National Night Out at First United Methodist/Pottstown

First United Methodist Church at 414 E. High St. will host its second annual “Fire & Ice” event this year on National Night Out, Tuesday, August 5 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

They will be serving Pastor Will’s chili & Rita’s water ice.  

There will be a fire truck, fireman, dalmatian, simple craft, fire safety handouts, and experiments for children with a small volcano & snow-making in August!

Come out with the kids and enjoy a this hot-and-cold extravaganza!

Four community conversations on tap this week for Parent-School District Partnership

THERE IS A CHANCE FOR POTTSTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT TO GET A LARGE GRANT FOR PROGRAMMING RELATED TO THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS OF YOUNG STUDENTS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. PLEASE COME OUT TO ONE OF THESE COMMUNITY MEETINGS TO SHARE YOUR IDEAS!

The Pottstown School District and its community partners offer many resources for parent/child education and support, so that our students can get a good start academically, socially and emotionally. The Kellogg Foundation has funded the School District with a grant to determine how the home-school partnership can be strengthened, to find out what can be done to increase family participation, and to improve support for all children’s growth and development from birth through grade 3.

Four community conversations will be held at the end of May (5:30 to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 27 at the Pottstown Middle School, Wednesday, May 28 at Connections on High, Thursday, May 29 at Barth Elementary School and from 1-3 pm on Thursday, May 29 at the First Baptist Church). To succeed, we need Pottstown School District parents/caregivers from all social and ethnic groups to participate, to share their ideas, including the kinds of activities they want to participate in and what can be done to help them participate.

What is learned from these conversations will be shared with other community agencies and used in re-designing School District programs. This information will also be used as the basis to apply for a major grant to create programs parents said they want for themselves and for children 10 years old and younger. They key is to get as diverse a group of parents/caregivers to participate in these conversations, and to get as many of them to participate as possible.

Please come out, let’s talk and have your voices heard for our kids…their brighter future. For more info, contact 610-256-6370 or jbennett@pottstownsd.org. 

Pre-K through Third Grade Parents/Caregivers in the Pottstown School District, what do you need to help your child succeed? Let’s talk…in a relaxed setting, with a FREE hot meal, raffles, giveaways and childcare.

Join us at any of these community conversations from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 27 at the Pottstown Middle School, Wednesday, May 28 at Connections on High, Thursday, May 29 at Barth Elementary School and from 1-3 pm on Thursday, May 29 at the First Baptist Church. For more info, contact 610-256-6370 or jbennett@pottstownsd.org.

For more info, contact:

Jane Bennett
PEAK Community Engagement Coordinator, Kellogg Planning Grant
Pottstown School District, 230 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
610-256-6370, jbennett@pottstownsd.org

Make-A-Wish Benefit Concert this Saturday

Featuring a night of fabulous Broadway sounds, dance, choral & instrumental

music from blues to rock. Professional musicians plus local performing

artists share their talents to raise funds for Make-A-Wish®.

A Celebration of Life

WINGS OF HOPE BENEFIT CONCERT

Saturday May 3, 2014 7:00 PM

St. Paul’s UCC • 1312 Old Swede Rd • Douglassville, PA

TICKETS TO BENEFIT MAKE A WISH®:

$25 in advance • $30 at the door

Buy your tickets in advance online at wingsofhope.ticketleap.com

RAFFLE TO BENEFIT FOR PETE’S SAKE:

Doors Open at 6:30 PM • Beautiful Baskets; Lots of Themes

FEATURING:

Broadway Stars Jennifer Hope Wills (Christine in Phantom of the Opera) and Dan Pacheco (Boq in Wicked)

iTunes recording artist: guitarist Adam Lacarino • Local celebrities: Ben Blakesley and the Hillbilly Haymakers

Directed/Produced by Patricia Keith

Also featuring some of our area’s most talented young people

Dance One Contemporary Ballet Theatre • Honor Choir • Jocelyn Shank • and more!

YOUR SUPPORT CAN & WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

WingsofHopeMD.com

 

Pow Wow on Mantawny Creek Celebrates Pottstown’s Native American Heritage

This comes to us from ArtFusion 19464. For quite some time I have been curious about what we know about the Lenni-Lenape in Pottstown. This looks to be an informative, fun, and fascinating way to re-connect with the Native Americans who lived upon and walked this land before us. 

