Saturday, May 22, 2010

Inspiring Words of Wisdom...

"Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like, if each of us offered as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person. One kind word has a wonderful way of turning into many." ~ Fred Rogers

Friday, May 21, 2010

Heart O'My Town: Jr. Dukes Soccer Academy

"I wanted to do something kinda neat in my own backyard," muses Jake Ouimet, head coach of the Men's Soccer team at Duquesne University and the guiding force behind the Jr. Dukes Soccer Academy in Mt. Lebanon.  Noting the popularity of youth soccer around town and eager to see a competitive camp for kids in grades K-5, he teamed up with the Recreation Department to offer a week-long soccer camp that is much more than Soccer 101.

Along with players and coaches from Duquesne as well as other area coaches, Ouimet starts the day with a big camp warm-up.  Kids are then broken into small groups according to age and gender and put through a series of skills and drills that provide continual learning.  The many rotations stave off boredom and prizes along the way further engage the group.  Everyone gets to watch the college players take the field for a demonstration before the junior set gets its game on with a scrimmage of their own.

"We have a different theme every year," continues Ouimet.  "Last year it was the World Cup and on the last day of camp, kids dressed up in the colors of a particular country and even learned facts about that country.  Everyone from 'Team Ireland' showed up in green goggles!"  The kids also benefit from playing with those with whom they're most familiar.  "At this age, girls are more comfortable playing with girls and the same goes for boys," says Ouimet.  "It's good for them, too.  In a large camp where skill level can vary widely, being grouped according to age and sex is the great equalizer."

As the coach of a Division I program, Ouimet gets to see the best of the best during the course of the season and his very competitive squad toured Europe for a series of games two years ago.  At home, he provide tips to his two daughers, ages 10 and 7.

So who is the coach picking in this summer's World Cup?  "Spain might win it," says Ouimet.  "They won the European championship and they could be the team this year.  But I'll still be rooting for the U.S."

Space is still available for this summer's camp on June 14-17.  Register online here.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Car Free Friday is THIS Friday in Mt. Lebanon!

Mt. Lebanon will play host to the first Car Free Friday of the year on Friday, May 21st.  Residents are encouraged to ditch the car for the day and to sign a pledge that says so (pick up pledge cards at the clock tower near the T station on Washington Road between 7:30-10 a.m.).  Return to Mt. Lebanon from 6-9 p.m. and use your voucher for discounts from local merchants amid the alt-country sounds of the City Dwelling Nature Seekers in Clearview Common.  Keep in mind that you're not obliged to commute into downtown to participate.  You simply have to commit to leaving the car at home for the day.

This is Mt. Lebanon's first foray into Car Free Fridays.  Other communities that will play host to the event over the course of the summer include East Liberty, Lawrenceville and the South Side and yes, each neighborhood is chock full of good shopping and eats, much like Mt. Lebanon.

Hats off to Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron for getting Mt. Lebanon on board.  More info here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

County to Offer Prescription Discount Card

Good news via this week's Almanac:

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato has announced the county will soon introduce a prescription discount card program to help consumers cope with the high price of prescriptions.
Allegheny County has signed a contract to make free prescription discount cards available under a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo) that offers average savings of 22 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs.

The cards, which will be available in mid-June, may be used by all Allegheny County residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. There are more than 300 pharmacies in Allegheny County that will accept the NACo card, and a national network of more than 60,000 participating retail pharmacies will also honor the card.

"The NACo prescription discount card will offer significant savings for the uninsured and underinsured residents of Allegheny County," said Onorato. "Even those fortunate to have prescription coverage may use the card to save money on drugs that are not covered by their health plan. The cards will be available to any resident, and there is no enrollment form, no membership fee, and no restrictions or limits on frequency of use."

There is no cost to taxpayers for NACo and Allegheny County to make these money-saving cards available to residents. Cards will be available via the Internet, at various county facilities, and at other easily accessible public locations. More details will be released when the program is launched in June.

Using the NACo prescription discount card will be easy as the cardholder must simply present the card at a participating pharmacy. Cardholders and their family members may use the card any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance. The discount card can also be used when a pet is prescribed a medication that is used to treat a human condition.
The NACo prescription discount card program is administered by CVS Caremark.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

#1 AGAIN!!!

The results are in! recently named Pittsburgh "the most livable city in America" AGAIN!!! Even the Post-Gazette's reader poll shows a strong lead with those who agree with the claim. Life is good in the 'Burgh...this transplant agrees!

"The business publication ranked the metropolitan area as No. 1, based on its arts and leisure scene, job prospects, safety and affordability -- but not, obviously, on its baseball team.Read more:"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mt. Lebanon School District Wins Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award

The Frick Art & Historical Center announced on Friday that the Mt. Lebanon School District was this year's recipient of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award for "commitment to education in the arts and humanities."  How cool is that?  In a nutshell, the district has "instilled appreciation for art and history and begun the life-long habit of museum-going for its students at an early age."  You'll find more information on the award below.

In Lebo, we ROCK the arts, yet another good reason why we should all make a beeline to a performance of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the High School May 5-8.

