Saturday, October 3, 2015

Finding a Path Toward a Better Future

It’s time to talk again.

PEAK, also known as Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness, will once again be holding a series of open community meetings to talk about children’s success in schools.

The first will be held Monday, Oct. 5 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at CCLU/First Baptist Church at the corner of King & Charlotte streets. A second will also be on Monday, at 5:30 p.m. at Pottstown Middle School.

The third will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 5:30 p.m. at Barth Elementary School. The last will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 at YWCA Tri-County Area on King Street.

The meetings are meant to highlight particular challenges facing Pottstown children in a search for ways to overcome those challenges.

In terms of one particular challenge, Spanish language interpreters will be available.

In terms of another challenge — one local church has plans to help and is hoping to convince others to do the same.

Bethel Community Church Pastor Vernon Ross had pledged his church’s multi-seat van to help transport families to these meetings.

“I can see this having a huge impact of the future success of the Pottstown School District from an academic performance, behavior, and socialization perspective. I believe it could even reduce racial bias and other related cultural issues,” Ross wrote to The Mercury about his church’s involvement.

“My objective in this endeavor is to promote the effort among community residents/parents and the faith communities so I’m asking all religious leaders to share this information with their respective congregations and to encourage parents to get their kids involved,” Ross wrote, adding, “we also need the churches to provide transportation where needed by leveraging church vans.”

The meetings are the result of a $1.2 million three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation aimed at getting parents more involved in their children’s education.

“This time the focus will be on the new school year and how your child is doing,” Jane Bennett, PEAK Community Engagement Coordinator wrote in an e-mail.

Food, raffle prizes and child care will provided, along with some extra fun for the children. The Pottstown Regional Public Library will be conduct a story time and, in addition, during the talks at the Pottstown Middle School and Barth Elementary a sing/dance party is planned.

For more info, contact Bennett, at 610-256-6370, or visit”

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