 

Native American Memorial
Native American Memorial

In 1859, workers clearing a mound in an area on the south side of the borough unearthed skeletal remains and artifacts of an ancestor of the Lenni-Lenape people.  Over the next twelve years many more remains and artifacts were unearthed in this area.  Many of the remains and items were initially exhibited locally, but over time they have been lost.

In 2000, then mayor Anne Jones headed up a campaign that resulted in the Memorial currently located at the intersection of South Franklin Street and Industrial Highway. The site sits on land generously donated by the family of Mr. Tim O’Conner, owner of Humphrey Flag Company.

The memorial, which was originally dedicated on May 5, 2000, is an acknowledgement and a recognition of the people whose spirits inhabit those grounds.  Unfortunately, in recent years, the memorial has been neglected. In an effort to bring new life and attention to this memorial, Ron Williams and Clanmother Star Harbach have organized a re-dedication of the memorial on May 3 and a pow wow on May 3 and 4. Williams says: “The Memorial is my primary objective.  The Pow Wow is a way of creating interest. I am hopeful that in time we can do more to make this memorial a local landmark that we can be proud of. It should be a place of cultural awareness.  Future plans will include warm weather monthly story-telling circles, new plants representing the indigenous  features of the pre-colonial period, a medicine wheel, lighting and a sculpture representing the culture of the Native Americans, for starters.”

The rededication ceremony will begin at 9am on Saturday, May 3 at the site, which is at the corner of Franklin St. and Industrial Highway near the river. Frankie and Johnnie’s has generously offered the use of their parking lot for those who want to attend. Afterwards the festivities will switch to Memorial Park.

The pow wow will take place from 10am-6pm on Saturday and from 10am-5pm on Sunday at the Veteran’s Memorial in Memorial Park. Visitors will be treated to dances from many different tribes. In between the dances, a storyteller will entertain and educate with traditional tales. Guests will be able to shop at different Native American vendors, who will be selling leather crafts, jewelry, beadwork, instruments, wood sculptures, herbal teas and more. Author Gretchen Hardy will be selling signed copies of her book. Buttons& Beads: Lenape Princess Wynonah and the Future President, an historical fiction book illustrated by Zoungy Kligge, takes what is known of these intrepid ancestors and weaves them into one Lenape woman, Wynonah, who becomes their collective voice. A portion of the sales of her book will be donated to the Memorial fundraiser.  There will also be an interactive education tent run by Laura and Ron Buckwalterwhere visitors can learn more about the Lenape people. Outside of the main pow wow site, other local groups including ArtFusion 19464 will be set up.

The event will begin with a Grand Entrance and opening ceremony at 12pm on Saturday. Following the opening ceremony, there will be a Veteran’s Dance, where military veterans and those currently serving are invited to participate to honor their service. The dancing will continue until 6pm. At 7pm, group Spirit Wing entertain the community with a free concert open to the public. The pow wow on Sunday will also begin with a Grand Entrance at 12pm. The events that day will end at 5pm.

Clanmother Star will MC the event and Joe Camaho will be whip man for the event, a ceremonial position responsible for lining up the dancers for the Grand Entrance. Medicine Horse Singers will drum for the dancers.

The entrance fee for the pow wow is $5, cash only. Children 6 and under are free. Visitors can park in the Memorial Park lot and at the lot by the Carousel building on King Street. There will be a free trolley running from the Carousel parking lot up to Pottsgrove Manor, where the annual May Day festivities will also be taking place on Saturday.

Please note that the back gate at the Veteran’s Memorial in the park will be closed to the public. All events will run rain or shine.

The organizers and dancers ask that visitors only take pictures when they are told it is allowed, as a matter of respect. Those who do not follow these rules will be escorted from the event. This is a pet friendly event. Well-behaved pets on a leash are welcome, and owners are asked to be courteous and clean up after their pets.

All funds raised during this weekend will go toward establishing an annual celebration and the maintenance and improvement of the monument. The site will be updated to make it a place of learning, with a regular schedule of storytelling and other events that will take place on site. The pow wow will be an annual event, in an effort to continue the recognition of what was lost.

