Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Science STEMS from Pottstown Camp

Photo by Diane Van Dyke
Pottstown Middle School students got all wet as part of the G-STEM program run by Montgomery County Community College.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Montgomery County Community College.

For participating Pottstown Middle School students, Montgomery County Community College’s G-STEM — Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math —program was the first opportunity they ever had to explore the Schuylkill River, hold crayfish or see schools of minnows swim by their legs.

By testing the water quality at various locations along the river, as well as in the Manatawny Creek tributary, students learned about what may impact the life cycle and inhabitants of this river aquarium.

“It is interesting and makes you think,” says Tyler Carter, one of the participants. “It’s a higher level of learning. We get to use what we learn in the classroom right here.”

“We learned scientific terms and concepts,” added Payton Reid, explaining that the program covers more material than what he has learned in school. “It’s good practice for college.”

Carter and Reid were two of 13 Pottstown Middle School students who participated in the one-week, academically intensive summer camp held June 23-27 at the College’s West Campus in
Photo by Diane Van Dyke
Shakeem Lynch holds up a crayfish he found in the Schuylkill River

G-STEM’s objective is to improve scientific literacy, environmental stewardship and appreciation of humanity’s responsibility in sustaining the environment.

“The philosophical goal is to provide an environment where students are exposed to and use scientific methodology and in doing so experience a success in a high-intensity science program with the expectation that will translate into a desire to pursue a college career in the sciences. G-STEM provides a unique opportunity for these students to experience the career of a scientist,” MCCC Biology Associate Professor Dr. Davi Gonzales said.

In addition to the learning the basic concepts of scientific methodology, students learned about chemical concepts and data analysis. Each hands-on activity focused on environmental issues relevant to their community. At the conclusion of the program, the students displayed and shared their results using graphs, tables and Power Point programs with family, faculty and visitors.

For the past four years under the direction of Dr. Gonzales, MCCC has offered G-STEM to Pottstown area youth at no cost to the students, thanks to the generous funding of TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank.

Photo by  Diane Van Dyke
Students gather specimens in the Manatawny.
Participating Pottstown Middle School students included Kha’la Frazier, Tyler Carter, Lamar Green, Dazah Regusters, Rebecca Harper, Terrell Taylor-Williams, Shakayla Sergent, Shakeem Lynch, Floyd Dashieel, Payton Reid, Alexandria Olvera, Shanyia Johnson and Keirsten Hickey.

Students work directly with College faculty, including Dr. Gonzales, program director and recruiter, teacher assistant trainer and faculty; Geology Professor Robert Kuhlman; Microbiology Assistant Professor Dr. James Bretz; Chemistry Assistant Professor Dr. Janet Graden; Biology Lecturer Dr. Matt Bobiak; Biology Lecturer Dr. Adam Meacham; and Mathematics Instructor Stephanie Isaac. Teaching assistants included Kaitlyn DeJohn, Patrick Robenoet and Amy Shaw.

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation's mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made over $68.4 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The efforts of the Foundation are coordinated locally through TD Bank's community relations departments and are focused on the areas of affordable housing, education and financial literacy, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available atwww.TDBank.com.

The Montgomery County Community College Foundation is the designated tax-exempt, charitable arm of the College. The Foundation's purpose is to raise funds to assist the College in developing programs, facilities, and services to enhance and enrich student life and to maintain a tradition of educational excellence. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu/giving/about/default.aspx.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Joint Ward Meeting Thursday

This voting map from the Pottstown Borough web site shows that wards 7 and 6
comprise most of the eastern portion of the borough

Councilman Travis Gery and Councilman Joe Kirkland will host a joint ward meeting, for Wards 6 and 7, on Thursday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Ricketts Community Center, 658 Beech St.

"Pottstown officials will be represented from various departments," according to the flyer being circulated about the meeting.

"We are hosting these meetings to keep you informed of new developments, to talk directly to your councilman and officials, and to give you an opportunity to provide comments and suggestions and to voice your concerns," the two councilman wrote on their flyer.

If you are unsure of which ward is yours, consult the map above.

This is the first announced ward meeting held in either of these wards.

However, Councilwoman Sheryl Miller regularly holds ward meetings and ward clean-ups in Ward 3. The last one was Saturday.

