University of Pittsburgh
April 1, 2010

"Carnival in the Hill" Links Hill District Families With Teachers in a Kennywood Park-like Atmosphere

Pitt among organizers who hope to register as many children as possible for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Hill District families seeking to register children for pre-kindergarten or kindergarten may do so and also meet Hill District elementary school teachers while enjoying a Kennywood Park-like atmosphere at "Carnival in the Hill," from noon to 4 p.m. April 10 at Ammon Recreation Center, 2217 Bedford Ave., Hill District.

Organized by the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development (OCD) in partnership with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the event will feature more than a dozen carnival games from Kennywood Park's Kiddieland, Sandcastle, and Idlewild Park that will be manned by the teachers from two Hill District elementary schools-Pittsburgh Miller and Pittsburgh Weil Accelerated Learning Academy.

In addition to making face-to-face connections with the neighborhood's teachers, children and their parents will be able to enjoy a petting zoo, the CitiParks Roving Art Cart, the Beginning With Books Storymobile, the Ready Freddy frog mascot, and numerous other carnival treats.

While a focus will be placed on all children transitioning to the next grade, particular emphasis will be centered on registering pre-K and kindergarten families.

"National studies show that nearly 50 percent of children struggle with the transition to kindergarten," says Ken Smythe-Leistico, director of OCD's Pathway to School Success program. "Late arrival at school and poor initial attendance are reliable predictors of early- school failure and high school dropout. Studies find that involving parents in the transition process is one of the most promising practices to ensure greater student success."

In addition to those mentioned above, other partners in "Carnival in the Hill" include United Way's Caught Being Good Program, UPMC, Lamar Advertising, City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority, Family Resources, and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.

For more information, call 412-244-5385.