Wednesday, February 2, 2022

PHS Students Get 'Instant Decisions' From Colleges

Photos from Pottstown School District
A Pottstown High School student talks with a representative of Alvernia University during Instant Decision Day.

Blogger's Note:
The following was provided by the Pottstown School District.

Pottstown High School seniors found out, when your school district's mission is to prepare each student, by name, for success, being accepted to college may only take an instant. 
Enam Robinson is getting a 'full ride' to
attend Cheyney University

Recently admissions counselors from 28 colleges were on hand at Pottstown High School to take part in Instant Decision Day. 

The event was organized by the high school College and Career Counselor Susan Pritt. 

Counselors met one on one with seniors to discuss their application and transcript for admission. 

Over 110 acceptances were awarded to students, including full financial scholarships to Cheyney University for Enam Robinson and Kennedy Cole to Lincoln University. 

Members of the junior class also had the opportunity to meet with the counselors and discuss how to best prepare for the college admission process next year. 

Pritt said "this is a proud moment for our students to see their hard work paying off. Being able to bring all these schools together with our students and take some of the stress out of the acceptance process is a relief to students and parents and gives us another reason to say, proud to be from Pottstown."

Kennedy Cole is getting a 'full ride' to
attend Lincoln University

The colleges in attendance were: 
  • Alvernia University, 
  • Arcadia University, 
  • Bloomsburg University, 
  • Clarion University, 
  • Cheyney University, 
  • Cedar Crest College, 
  • Delaware State University, 
  • Delaware Valley University, 
  • Eastern University, 
  • East Stroudsburg University, 
  • Elizabethtown University, 
  • Harcum College, 
  • Harrisburg University, 
  • Immaculata University, 
  • Kutztown University, 
  • Lebanon Valley University, 
  • Lincoln University, 
  • Lock Haven University, 
  • Manor College, 
  • Mansfield University, 
  • Millersville University, 
  • Montgomery County Community College, 
  • Moravian University, 
  • Neumann University, 
  • Penn College of Technology, 
  • Shippensburg University, 
  • St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing, 
  • Temple University, 
  • Widener University.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

With 'Disenchanted,' These Princesses Have had It!

 Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Steel River Playhouse.

Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ’em?! 

Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in this hilarious adult musical that’s anything but Grimm. 

The original storybook heroines are none-too-happy with the way they’ve been portrayed in today’s pop culture so they’ve tossed their tiaras and have come to life to set the record straight. 

Hear how they really feel as Steel River Playhouse presents the musical Disenchanted! opening on Feb. 4 and running through Feb. 20.

Forget the princesses you think you know – these royal renegades are here to comically belt out the truth.
Written by Dennis T. Giancino and directed by Alicia Brisbois this show from Broadway Licensing is sure to leave you laughing. 

The cast features Alicia Huppman as Snow White, Liana Henrie as Cinderella, Ren Dougherty as Sleeping Beauty, Alessandra Fanelli as Belle, Taylor Patullo as The Little Mermaid, Nicole Napolitano as Rapunzel, Christina Concilio as Hua Mulan/Pocahontas/Princess Badroulbador and Kena Butts as
The Princess That Kissed The Frog. 

Adult language, themes and content make this a show decidedly not for children.

“It’s our pleasure to bring our favorite princesses’ truths to the stage," said Managing Director Rita Pederson.

So, book your babysitters, grab your dates, sisters and girlfriends and buy tickets for this show.

The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.. In addition there will be special Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12 and Feb. 19. 

Tickets are $29 for adults, $24 for Seniors 65+, and $17 for students. 

Tickets may be purchased online via the link at, or by calling the box office at

For more information about volunteer opportunities or other questions email 

Friday, December 31, 2021

GOP's Fair Funding Defense Reveals its Classism

At first, I wasn't sure I had read it right. 

“What use would a carpenter have for biology?” 

The question had been asked by a lawyer named John Krill. He had asked it of Matthew Splain, the superintendent of the rural Otto-Eldred School District in McKean County.

Splain is also the president of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools, which is one of the plaintiffs in a much-watched case being now being argued in a Harrisburg courtroom.

In their lawsuit, Splain and his fellow plaintiffs assert that the Keystone State's ridiculously unfair system for funding public education is not only, well, ridiculously unfair, but also a violation of the state Constitution.