In conjunction with this effort to create the awareness of the Native American contribution to the history of this nation, Representative Mark Painter will also be presenting a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 2, to recognize this year as the 90th anniversary since Native Americans were granted full United States citizenship.  Until 1924, Native Americans were not citizens of the United States, but on June 2, 1924 Congress granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. under the Indian Citizenship Act.

8th Annual “Pottstown Celebrates Young Children” event TOMORROW!

The eighth annual Pottstown Celebrates Young Children event will be held on April 12, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 at the Pottstown YMCA (724 Adams Street – across from Pottstown High School). The event targets families with young children and is sponsored by PEAK, Pottstown’s school readiness initiative. The afternoon will include a petting farm, moon bounce, mascots and clowns. More than 40 community organizations will provide family activities and everything is free.

This year PEAK is partnering with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center as the main sponsor for the Month of the Young Child events. According to PEAK Coordinator, Mary Rieck, “We are very thankful for the partnership with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Pottstown Celebrates Young Children is great way to raise awareness for early education and services of the hospital, as well as an enjoyable afternoon for the whole family. We look forward to finding new ways to work with the hospital to help Pottstown’s children enter kindergarten ready to learn and achieve.” The Month of the Young Child is also supported by the Pottstown Rotary Club Community Endowment Fund which is providing funds to support the purchase and distribution of 400 copies of the featured book for the Pennsylvania One Book campaign.

PEAK has received donations to support the event from Wegman’s and Costco. PEAK (Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness) is a partnership between Pottstown School District and community early learning programs and agencies seeking to prepare children and families for success in kindergarten. To learn more about PEAK or the April 12 event, visit http://www.peakonline.org, e-mail Ms. Rieck at mrieck@pottstownsd.org or call 610-970-6655. You can also follow PEAK on Twitter @PEAKPartners and on Facebook.

Spring into the arts this weekend in Pottstown!

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long – teaching and coaching take up just about all of my waking/thinking hours these days – but I have not forgotten you, Pottstown and its champions, and will continue to promote your fun, fascinating, and hard-won triumphs whenever possible! The following info comes from press releases from these organizations.

Whether you want to browse recycled and upcycled art at ArtFusion 19464, or take in a new, classic American drama – August: Osage County – at Steel River Playhouse, there’s plenty to keep your right brain busy this weekend.

First, there will be an opening reception at ArtFusion from 6-8 pm TONIGHT, Friday, March 21st, as they open their show, ReSourced, which helps prove true the old adage that “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Local artists have created work from recycled, upcycled and salvaged items. Visitors to ArtFusion will be delighted by the wide range of pieces on display, from functional clothing to gorgeous free-standing sculptures.

Each visitor will also have a chance to contribute to a fun public art project. Throughout the show, which runs from March 21 through May 3, visitors will have a chance to add to a large scale, recycled weaving project. The weaving will be created from plastic bags, paper, VCR tapes, and more. The piece can be seen as it grows in the front window of the ArtFusion gallery.

Participating artists are: Alita Abruzzzese, Lisbeth Bucci, Robyn Burckhardt, Tom Carroll, Arline Christ, Maggie Creshkoff, James M. Enders, Juanita A. Gaspari, Robert Hakun, Heidi Hammel, Joe Hoover, Millie Lea, Dora Siemel, Carla Schaeffer, Teresa Shields, Donna Steck-McMahon, and Julie Tonnessen.

There will be an opening reception for ReSourced on Friday, March 21 from 6-8pm. All receptions are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. A $100 Best in Show prize, sponsored by the NARI-BIE Green Team, will be presented at 6:30pm.

In conjunction with this show, ArtFusion is offering free field trips to local schools. Over 550 children have currently signed up for a fun, interactive experience. Students will learn about and discuss recycling, why it is important to the future of our planet, and how artists create with objects other people throw away. Each student will also create their own unique piece of recycled art. This show will help teach local children the importance of caring for our planet and will inspire them to look at the world–and how people create art–in a whole new way.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Now, maybe you want to drop in at ArtFusion right at 6 and then cross the street to Steel River for the 7 pm showing of August: Osage County IT IS IN ITS FINAL WEEKEND!! (Friday and Saturday at 7 pm; Sunday at 3 pm)

It has gotten some great reviews (see The Mercury’s review here.) This play swept the 2008 awards season, winning the Pulitzer plus all the “Best Play” awards –  the Tonys (5 in all), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and New York Drama Critic’s Circle awards. It’s about wild and wacky family dynamics, which make it perfect for a grown-up night out, book clubs, service organizations – you get the idea (not for young kids).

