An Undervalued Asset in Our Community

 

My youngest daughter came to us during her Junior year in high school, disgruntled and restless about what to do the following year with her school schedule. She only needed a few more credits to graduate, and was looking at her options. She considered moving to a cyber charter school, trying to graduate early, and even home schooling, briefly. She went in to discuss it with her guidance counselor, who suggested she look at a dual-credit program the high school had set up in cooperation with Montgomery County Community College. The way it worked, she would take all her classes at the college, and the classes would count not only toward her high school graduation, but toward college credit as well. We would be required to pay regular tuition at the community college to participate in the program, but for a full year of college credit, it was a bargain price by any standard, so my daughter immediately enrolled. My daughter, as well as my husband and I, consider the year she spent at MCCC to be of incredible value.

The main campus is located in Blue Bell, but the college has its West Campus located right here in Pottstown, just off the Hanover Street exit of 422, and convenient to all the High Street restaurants and stores, at 101 College Drive. It is home to an art gallery, theater, library and bookstore, as well as the recently added Sustainability and Innovation Hub. Many of MCCC’s students live in Pottstown, but many more come into Pottstown from surrounding communities. The college offers degree programs in many areas of education including Business Administration, Education, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Mathematics, and many others. In addition, academic programming at West Campus’s University Center allows students to take a selection of courses and pursue a range of degrees offered by Albright University, Alvernia University, and Chestnut Hill College.

The college also offers credit certificate programs that can be completed in Pottstown in Medical Assisting, Human Services, and Addictions. There are Continuing Education programs, summer camps, a Culinary Arts Institute (located in Lansdale), as well as online courses. The college also offers events for the community, two of which are coming up next week. There will be a College Jump Start event beginning June 17th and running through the 21st (see flyer below), as well as the upcoming Community Career Fair on June 18th. For more information on either of these two events, contact Christine Morris at cmorris@mc3.edu or call (610)718-1802.

To stay connected with what is being offered by way of events, follow this link, or go the the MCCC website, and click on the For the Community tab.

Montco College Jumpstart

Montco Community Career Fair

Support the Gallery School: Carnival in Venice event on March 31st!

Fashion Plates 6: Carnival in Venice

The Gallery School of Pottstown asks you to save the date!

Fashion Plates 6: Carnival in Venice is coming in March. Join them on March 31 at Brookside Country Club for another fabulous fundraiser.

The Gallery School’s signature fundraiser returns to its roots as an evening, couples-friendly event. Guests will enjoy amazing food, unlimited signature cocktail, and wonderful entertainment, from a  fabulous fashion show, sponsored by Boscov’s Department Stores, to a strolling magician, a harpist and more. They will give away fun door prizes, and their fabulous silent auction will bring out the bidder in everyone.

Purchase your individual ticket before March 10 for only $65. After March 10, individual tickets will be $70. Or take advantage of their two for $120 ticket deal.

Sponsors

VIST Financial
Boscov’s Department Stores

Table Sponsors

Boenning & Scattergood, Inc.
Independence Planning Group
Heartland Abstract, Inc.
Dolan & Mayerson, P.C.
Sager & Sager
J.H. White Financial
Creative Health Services

Entertainment Sponsors

Pete La Rosa Productions
513 Entertainment
Betsy Chapman, Harpist
Magical Illusions of Kyle and Kelly

Info sessions on Pottstown’s first Community Garden to be held tonight and Saturday

MOSAIC Community Land Trust is holding another information session tonight about the community garden being built this spring at 423 Chestnut Street. (See the concept plan below.) All Pottstown residents, business owners, community organizations, and youth groups are encouraged to attend.

Have you ever wanted your own garden, but didn’t have enough room in your yard? Would you like your children to learn how to grow their own fresh vegetables? Would you like to grow fresh herbs for your restaurant?

Thanks to a grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation, MOSAIC Community Garden will give individuals, families, and community groups the chance to  work side-by-side on their own garden plots. 