That Pennsylvania's school funding system is unfair was established right after the ironically named "fair funding formula" was adopted and immediately ignored for all but new school funding, meaning poorer districts, like Pottstown, get far less in state funding than the formula says they are entitled to receive.

As we've written in this space before, Pottstown gets $13 million less every year from the state than the formula says it should to put it s students on an even playing field with those in wealthier districts. 

Although the formula's money is still missing, the creation of that formula provided the basis for an apples-to-apples -- or rather a student-to-student -- comparison of school funding. And that's where the Constitution comes in.

The Pennsylvania Constitution includes a clause requiring that the state provide a "thorough and efficient" system of public education. 

Our state, ranked near the bottom on the national list of fair public education funding, is trapped in a system that relies heavily on property taxes, meaning wealthy school districts have more money to spend on education.

It means a lot of other things too -- like the state's elected officials get to hoard money and boast they haven't raised state taxes and then turn around and blame state-mandate-burdened school districts for local tax hikes.

It also means poorer districts-- often with  higher minority populations, which struggle to provide resources to students already starting school with all the disadvantages poverty imposes -- must then tax their lower-income communities at a higher rate just to provide basics.

All too often, extras like well-equipped athletic facilities, advanced placement courses or even adequate bathrooms are beyond their budgets.

The racial injustice embedded in this ongoing theft of student potential is so pronounced that POWER In Faith, a faith-based advocacy group fighting for fair funding, calls it, accurately, "educational apartheid."

So one might expect that the lawyer defending the system wedged in gridlock by the General Assembly's Republican majority would not be so tone deaf as to suggest that poorer students have no need of an adequate education.

Krill's question evoked the kind of whiny question we all used to hear asked in middle school: "Why do I need to know when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed?" or "When are we ever going to use algebra in the real world?"

Not to be outdone by petulant middle schoolers, Krill took their complaint to the highest levels of Pennsylvania jurisprudence and asked Splain to explain "what use would someone on the McDonald's career track have for algebra 1?"

After doubling down, to my amazement, he went for the tri-fecta.

“Lest we forget, the Commonwealth has many needs," Krill said. "There’s a need for retail workers, for people who know how to flip a pizza crust.”

First, join me in resisting the temptation to remark on the inevitably irony of a highly paid lawyer presenting himself as an expert on what working class folks need to know thinking that pizzas get flipped.

Our time together is short, so let's move on to the more disturbing implications of what Krill is saying.

It would seem that rather than argue that Pennsylvania does in fact provide the "thorough and efficient system of education" the Constitution requires, Krill, who represents Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-34th Dist., is essentially arguing "who cares if it doesn't? So what?"

There's a disturbing kind of circular logic at work here: "Why should we spend money making education funding equitable when our failure to do so will ensure you'll never need it?"

He might as well argue "why should Pennsylvania help feed low-income families when they're already starving their kids?"


Let's forget for a moment that this is a country where children are told "you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. You could be president if you want." Because now, John Krill has already decided that kid's going to end up "flipping pizzas," whatever the hell that's supposed to be.

Let's forget for a moment that Thomas Jefferson believed "That talent and virtue, needed in a free society, should be educated regardless of wealth, birth or other accidental condition; That other children of the poor must thus be educated at common expence."

Let's forget for a moment that John Adams believed "The education here intended is not merely that of the children of the rich and noble, but of every rank and class of people, down to the lowest and the poorest. It is not too much to say that schools for the education of all should be placed at convenient distances, and maintained at the public expense."

And let's forget for a moment that the prescient lawyer who argues poor kids can't succeed and don't need to learn stuff represents a public official who was first elected to his seat in 1998 -- no doubt entirely on merit -- only after daddy Corman retired from it; a true self-made man.

Let us never forget, however, that the courtroom defense the Republican majority selected to defend its policy of failing to follow the dictates of the nation's founders; of refusing to provide equity to poorer, darker-skinned schools; of failing to fund its own fair funding formula is quite simply that "some kids aren't worth it, and mostly, they're poor and Black."

The privilege-infused arrogance of that kind of thinking as a defense of a public policy that undermines the core of the American Dream -- that every child has an equal chance to succeed -- before they can even get up on their feet is not only morally repugnant, but destined to cost more than actually funding education fairly ever would.

After all, the classroom-to-prison-cell pipeline we have now in Pennsylvania continues to cost millions more than a classroom-to-successful-citizen pipeline ever would.

Just ask Benjamin Franklin: "general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented than cured."

