. Click “Calculate Final Report” to get your results! If you would like to test eligibility for services, click on the button next to that service to learn more.
    6. You can now print your information, go back and recalculate information, or move on to see other links.

    Job Searching Resource Guide

    Searching for a job can be very overwhelming, not to mention time consuming. What with writing resumes and cover letters while sifting through job descriptions and seeking out the perfect opportunity, it is no wonder people lose motivation. With all of the work that is involved, it can be easy to lose track of the ultimate goal: obtaining a job which you find satisfying and which can support you and your family.

    If you find yourself getting caught up in the woes of job searching, or know someone else who has, check out this helpful Job Searching Resource Guide. The guide breaks down the entire process into eight steps, which can help you to:

    • Identify your interests and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
    • Prepare your resume
    • Develop a plan for job searching
    • Research the job market and determine what is available
    • Apply for positions and compose cover letters
    • Prepare and practice for the interview
    • Attend workshops and training sessions
    • Consider options such as internships and furthering your education/skills
    Don't let the mere thought of job searching and resume writing get you down! Use this helpful guide to keep yourself organized and on track to achieving happy and gainful employment!

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Summer Food Service Program Toolkit

    The Summer Food Service Program feeds hungry children when school is out so they can get the nutritious meals they need. The Summer Food Service Program Toolkit has officially launched on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website to help sponsors and feeding sites create outreach materials for children and families, media, and community organizations, materials that assist in increasing awareness and participation in the program. Many of the items in the toolkit are customizable and may be downloaded and used by sponsors and feeding sites to assist in their outreach efforts. The toolkit is on the FNS Summer Food Service web page at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer/library/toolkit.pdf.

    Image courtesy of christmasstockimages.com / CC BY 3.0

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Emergency Shelter Guide 2010

    HOLMES – The latest Emergency Shelter Directory and Winter Survival Guide are now available for download at the following link: Emergency Shelter Directory.

    Also, please find the Survival Guide to Homeless Services at the following link: Survival Guide to Homeless Services

    These resources are compiled and published by the Homeless Services Coalition of Delaware County, by way of the Delaware County Office of Adult Services. Please see their contact information below:

    20 South 69th Street, 4th Floor
    Upper Darby, PA 19082
    610-713-2115
    http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/humanservices/adult.html

    For further information, please call or write us at PathWays PA

    610-543-5022
    PathWays PA
    310 Amosland Rd
    Holmes, PA 19043

    Identity Theft: Prevention and Recovery

    What is identity theft?

    Identity theft is the crime of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person for the purpose of assuming that person’s name to make transactions or purchases. Identity theft is committed many different ways.
    • Some identity thieves sift through trash bins looking for bank account and credit card statements;
    • Others use more high-tech methods for accessing corporate databases to steal lists of customer information.
    Once identity thieves have the information they are looking for, they can ruin a person’s credit rating and the standing of other personal information. Thieves steal and fraudulently use names, addresses, social security numbers, bank account information, credit card numbers and other types of private information.

    The good news is that many types of identity theft can be prevented.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft. While there is no guaranteed way to avoid identity theft, you can minimize your risk and minimize the damage if a problem occurs. Here are some helpful tips:
    • Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your personal information.
    • Detect suspicious activity by always monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements.
    • Defend against identity (ID) theft as soon as you suspect a problem. Promptly deal with discrepancies on any personal documents.

    How can I protect myself from identity theft?

    The best way to prevent identity theft is to:

    • Be aware of how information is stolen
    • Be aware of how to protect your information,
    • Know how to monitor your personal information to uncover problems quickly, and
    • Know what to do when you suspect your identity has been stolen.


    You can also help fight identity theft by educating your friends, family, and members of your community. The FTC has prepared a collection of easy-to-use materials to enable anyone regardless of existing knowledge about identity theft to inform others about this serious crime.

    Be sure to check out our cheat sheet on how to beat ID Theft.

    Banking 101 Slides

    In this presentation, you'll find valuable information on banking basics, such as:


    • Why do I need a checking and/or savings account?

    • What's the difference between a bank and a check cashing store?

    • What are the advantages to banking with a credit union?