She announces them at the end of every monthly council meeting.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Very Old Kids Clothing

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Pottsgrove Manor.

On Sundays in August, from 1 to 4 p.m., historic Pottsgrove Manor will offer a series of workshops, focusing on a different colonial textile art each week. 

Kids 8 to 12 years old can learn historical crafts and take home their creations in these fun sessions.

Aug. 3: Learn to Knit – In an era before elastic and modern stretch fabrics, knitting was the best way to create stretchy, fitted clothing and accessories. Textile artisan Zina Borys will instruct participants in the basics of knitting. Limit 5.

Aug. 10: Hand Quilting – Many textiles and items of clothing in the 18th century were quilted for warmth and fashion. Museum Educator Lynn Symborski will teach students the stitches and techniques of hand quilting. Limit 6.

Aug. 17: Bobbin Lace Snake Bookmark – Handmade lace was an expensive trim in the colonial era. Helen Seguin of the Liberty Lacers will teach the art of making bobbin lace, and students will create a fun snake-shaped bookmark. Limit 6.

Aug. 24: Tape Weaving – Woven tape had many uses in early America – from drawstrings to ties to bindings. Students will learn how to weave tape from Eleanor Bittle, “The Tape Lady.” If students want to continue at home, the cardboard tape looms they use in the workshop can be purchased afterward for an additional $15. Limit 10.

Aug. 31: Make a Leather Pouch – Prized for its durability, leather was made into items like shoes, hunting pouches, wallets, and even men’s breeches. A member of the Pottsgrove Manor staff will lead students in sewing a multipurpose leather pouch. Limit 6.

These workshops are open to children ages 8-12. 

There is a materials fee of $15 per child per workshop —or sign up for all five workshops for $65. 

Class sizes are limited; registration and payment is due one week prior to each workshop. A www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor.
registration form can be downloaded from Pottsgrove Manor’s website:

This program is being held in conjunction with Pottsgrove Manor’s current exhibit of both reproduction and original 18th Century garments, “To the Manor Worn: Clothing the 18th Century Household.” 

The exhibit can be toured during regular museum hours through Nov. 2: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Tours are given on the hour. 

The last tour of the day begins at 3 p.m. 

The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King St. near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422. 

Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. 

For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor

Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Senior Center Car Raffle Enters Final Month

The Honda Fit donated by Piazza Honda and being raffled to benefit the Pottstown Area Senior Center.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Pottstown Area Senior Center.

There is only one month remaining to get your tickets for the 18th annual Pottstown Area Seniors’ Center car raffle.

The grand prize drawing will be held on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m., and the grand prize winner will have their choice of a brand new Honda Fit or $15,000 cash. 

 In addition, there are six cash prizes from $250 to $50.

“This is a great way for the community to support the senior center,” said Brian Parkes, executive director. “And of course, one lucky person will walk away with a brand new car or $15,000 cash!”

Proceeds from the raffle will be used to support programs for seniors in the greater Pottstown area.  
The senior center offers nearly 40 programs and services each week – everything from exercise programs such as Yoga and Tai Chi, to a free daily nutritious lunch, to support groups, to card games, and much, much more. 

Additionally, a staff member is available to help seniors choose and access health care benefits, and fill out the often complicated forms.

“Nearly 1,500 seniors every year stop by the senior center, and many come on a daily basis,” said Parkes. “Many of our participants would be sitting home alone. Instead, they come to the senior center to see their friends, socialize, exercise, play games, and receive the help they need to remain living independently.”

Car raffle tickets are $10 each, or four for $30. 

Tickets may be purchased at the senior center at 288 Moser Road, Pottstown (the former Pottstown Health Club), from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, or at the Pottstown Wal-Mart on most weekends. 

The car is provided by Piazza Honda, and will be on display at the Pottstown Classics Car Club’s Nostalgia Night Car Show on Aug. 2.

The Pottstown Area Seniors’ Center serves adults age 50 and better with programs and services including information and referral assistance, a daily free lunch, exercise programs, social activities, and much more. 

The Mission of the Pottstown Area Seniors’ Center is to enhance the well-being of its members by providing services and activities that promote an independent and healthy life style. 

