Brightside Academy in the community, assisting victims of the Fairmount Fire

Brightside Academy Fairmount Fire Assistance

Thursday, January 20, 2022, Brightside Academy had the distinct honor to be a part of a very special presentation in our community!

BSA along with other organizations in the Philadelphia Area was able to come together and recreate Christmas for the Woods and Macdonald families who survived the tragic Fairmount Fire that occurred on January 5, 2022. Together, daily necessities, clothing, and other items were donated to the families. In addition to these items, Santa Claus himself made some very special deliveries for the children who lost all of their holiday gifts in the fire.

Brightside Academy is not only committed to providing high-quality early education and child care, we strive to be a resource and beacon of hope for our communities, staff, and children.

Link to Photo Album
Link to Mansifeld Media Photos

WELCOME BACK Raina Kelly, New Pittsburgh Regional Vice President

It is with tremendous excitement, that we officially welcome back Ms. Raina Kelly to our Pittsburgh region as the Regional Vice President. 
Raina has been with Brightside for 20+ years, and held many different positions. A true ECE educator who deeply cares about her team, the community and children. Failure is not a word in Raina’s vocabulary and she will go to all lengths in ensuring that all have the tools necessary for success. 
Please join us in welcoming Raina back to our team in a position that will truly impact the lives of so many. 

Continuing Your Child’s Learning Over Summer Break

School may be over for the summer, but that doesn’t mean your child’s learning should stop! It’s important for children to continue their education after the school bell rings. Ongoing education is key to a child’s development and future learning habits. So, how does your child continue to learn while on summer break? Check out some ideas below.

Discover active learning environments.

Check with your local parks and venues to see about educational camps and other activities. Find out what exhibits, events or concerts are happening in your area town over the summer. A fun idea is to create a calendar to keep track of events and to get your kids excited.

Try to build reading and writing into everyday activities.

Some ideas include having your children read the directions for how to play a new game, or helping with meals by writing up a grocery list, finding things in the grocery store, and reading the recipe aloud during meal prep.  

Create reading charts. 

Create a fun way to increase reading by having a weekly or monthly reading chart. Have your kids make goals as to how many pages they can read in day, how many books per month etc. If you have more than one child, have a friendly competition on who can read more.

Encourage writing. 

Have your child write in a summer journal. Tracking memories is a great way to remember all the fun times they had during their summer break. It also promotes good grammar and sentence structure.

Invest in educational games.

Many games have an educational aspect to them. Whether it’s counting money in Monopoly, identifying numbers with card games or creating a strategy to win a board game, games can help with numerous  cognitive skills.

Written by Lauren Morelli, Director of Marketing and Communications.

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Why Reading to Your Child is Important

Studies show that toddlers and pre-schoolers who are read to every day have a larger vocabulary than those who are not read to at all. Even infants love being held and hearing the voice of their mom or dad as they read them a book.

Not only does reading enhance a child’s vocabulary, and to help them begin to understand how to read and write. Reading to your child also increases their knowledge of the world around them.

Studies also reveal that by reading to babies and toddlers, they often gain a head start in preparing then for school later on.

Read on to learn some more benefits associated with reading to your child.

Reading Develops Language Skills

Reading to your child helps further develop their language skills. Reading exposes your child to vocabulary on different topics, which means they hear words or phrases that they may not hear in their day-to-day lives.

Concentration Improves With Reading  

Children have to sit still and pay attention when someone reads to them. Therefore, by reading to your child every day, your child will learn to concentrate and better sit still for longer periods. This will be very helpful when they start attending school.

Books Teach Children About the World Around Them

Reading teaches children about different topics from all around the world. There are books on topics like animals and places. In addition, there are books that help teach children important lessons or life skills such as sharing, being kind and diversity.

Imagination and Creativity Grow By Reading  

Through reading, children are able to use and grow their imagination. Their minds imagine the characters, the setting and the story. This enables them to exercise their brains and become more creative.

Potty Training Pointers

Potty Training Pointers

Potty training can be a very stressful time for you and your child. Generally, kids are ready to potty train around age two, but for some children, it may take them until they are three or older. If your child is really struggling with the concept of potty training, it probably means they are not ready yet. It’s important to remember not to push your child before they are ready and to be patient. 

When your child is ready to start potty training, use the ideas below to help ease the process.  

Use a Potty Chair

Go out and buy a potty chair. Children often feel more secure starting with a potty that is on the floor rather than one that goes top of the toilet because they are able to balance better with their feet on the floor.

The potty chair does not have to be in the bathroom. Put it in a place that is convenient to where your child spends most of their time, like their bedroom or playroom.  You want it to be easily accessible.

Focus on Your Child

Watch your child very closely for the first couple of days of potty training to see when they are ready to go. You will hopefully be able to pick up cues on when they get the urge to go. It is best to start potty training when you have a couple of days off or over the weekend so you have time to focus on their training.

Give Rewards

Create a reward system that motivates your child, but make sure that it realistic for you to sustain. Use small rewards such as stickers or a special snack. When your child goes on the potty, they get the reward. It is important that you only give a reward when they have earned it, even if they get upset.

Create a Chart

Make a chart and hang it on the wall. Use check marks or stickers to mark down when they have made progress like using the potty or letting you know that they have to go. Don’t make it too difficult to receive a check mark or a sticker, you want to make the goals easily attainable.

Positive Reinforcement

It is important that you give your child lots of praise throughout the potty training process. Tell them how proud you are of them and how they are doing a great job. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way.