Information sessions will be held tonight and this coming Saturday:

February 21 from 7-8 pm, MOSAIC’s office, 10 S. Hanover St.

February 25 from 2-3 pm at Victory Christian Life Center, 28 N. Washington St.

Applications will be available at the meetings or on our website: www.mosaiccommunitylandtrust.org. They can be dropped off at any of the above locations or mailed to MOSAIC Community Land Trust, 10 S. Hanover St., Pottstown, PA 19464 by March 1.

For more information, contact Sue Repko, MOSAIC Executive Director, at 609-658-9043 or srepko@mosaiccommunitylandtrust.org.

In the event that there are more applications than garden plots, a public lottery will be held at MOSAIC’s offices on Sunday, March 11 at 2 pm.

Garden Concept Plan

All-you-can-eat Soup Bowl Fundraiser at The Gallery School next Saturday

Sent in by The Gallery School…

Support your local art school and beat the winter chill at the same time!

Soup Bowl Fundraiser
Saturday, February 18 from 12-3pm
All you can eat!

Join us for a delicious, beat-the-winter-chill event! You will be able to choose a handcrafted ceramic bowl and then fill it with your choice of homemade soup. Bread, beverages and homemade desserts will round off your lunch.

We will have a nice variety of soups to sample, made by our members and volunteers, and donated by local restaurants. (Vegetarian soups will be included in the selection.) Have fun sampling every option, or fill up on your favorite!

Vegetarian * Italian potato * black bean * chili * stew * tomato * French onion * broccoli cheese * and many more!
Tickets are only $15 and all proceeds benefit the non-profit Gallery School of Pottstown. There will be a limtied number of tickets available for sale at the door, so be sure to buy your ticket today! Tickets can be purchased online (or through the orange PayPal button below.)

When you finish your soup, be sure to take some time to see our Winter Member Show: “Baby, it’s cold outside!”. This fun show is all about contrasts: warm and cold, tropical paradise and winter wonderland.

 

The Gallery School of Pottstown

@ Gallery on High
254 E.High St.
Pottstown, PA 19464

Buy Your
Ticket Today

through PayPal

Buy Now

or via our website

 

Open Hearth Dessert Demonstration at Pottsgrove Manor this Saturday – Yum!

This Saturday, January 21st from 11:00am to 3:00pm at Pottsgrove Manor, visitors can see what’s cooking in the colonial kitchen with the program “A Distillation of Desserts.”

This open-hearth cooking demonstration will feature Pottsgrove Manor’s historic cooks preparing authentic 18th century recipes for sweets and treats made with a variety of libations. This program wraps up the exhibit “Spirituous Liquors and Healthful Distillations: Alcohol in Colonial America.” Visitors can take a tour of the exhibit during their visit; this will be one of the last opportunities to see the exhibit before it closes on January 29th.

Regular museum hours are: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tours are given on the hour; last tour of the day begins as 3:00 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should pre-register by calling 610.326.4014.

Pottsgrove Manor, home of John Potts, colonial ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks and Heritage Services Department.

For more information and a full calendar of events, visit them on the web at http://historicsites.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor.

Pottstown middle school student starts career as sports announcer

Here’s a great story showing how PCTV and Pottstown School District are teaming up to provide career guidance and real-world  experience for Pottstown students.

For Immediate Release

Contact: John J. Armato, CAA, Director of Community Relations, 610-323-6274, cell #484-256-7491 or jarmato@pottstownsd.org

 

Pottstown Middle School Student Starts Career as Sports Announcer

Kyle Hendley, an eighth grade student at Pottstown Middle School, is well on his way to starting a career as a TV sports announcer.  He recently completed a semester internship in the Pottstown Middle School Career Shadowing Program.  He was partnered with PCTV Sports Announcer and Pottstown Middle School teacher Mr. Bernie Gallagher.  Kyle has expressed an interest in perhaps becoming a TV sports broadcaster.  He was able to be in the TV booth for many local football games.  He learned the ins and outs of broadcasting with Mr. Gallagher.  Some of his responsibilities included gathering statistics, assisting with the slow-motioned instant replays, and reverse angle camera shots.

