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A red train made of construction paper, a sailboat made out of a paper plate or a colorful painting expressing spring are just some items you may see in area businesses during April. The countywide CARES Young Artists Display is in celebration of National “Week of the Young Child,” April 19-25.
More than 50 businesses from Forest City, Lenox, Great Bend, Hallstead, Montrose, New Milford, Jackson and Susquehanna responded to the call from Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services) to recognize the talents of our young children by displaying their work. Various childcare, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs supplied everything from drawings to craft projects. The items reflect the role early education plays in shaping a child’s future. Research shows children who receive a quality experience before the age of five achieve greater success late in life.
CARES would not have been able to coordinate this special display without the help of CARES volunteers, the Endless Mountains Businesses Association, Forest City Commercial Association, Montrose Area Chamber of Commerce and the Susquehanna Community Development Association. The effort is another way CARES promotes Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, because every child is Pennsylvania’s future.
Starting April 1, three television ads will begin showing on local TV, featuring the Episcopal Church in Northeast Pennsylvania. Reilly Shingler, a St. Paul’s Church School Scholar and second grader at Elk Lake, narrates one of the ads.
Pictured, Reilly Shingler “tests” out the news desk at a local TV station with her father, Mike. Reilly taped the voiceover on one of the new TV ads for the Episcopal Church, which run daily.
Reilly is 8 years old, and a voracious reader. “She reads everything from the Magic Treehouse series to Harry Potter,” reports her father, Mike. She does Jazz and ballet, dancing on weekends, and has already competed in two horse shows, winning ribbons in all events in which she has participated. She loves watching anything on Animal Planet (even the gory stuff), and really would like to be a veterinarian or horse trainer in her adult life. She also likes learning how to cook, spending time with her little sister, Delaney, and making crafts with her mom, Heather.
“We are very proud of Reilly at St. Paul’s,” opined Rachel Warriner Barton, senior warden at St. Paul’s. “She and her family are a faithful part of our faith community, and we are all proud that she was chosen to record the voice over the TV spot ad.”
The groundbreaking program is to develop and broadcast a series of four 30-second television ads over the course of one year. No single parish will be highlighted. Rather, “The Episcopal Church in Northeast Pennsylvania will be in the spotlight so that every parish can benefit. This means that 42 parishes of the diocese are in the broadcasting area,” reports Fr. Charles Cesaretti of St. Paul’s, Montrose, member of the development team.
NBT Bancorp Inc. has been added to the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 Index as of March 26. The common stock of NBT Bancorp is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the “NBTB” symbol.
According to S&P, the S&P SmallCap 600, introduced in 1994, is “fast becoming the preferred small-cap index in the U.S.” The index covers about 3% of the domestic equities market. Companies added to the index must have a market capitalization between $200 million and $1 billion and meet “specific inclusion criteria to ensure they are investable and financially viable.” NBT Bancorp is replacing Itron Inc., which is being moved to the S&P MidCap 400 Index.
“Being added to the S&P SmallCap 600 is a very significant event for our company,” said Martin Dietrich, NBT Bancorp president and chief executive officer. “This recognition is a result of our strong financial performance.”
NBT Bancorp, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Norwich, N.Y., with total assets of $5.3 billion at December 31, 2008. The company primarily operates through NBT Bank, N.A., a full-service community bank with two divisions, and through two financial services companies. NBT Bank, N.A. has 122 locations, including 84 NBT Bank offices in upstate New York and 38 Pennstar Bank offices in northeastern Pennsylvania. EPIC Advisors, Inc., based in Rochester, N.Y., is a full-service 401(k) plan recordkeeping firm. Mang Insurance Agency, LLC, based in Binghamton, N.Y., is a full-service insurance agency. More information about NBT and its divisions can be found on the Internet at: www.nbtbancorp.com, www.nbtbank.com, www.pennstarbank.com, www.epic1st.com and www.manginsurance.com.
More three and four year olds in Susquehanna County are taking part high quality pre-kindergarten programs, thanks to a state funded initiative called Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts. Proposed by Governor Rendell in 2007 and approved by state lawmakers two years in a row, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides grants across the state to those facilities targeting children at risk of school failure. Forest City Regional School District, Mountain View School District and Treasure House Child Development Center in Montrose provide pre-k through this funding.
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts requires grantees to provide a qualified teacher and teacher’s aide, small class sizes, a curriculum that is aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning standards, regular assessment of the children’s progress and reporting of the program’s performance. These quality expectations will ensure that the children enrolled have a high quality learning experience.
The results are impressive. After the first year, nearly every child involved in a Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts program finished the year with age-appropriate skills and behaviors, a stunning success rate. Many children who entered the program requiring special early intervention services no longer needed those services when they started kindergarten.
“We know from the research on Early Childhood Education that every dollar invested produces many dollars in return – with estimates of $8 to $17 for every dollar spent”, states Dr. Robert J. Vadella, Superintendent of Forest City Regional School District. “This investment is paying great dividends in the advanced start in literacy children are achieving in the program. We will continue to see these dividends in the success of these children in the future through less need for special education and other remedial services, fewer drop outs, and more students going on to postsecondary education.”
Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services) is proud to partner with Forest City Regional School District, Mountain View School District and Treasure House Child Development Center. CARES is an early education community engagement group dedicated to enhancing the quality of early childcare and educational programs in Susquehanna County.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts or other quality early learning initiatives, contact Susquehanna County CARES at (570) 465-5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CARES is helping fulfill Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children because every child is Pennsylvania’s future.
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