For anyone who hasn't been to the Frick, it is one of the region's cultural gems and its indoor/outdoor cafe an absolute joy in the springtime.



School district acknowledged for successfully integrating art and humanities into its curriculum

Award Program: Wednesday, May 12, 2010: 12:00 p.m. at The Frick Art Museum auditorium

Pittsburgh, PA, April 30, 2010- The Frick Art & Historical Center is pleased to announce Mt. Lebanon School District as the recipient of the 2010 Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award for Commitment to Education in the Arts and Humanities.

In 1999, the Roy A. Hunt Foundation made a designated grant to the Frick Art & Historical Center to be utilized for an ongoing excellence in teaching award. The Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award for Commitment to Education in the Arts and Humanities is given annually to an educator who has demonstrated a commitment to participating in the Frick's education programs, and who has successfully integrated the arts into the students' learning experience. For the first time, the award is being given to an entire school district for demonstrating its strong commitment to the arts and humanities.

Frick Art & Historical Center Director Bill Bodine comments, "Through participation in a breadth of Frick educational programs over the years, the Mt. Lebanon School District has instilled appreciation for art and history and begun the life-long habit of museum-going for its students at an early age."

Since 1998, 5,344 Mt. Lebanon School District students from grades K-12 have visited the Frick and/or participated in more than 30 of its different programs. Of these student participants, 4,863 are from the district's seven elementary schools, 63 are from Mellon Middle School, and 418 are from Mt. Lebanon High School.

Markham Elementary School is an exemplary participant in programs offered by the Frick. Markham kindergarten students regularly participate in A Tuneful Trip to the Museum, in which they sing their way through The Frick Art Museum and the Car and Carriage Museum. These students return to the Frick in second or third grade to tour and learn about Growing up at Clayton. A highlight of fourth grade at Markham is a day spent participating in the Frick's Letterboxing program, which involves following clues and compass bearings to hidden boxes on the Frick grounds. The great enthusiasm of Markham teachers Diana Sanner, Patti McAuley and Christa Daube has inspired participation by other Mt. Lebanon elementary schools.

Mt. Lebanon High School students visit the Frick regularly for programs ranging from Vasarely's Visuals to Kôgyo Blockprinting offered in conjunction with special exhibitions at The Frick Art Museum.

Says Mt. Lebanon School District Superintendent, Dr. Timothy Steinhauer, "On behalf of the staff and students of the Mt. Lebanon School District I want to thank the Frick Art & Historical Center for honoring us with the Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award for Commitment to Education in the Arts and Humanities. Over the years, the Frick's programs have provided our students with outstanding enrichment opportunities in the arts as well as a greater appreciation of the rich cultural history of Pittsburgh."

The Mt. Lebanon School District will be recognized at a ceremony in The Frick Art Museum auditorium on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 12:00 p.m. The ceremony will be attended by Diana Sanner-a kindergarten teacher at Markham Elementary who has brought her students to the Frick the past ten years-and her students, who will present a short workshop performance.

Bea Carter, Executive Director of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, will present the award. On hand for the award presentation will be Torrence M. Hunt, Jr., Trustee, Roy A. Hunt Foundation;  David A. Brownlee, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Frick Art & Historical Center; and Bill Bodine, Director of the Frick Art & Historical Center, as well as representatives from the Mt. Lebanon School District: Dr. Timothy Steinhauer, Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Deborah Allen, Assistant Superintendent; and Mariann Fox, Director of Fine Arts, who will be presented with a plaque and an award of $3,000 for district students to participate in future field trips and enrichment activities, as well as 180 free Clayton tour passes for students' families.

The Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award for Commitment to Education in the Arts and Humanities   was established at the Frick Art & Historical Center through the efforts of Torrence M. Hunt, Sr. (1921-2004), a longtime Alcoa executive who was involved with many civic, educational, wildlife, and conservation groups. Following his retirement from Alcoa in 1982, Mr. Hunt served as senior trustee of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, named for his father and established in 1966. Thanks to the generosity of  Mr. Hunt and the Foundation, including Torrence M. Hunt, Jr., who serves as a trustee on the foundation's board, thousands of students have participated in enrichment activities through support provided by The Roy A. Hunt Foundation Award for Commitment to Education in the Arts and Humanities.

The Mt. Lebanon School District is a nationally recognized and award-winning school district with the mission to provide the best education possible for each and every student. The District operates seven elementary schools (grades k-5), two middle schools (grades 6-8), and a high school (grades 9-12). The combination of a highly trained staff with educated and committed families results in students who achieve local, state and national honors in instructional, athletic and arts forums.

The Frick Art & Historical Center offers educational programs for children, students, adults and families. During the Frick's last fiscal year (2009-2010), these programs served more than 14,000 individuals.  For more information about the Frick and its educational programs, please call 412-205-2022 or visit Free parking is available in the Frick's off-street lot, or along adjacent neighborhood streets.

The Frick Art & Historical Center, a museum, historic site and cultural center serves the public through preservation, presentation, and interpretation of the fine and decorative arts and historically significant artifacts for all residents of and visitors to Western Pennsylvania.