Mr. Gallagher observed that “Kyle did a fabulous job helping with our crew and brought positive energy to our weekly TV shows.  He is a natural, the quintessential sports fan!”

“I think that I learned a great deal through the Career Shadowing Program and it certainly opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes of a TV production,” explained Hendley.

Exercising on a Budget: Making an impact without making a big investment

Editor’s note: This article is another in a series from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation about making healthy lifestyle choices on a budget. 

EXERCISING ON A BUDGET:

MAKING AN IMPACT WITHOUT MAKING A BIG INVESTMENT

By: David Kraybill, Executive Director, Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation

Are you one of those individuals who can easily find an excuse not to exercise? I had to do this. I had to do that. I have my kids. I’m tired. It’s dark out. It’s not in my budget to join a gym or buy expensive equipment. Well, you can cross that last one off your list of excuses—you can exercise if you’re on a budget and you don’t have to join a gym or invest big bucks. In fact, there are so many low-cost or free ways to exercise, by yourself or with your family, you may start to find those other excuses are no longer necessary.

According to the guidelines from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, individuals should have at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic diseases in adulthood. So, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out how often and affordably you can fit exercise into your day and reach your 30 minute minimum without trying too hard or changing too much of your routine.

Everyday Exercises

Start small. Did you know that you can turn almost your entire day into an exercise routine? Consider:

• Using the self-check out at stores – not only is it faster, but scanning and bagging your

own groceries is more movement than you would normally get when using the regular

check-out lane.

• Taking the steps instead of the elevator – sound familiar? That’s because it works. If

you’re on the 25th floor, start small – go up a few flights and add more flights as you

progress.

• Cleaning your house – yes, you get exercise every time you vacuum, scrub the floor,

and polish the furniture—30 minutes of housework can burn up to 215 calories!

• Doing squats or lunges while brushing your teeth or waiting for the microwave.

• Balancing on one leg while drying your hair, shaving or putting makeup on.

• Doing exercises during commercials while watching your nightly TV—ab crunches,

squats, “jump” rope, march in place.

• Mowing the lawn and weeding the garden in spring and summer, and raking the leaves

and shoveling the snow during fall and winter.

• Parking in the farthest away space so you have a longer walk to the store.

 

Free Exercises

Perhaps you are interested in more structured exercise, not just what you can fit in where you can. There are many FREE things you can do to get started. Try:

• Walking or jogging – still the best bargain there is. However, the one investment you do

want to make is in good athletic shoes.

• Putting on some music and dancing.

• Going online and finding free workouts on YouTube.com

• Finding an exercise program on TV.

• Checking out exercise DVDs from your local library.

• Hiking and biking – check out http://www.missionhealthyliving.org for local parks, bike trails

and hiking spots in our local area. (Check out local parks at the Parks & Rec page at PositivelyPtown.com, too!)

• Strength training – using just your body as resistance. Try squats, lunges, calf raises,

push ups, tricep dips and crunches. Not sure how? Look it up on YouTube.

• Scouting around in your basement or garage for old fitness equipment that you may

have purchased long ago, but forgot about. You may find a basketball, tennis racket,

Frisbee, paddle ball games, baseballs, step equipment, etc. that you can begin to use

again.

 

Low-Budget At-Home Gyms

Having an at-home gym does not mean you have to invest in a costly machine. There are many ways to build a gym at home that will not set your budget back. Consider:

• Making your own weights from full soup cans, laundry detergent bottles and water

bottles; milk or orange juice jugs filled with sand; and PVC pipes filled with sand.

• Seeking out used equipment from garage sales, relatives or friends, Craigslist,

Play it Again Sports stores and Ebay.

• Making a modest investment in versatile, but inexpensive equipment: medicine ball,

jump rope, dumbbell set, resistance tubing, exercise/stability ball, mirror, step bench.