The Pottstown Area Seniors’ Center has more than 3,400 members, and anyone living in the tri-county area (Berks, Chester and Montgomery Counties) who is 50-plus years of age is welcome to join the senior center. Learn more at www.greaterpasc.com.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Day for the Dollar in Lower Pottsgrove

Photo by Evan Brandt

An artist's representation of what the Family Dollar store being propose for the vacant lot on the south side of High Street of Pleasantview Road would look like.

Another day another municipal meeting.

Thursday night it was the Lower Pottsgrove Township Commissioners who discussed topics ranging
from a proposal to put a Family Dollar store at the site of the former Rite Aid; to a new space-age coordinated system for controlling traffic lights throughout the greater Pottstown area; to discussing the Pottstown Regional Plibrary budget and appointing a new member of the township planning commission.

As always, I will remind readers to click the blue "read more" bar to make sure you see the Tweets.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's That Town Hall Time of Year

Two local state representatives are holding Town Hall meetings with constituents in the coming week.

-- State Rep. Warren Kampf, R-157th Dist., will hold his meeting on Wednesday, July 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of Phoenixville Area High School, 1200 Gay St. 

"The meeting will give me a chance to update everyone on the recent budget, education funding, the status of pension reform and other issues before the Legislature. It will also give me the opportunity to hear from the community and take back your concerns to Harrisburg," Kampf said in the e-mail he sent out announcing the event.

Call his district office at 610-251-2876 with any questions.

-- The next day, July 31, his peer from across the aisle, state Rep. Mark Painter, D-146th Dist., will hold two similar meetings at his office in Sanatoga.

Painter's meeting will focus on the 2014-15 state budget.

"This event will be an open conversation with anyone who cares to know more about how the commonwealth is spending their tax dollars. We will discuss how the new $29 billion budget impacts residents, businesses, school districts and local governments," said Painter in his e-mail.

Identical sessions will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Painter's office, 600 Heritage Drive, Suite 102, just off High Street in Sunnybrook Village next to Parma Pizza in Sanatoga.

A question-and-answer period will be included during both sessions.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling Painter's office at 610-326-9563.

Free light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Ultimate Event

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by In Ian's Boots

North Coventry Township, Cedarville Boy Scout Troop 95, Schuylkill Valley Sports and In Ian’s Boots, Inc. are proud to announce the Grand Opening of the Kenilworth Park Disc Golf Course on Saturday, July 26, 2014. 

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

The First Annual Kenilworth Classic Disc Golf Tournament will begin at 10:30 a.m. immediately following the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. 

Tournament Registration opens at 9 a.m. This will be the first tournament played at this great course and is expected to be an annual event. 

Registration fee includes a T-Shirt and a Tournament Souvenir Disc (Not for Tournament Play). All proceeds benefit In Ian’s Boots.

Tournament play is a two round, four person Scramble Format. 

Prizes will be awarded to the Top Team in each division (combined 2 round scores). 

Prize packages are courtesy of the Title Sponsor, Schuylkill Valley Sports.

There will be three Divisions:

• BEGINNER - Little to no experience. Never played in a tournament
• INTERMEDIATE - Under a year experience. Played in 1-3 tournaments
• PRO - Over a year experience and have played 4 or more tournaments

The cost is $85 per foursome or $25 per player. 

Registration and Information are online at www.kenilworthclassic.org

The Course was built by two Scouts from Troop 95 in Cedarville, Robert Girard and Tim LeGreca, as their Eagle Scout Projects.

Funding came from Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, Boy Scouts of America-Troop 95, North Coventry Township and a number of businesses and people that are permanent hole sponsors.

Also, the Kenilworth Kidz Classic, for children ages 5 and under, will be held courtesy of Premiere Sponsors: EPN Travel, Horizon Services, McGee Electric and Patient First. 

See how your little Super Stars can toss their discs into hula hoops! Registration for the Kenilworth Kidz Klassic is free and there will be prizes for all kids.

Beginning with breakfast, food will be provided by the Boyertown J-Walkers. 

All food proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. Cool off with some delicious ice cream provided by  Coventry Parlor at Laurel Locks.

The course is located in the hamlet of Kenilworth, and just east of Bellewood Golf Club and just west of Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant.

From Route 724, turn southwest/away from SR422 onto South Kiem Street, turn left onto Tyson Street, continue bearing left onto Scherfel Blvd and follow to parking lot.