Please note: It’s a long play so it’s got an early curtain for the evening performances (7 pm), but it’s fast-paced and engrossing. There are two intermissions so there’s plenty of time to kick back with a glass of wine or beer – especially appropriate for this play! And you’re welcome to bring your refreshments into the audience seating area. 

To order your tickets online: go here.

Steel River Playhouse

245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464

610.970.1199www.steelriver.org

 

 Pulitzer Prize-winning New American Classic

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (comedy-drama)

Thursdays – Sundays

March 13th – 23rd

Comedy-Drama by Tracy Letts

Directed by Harland Meltzer

Contains Mature Themes, Sexual Content, and Adult Language

Bobby Rydell performs in Pottstown March 29th

By Official Proclamation Pottstown Presents

Bobby Rydell Organ Donor Awareness Day

The Legendary BOBBY RYDELL
  and
The Unmistakable –
DUPREES
 Also featuring the #1 “Girl Group Revue”
FIRST LADIES OF ROCK AND SOUL

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014
Davenport Performing Arts Center – Pottstown High School
750 North Washington Street • Pottstown, PA 19464
Show Starts 6pm
Reserved $55 General Admission $45

PURCHASE TICKETS NOW:
By Phone: 610.853.6776 OR 610.306.9361
By Mail: P.O. Box 912 Pottstown, PA 19464
Check Payable to: Tom Coyle
Credit Card: http://www.FirstLadiesofRockandSoul.com

Pottstown MLK Day observance at Hill School today at 4 pm

This comes from Rev. Vernon Ross, Jr., Pastor of Bethel AME Community Church.

You are invited to attend and to encourage your congregation, family, friends, and others to attend the Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM.

The Celebration will take place at The Hill School Center for the Arts, and the Pottstown Community Martin Luther King Choir will be singing.  Our special guest will be Mr. David Carlisle, Director of Music, Ms. Melanie R. Hill, Violinist, and Minister Adrien Gale, Soloist.

The proceeds of a free will offering will be given to the Pottstown School District to support their Math/STEM Programs.  This is a wonderful opportunity to help our youth in the Pottstown Community!   We hope to see you!

The Hill School Center for the Arts is located at 860 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.

Pottstown area non-profits: Grant opportunity!

It’s not too late to apply to the Hill School Student Philanthropy Council! Deadline is THIS MONDAY, JANUARY 20th. See details at this link and below:

The Hill School now is accepting applications from Pottstown-area nonprofit organizations for its Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) grant program. Interested organizations may download and submit a Request for Proposal. View and print a PDF of the Request for Proposal here. Completed applications must be submitted by Monday, January 20, 2014.The SPC was established in 2009 through a gift to The Hill School courtesy of Charles A. Frank III, Hill ’59, and his wife, Betty. Hill student participants solicit and evaluate local nonprofit requests for funding, and then award a total of $10,000 in grants each year. Last year, through the Franks’ leadership and the generosity of several other donors, The Student Philanthropy Council became an endowed program at the School with the establishment of The Student Philanthropy Council Endowment in honor of Kay and David Dougherty.

Last year, representatives of the SPC presented a total of $10,000, to four local organizations: Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority ($2,110); The Growing Center ($2,690); Montgomery Child Advocacy Project ($2,500); and the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Organizations ($2,700). Read more about the recipients of the 2013 grants.

The SPC is comprised of 12 students –  including co-presidents Sanobar Shaikh ’14 and Omeed Alidadi ’14 – who meet once a week to study the process of philanthropy and visit the sites of various organizations. Mrs. Amy Lehman, Hill’s experiential education coordinator, is the faculty adviser to the group. SPC members are chosen based on the quality of their applications, interviews, and their sincere ability to commit time to the group.