 

Other Options

Finally, just when you think there cannot possibly be more choices to exercising on a budget—good news, there is! Consider:

• Seeking out low-cost, local fitness classes that are not associated with a gym.

A Fresh Start Fitness has a number of workout choices, and the Ballroom on High

offers Zumba classes.

• Starting a fitness class at work if you have the interest and the room—kettlebells,

Zumba, yoga, etc. There are many local trainers and teachers who may be looking to

teach extra classes. The more people you get, the less expensive it will be!

• Starting a fitness class at work, not with a trainer, but with a DVR player. Take turns

bringing in your fitness DVDs and get moving.

• Looking into low-cost gym options. Planet Fitness offers a membership for only $10

a month and the YWCA also has low-cost options.

Above all else, exercise should be fun—if it is, you are more likely to do it on a regular basis. If you need motivation, buddy up with a friend or involve your family. And now you know there are many different inexpensive and free choices for exercise that will not impact your budget, but will have a big impact on your health. Get started today!

About the Foundation – The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation’s mission is to enhance the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles. Visit www.pottstownfoundation.org for more information about the Foundation. Discover Pottstown area’s online community at www.missionhealthyliving.org to learn and share great information on how to lead a healthier life!

Wellness Foundation Helps Community Garden Grow

The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount of $30,000 to the Preservation Pottstown/Mosaic Community Land Trust to build Pottstown’s first community garden at 423 Chestnut Street. The Foundation’s grant will allow for the construction of up to 42 raised beds for planting and the installation of fencing, paths, a trellis, rain barrels, compost bins, benches, and a play area for children.

“We are honored and grateful to receive this grant from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, which will allow us to complete Pottstown’s first community garden this spring,” said David Jackson, President of Mosaic Community Land Trust. “The garden will greatly increase access to healthy foods and already has many supporters in Pottstown and surrounding communities.”

Community gardens are a growing trend particularly in vacant lots in urban areas. They are viewed not only as a way for people who have limited access to full-service supermarkets for fresh produce to improve their nutrition, but also as a way for neighborhood residents to reconnect. Residents pay a small annual membership fee and are given a small plot in which to grow vegetables and flowers. Educational workshops will teach members how to garden and what tasks need to be completed throughout the entire growing season. Jackson noted, “Some of the additional benefits of a community garden include: improving the quality of life for neighborhood residents, stimulating social interaction, beautification of the neighborhood, and improving opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education.”

A key to the success of a community garden is the development of partnerships. Jackson includes as Mosaic’s partners for this project: Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, Borough of Pottstown, Pottstown School District, Genesis Housing Corporation, Susquehanna Bank, Lowes, Davey Tree Experts, Lointerhome, and many individual donors and volunteers.

The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation enhances the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles. The Foundation was formed in July 2003 with the proceeds obtained from the sale of the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Non-profits interested in learning more about the Foundation’s grants program and application process should visit their website at www.pottstownfoundation.org. For great ideas on how to create a healthy lifestyle for you and your family, check out their online community, Mission Healthy Living, at www.missionhealthyliving.org

Pottstown Library hosts “Wines of the Southern Hemisphere” fundraiser this Saturday

Does your family use the Pottstown Regional Public Library??  It’s not too late to support them and get your tickets by tomorrow at noon to their “Wines of the Southern Hemisphere” fundraiser taking place this Saturday, November 5th from 6:30-9 pm at the library. Tickets are $40 per person.

Not only will you be helping the library to continue its comprehensive programming for children, teens and adults, but you’ll get to learn more about wines from Dean and Lisa Foster of Vintage Connections. There will be food by chef Jerry DeLena and music by classical guitarist Dillon Taylor.

As a reader and a writer, I think stories and story-telling are fundamental to who we are as human beings, how we try to make sense of the world, share and learn from each other, and, sometimes, how we find comfort and keep up the courage to go on. On the most basic level, this is what public libraries are all about – making our history and stories accessible to all, letting us hear all the voices that have something to say.

I hope to see you there!

500 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464

610 970 6551; ppl.mclinc.org

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