    Find the answers to these questions and more, and determine if the PathWays PA publication, "Paths to Banking," would be a helpful tool for you.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    How to: Write a resume

    Composing a resume can be a daunting task, especially if you don't already have a working draft in place. You have to think back over your work, education, volunteer, and extracurricular histories. For helpful hints and/or to get started from scratch, take a look at our simple guide to preparing a resume.

    For more resume writing help, here are a couple of websites we've come across in our research that are worth looking at:

    • Visit www.resumania.com to view a collection of resume mistakes and read advice on how to avoid common errors.
    • If you need help formatting your resume, www.thebeehive.org/jobs can help. Set up a free account, and access the Resume Builder software. Follow the straightforward, step-by-step guide. You will be asked to enter education, career, and skills information, and then the website will build your professional resume in minutes.

    Let us know if you know of any other useful resume writing resources on the web in the comments section!

    How to: Compose a cover letter

    When you apply for a job, most employers request a copy of your resume and a cover letter. A cover letter is a statement of introduction that accompanies, but does not summarize, your resume. A good cover letter addresses your interest in the position and explains why you think you'd be a good fit. It should be no longer than a page long.

    Keep in mind that a cover letter is, more often than not, grounds for an employer's first impression of you. And we all know how important first impressions are! It's crucial that your cover letter is free of grammatical and spelling errors, and it should not be a generic letter that you send to all employers. Rather, it should be tailored to a specific employer and the position to which you are applying.

    An effective cover letter engages the reader and encourages him or her to invite you in for an interview. Here are some general tips for writing cover letters:
    • Avoid overusing "I" throughout the letter.
    • Print your cover letter on nice paper that matches the resume (if possible)
    • Write a separate cover letter for each job you apply to.
    • Research the company before you begin writing, and be sure to include some key words from their mission statement, website, and/or job posting.
    • Use the spell check and grammar check!
    • Remember that these checks will not catch everything, so it's a good idea to re-read your cover letter over and over again, and have someone else take a look at it.
    Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the details. What should a cover letter look like?

    Cover letters should follow standard business letter format. This includes: the sender's address and contact info, the recipient's address, and the date. In most word programs, there are templates for business letters that you can follow. After listing the contact info, begin your letter. If you know the contact's name, use it. If not, you can write, "Dear Sir or Madam," or "Dear Hiring Manager." Since it's better to address a specific person, you may want to make a phone call to the organization to see who your letter should be addressed to.

    Next, skip a line and begin your introduction. Briefly tell the reader about yourself and mention the title of the position you're applying for. Skip another line and begin the body of your document. This section should highlight material in your resume (but in an exciting way!), explain why you are interested in the job, and show why you would be valuable to the employer. This section should also include your strongest, most relevant skills and experiences.

    Skip a line and write your conclusion. Indicate the next step you will take. State that you look forward to hearing from the employer, and/or that you will contact the reader at a certain date.

    After the closing paragraph, skip a line and sign your letter. You may want to sign it, "Sincerely," or "Best."

    To get started, take a look at this cover letter template.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Still trying to figure out tax questions and problems? Come to an IRS Open House Saturday June 5th to get things straightened out!

    What: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be hosting open house events throughout Pennsylvania to help taxpayers resolve any outstanding issues including what to do about IRS notices, payments that are still due, return preparation, audits, and a variety of other issues.

    When: This Saturday, June 5, from 9am-2pm

    Where: In PA, IRS offices in Erie, Harrisburg, Horsham, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and York will have open house hours. For a complete listing of sites and specific locations, please see the following link: http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/article/0,,id=220631,00.html

    If you or someone you know needs tax assistance, don't miss this opportunity to meet directly with IRS staff to help resolve any problems or complications you may have encountered. They will be there to help you fill out forms and schedules, set up payment plans, and leave with solutions to your confusing tax problems.

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    PathWays PA Publications

    Have you used our publications or do you plan to? Take our survey!

    PathWays PA offers a wide variety of publications and resources.  You can find electronic copies of them below.

    Money Management Slides

    Here you'll find a PowerPoint presentation on budgeting and managing assets. The take home message: always pay yourself first, and don't spend more money than you make!

    Also, be sure to check out our budgeting worksheet. When you have a chance, print this out, take a seat, and get to thinking about your expenses in a typical month. You can use this worksheet to write them down, and determine where you can cut back.