Showing posts from July, 2015

GED Graduation Ceremony 2015

On July 29, 2015, adult education students from the PathWays PA and the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) celebrated earning their GEDs at a joint ceremony.

The moving ceremony began with Laila Hill, an accomplished singer and a PathWays PA employee, sharing her rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Brenda Dawson, president and CEO of PathWays PA, gave the welcome and introduction.

The GED test gives students of all ages the chance to move ahead with their educational attainment. In Delaware County, 6% of adults ages 25-64 do not have a high school education.

Earning the GED is much more than a certificate. The difference in earnings for Pennsylvanians with high school diplomas versus those who have not graduated is stark - workers who graduated from high school or got their GED have average wages that are $7,000 higher than those without this education.

PathWays PA and DCLC want to congratulate the graduates and their families. Anyone who is looking to earn their GED should c…

Give Kids Sight Day

On October 24th, 2015 children without eye care insurance will be able to be fitted for eyeglasses at a reduced or no price! The event will take place at WillsEye Hospital, located at 840 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA.

Any child 18 years or younger is eligible for care. Insured children can also receive take part in this event. This event was started by PCCY, or Public Citizens for Children and Youth. Nearly 2/3 of children in Philadelphia’s school districts who fail an eye exam do not get follow up care. With the help of Wills Eye Hospital, Visionworks, Eagles Youth Partnership, Jefferson University Medical College and First Hospital Foundation, PCCY has been able to fit 5,500 children with eyeglasses since 2009.

 If you are interested in your child participating in this event contact 215-563-5848 x17 or email If you are interested in volunteering, call 215-563-5848 or email
Interested in PathWays Pa blog posts on similar topics?

 7/15/15 - ConnectHom…

New Numbers on Paid Sick Days

New Numbers on Paid Sick Days The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released new information on statistics in reference to earned sick time. Here are the findings:

69% of workers have access to paid sick time. This means that 43 million working Americans still do not have the ability to earn sick time. Of workers whose salaries are in the bottom 10 percent, only 22% of them have access to the time, whereas 86% of workers whose salaries are in the top 10% can take advantage of such time. The discrepancy between managers and service workers is astounding, with 81% and 39% respectively.

However, the crusade has been advancing with a few victories. Thanks to advocates, businesses, coalitions and lawmakers in the Northeast, especially New York City and some major cities in New Jersey, laws have recently been passed that now allow an additional 1 million people to use time. Paid sick time among union members has also increased in the passing months.

Want to get involved? Contact your local le…

The Francis Fund in Philadelphia

Pope Francis’ September visit to Philadelphia has spurred the creation of the Francis Fund in association with Project HOME and the World Meeting of Families Hunger and Homelessness Committee. Headed by sister Mary Scullion, the project has pledged to aid 50 human service organizations.

Among the organizations receiving grants so far are Philly Restart, Women Against Abuse, Coalition Against Hunger, and Pathways to Housing PA .

It is estimated that 650 homeless will be on the streets of Philadelphia. This number does not including those who have sought shelter. The organization has plans to eradicate this homelessness and hunger, along with stopping human trafficking and domestic violence.

Want to donate or learn how to apply for the funding? Visit for more.

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New Polls on Paid Sick Time

New light has been shed on the debate over paid sick time. Thanks to the CDC and Small Business Majority's recent polls, new statistics about employers’ opinions on earned sick time have been made public. Here are the findings:

The Center for Disease Control estimated that 60% of employed men and women had access to paid sick time. Approximately 89% of men and women in the public administration sector received sick time, whereas in the fields of agriculture, forestry, and fishing, only 23% of employees earned time.

Small Business Majority's poll displayed that 50% of small business owners support an updated bill. A 54% majority of micro-businesses are for reform. 29% of small businesses offer flexible home-workings schedules and 71% of employers state that they would permit workers to take time for their children's school activities. In addition, approximately 52% of small businesses offer their employees vacation time.

Small business owners rely on a bond between their em…

ConnectHome: New High Speed Broadband Initiative Coming to Philadelphia

President Obama recently introduced a new White House initiative that brings communities, the private sector, and the federal government together to expand high-speed Internet access to more families across the country.

The new program, ConnectHome, it is piloting in 28 different communities (27 cities and one tribal nation): Albany, GA; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA; Camden, NJ; Choctaw Nation, OK; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fresno, CA; Kansas City, MO; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Macon, GA; Memphis, TN; Meriden, CT; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Rockford, IL; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Springfield, MA; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.

ConnectHome will bring high-speed Internet access to some quarter-million families living in government-assisted housing by partnering with regional broadband groups such as EveryoneOn, Internet service providers such as Google Fiber and CenturyLink, and privat…

Financial Resources Guide Overview

PathWays PA has compiled an extensive list of programs that can meet the needs of many Pennsylvania residents in our updated Financial Resources Guide. This easy-to-use guide can help anyone find the programs they need and includes information on who qualifies for the program and how to apply.

The Financial Resources Guide includes links for people who need help paying for childcare, finding health insurance, and much more. There is also contact information listed by county in our County Help Chart.

Please let us know what you think!

Interested in PathWays PA blog posts on similar topics?

7/7/15 - Summer Food News9/4/14 - Jobs Are Returning, But Hunger Remains7/13/13 - PA Agency Offers Food Aid to Low-Income Children

Summer Food News

The Coalition Against Hunger conducted their biennial Emergency Food Provider Survey of 232 programs in Greater Philadelphia this year in order to learn more about the challenges that local providers face and found that 89.7% of emergency food providers either ran out of food or had to provide less food to clients at some point in 2014. Surveyed programs cited "lack of food donations" as a major barrier to getting more food. Over 90% of the emergency food providers surveyed also wanted to increase access to healthy foods for their clients.

You can help by donating to your local food pantry. Food pantries, SHARE host sites and soup kitchens near you can be found by clicking here.

Summer Meals, a program in Philadelphia that serves free meals and snacks to kids and teens age 18 and under, has over 1,000 site locations. There are no income, ID or registration requirements. Click here to find a Summer Meals site near you.

As always, PathWays PA offers free and confidential help t…

So What Did the Doctor Find Out about American Democracy?

The Health of State Democracies, a Center for American Progress Action Fund report ranking all 50 states and our nation's capitol across 22 factors categorized in 'accessibility of the ballot', 'representation in state government', and 'influence in the political system', was released today.

According to the report, Pennsylvania is 43rd out of 51. Said another way, Pennsylvania ranks among the bottom 10 states.

The report determined that access to voting in Pennsylvania was an F (44th place). Among other notable findings, Pennsylvania does not allow online voter registration, nor can 16-17 year olds preregister to vote and be automatically added to the voting rolls when they reach voting age - an implementation measure that was shown to increase young voter turnout by 8-13 percent

Pennsylvania was given a C for representation in state government. In addition to districts that have been drawn to favor political parties, the report found that females an…

Veto Isn't the End: Update on the State Budget

Gov. Tom Wolf, along with legislative leaders and aides from both parties, met yesterday on July 1st to reaffirm a mutual commitment to agree on a General Fund budget despite remaining far apart on numbers.

The governor's veto of the Republican budget bill on Tuesday evening left vendors and human service organizations to start Pennsylvania's new fiscal year without needed state funds. Gov. Wolf said of the pension reform, liquor privatization, and a no-tax increase $30.2 billion budget, "The math doesn't work, it doesn't address the challenges Pennsylvania faces."

The parties involved decided that substantive budget negotiations between the governor and state legislative leaders would begin after the 4th of July holiday. Until then, preparations would be made.

Please look over the budget proposals here and take a moment to call your legislators and let them know what you think!

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