Thankfully, since old Ben isn't around to ask, we have Margie Wakelin, a lawyer for the Education Law Center representing the plaintiffs, who was on hand to follow up with Splain.

She asked why it might be useful to America to have a future "pizza flipper" know algebra or a future carpenter know biology.

Sadly, Splain had to spell out what Krill can't seem to understand: “We obviously can’t predict what our students will have interest in,” or what careers they might pursue, he said.

Further, giving a timely example of the founders' belief that having well-educated, well-informed citizens makes for a more stable Republic, Splain agreed with Wakelin that it's best "for a retail worker 'to understand basic biology of viruses during a global pandemic' — to decide whether to get a vaccine, what steps to take to keep a business open, or to send children to school for in-person learning," as The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Of course, a well-educated, well-informed citizenry in all walks of life capable of critical thinking is the lifeblood of a Republic and necessary for a society whose system of government requires voters to be able to see through the kind of venomous bullshit Jake Corman's lawyer was spewing in that courtroom.

And who could be against that? 

Certainly not the party that values children growing up with the ability to be self-made, to "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps" and to lift themselves out of poverty....

So yeah, I guess I did read it right after all.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

New Event Sunday at Pottsgrove Manor: Frost Fair

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

Explore the history of the holidays at Pottsgrove Manor on Sunday, Dece. 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The 18th Century Holiday Frost Fair is a new program that invites the public to immerse themselves in an 18th century style market fair, complete with vendors, demonstrations, and games. Visitors can also explore handmade goods and seasonal crafts from local artisans at the holiday market. This event has a suggested $2 donation per person.

Gather the whole family and dress for the weather to start a new holiday tradition at Pottsgrove Manor’s Frost Fair. 

Learn about gingerbread recipes from the past and see how it was baked at the Bake Oven. Follow the sound of laughter and music to engage with Tucker’s Tales Puppet Theater, and play a fair game to win a prize at one of the three game booths. 

Explore what merchants in the 18th century sold, such as historic art made by At the Sign of the Black Bear alongside woodworking and weaving at Stone House History. Stop over at the hot chocolate tent for a sample of this historic drink, then laugh and make new friends at the tavern. 

Discover the history of Twelfth Night celebrations from the 1750s as the first floor of Pottsgrove Manor will be open for self-guided tours. Hearth cooking in the reproduction kitchen will highlight some of the favorite seasonal treats that you may want to include at your holiday table.

After dark, the interior of the house will be lit by candles.

Find a unique gift for everyone on your list from local artisans, set up in the holiday market. From ornaments to jewelry, pottery, and much more, there is something special at every stall. Hot food and sweet treats complete the day, but the memories of Frost Fair will last all season long.

Frost Fair is an outdoor, weather dependent event. Free parking and complimentary shuttle service will be available at Memorial Park. Follow signs for parking. 

Pottsgrove Manor is following all updated CDC guidelines for the mitigation of COVID-19 at the facility including appropriate mask wearing, social distancing, and capacity limits. All visitors must follow these guidelines.


Pottsgrove Manor exemplifies the restrained elegance of early Georgian architecture popular with wealthy English gentry during the mid-18th-century. Built in 1752 for John Potts, ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, the mansion was situated on a nearly 1,000 acre plantation, which by 1762 included the town of “Pottsgrove.”

As a successful ironmaster and merchant, John Potts, was appointed Justice of the Peace and Judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. He was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly from both Berks and Philadelphia Counties.

Although only four acres of original property remain today, Pottsgrove Manor has lost none of its original charm and architectural beauty. The sandstone exterior, elegant interior and fine furnishings reflect the eminence that the Potts family had attained before selling the property in 1783. The mansion has been restored to recreate the lifestyle and times of the Potts family. Pottsgrove Manor is open year-round for guided tours, as well as public programs, school tours, lectures, and workshops. A museum shop on site offers a wide selection of 18th century reproduction items, books, toys, and more.

Pottsgrove Manor is following all state and local guidelines for the mitigation of COVID-19 at the facility. Masks are required for all visitors indoors and recommended for unvaccinated individuals outdoors.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Str. in Pottstown. 

Pottsgrove Manor is operated by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites. For more information, please call (610) 326-4014 or visit Members of the public can also like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook or follow us on Instagram for updates.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Holiday Luminaria at Schuylkill Canal Saturday

Blogger's Note:
The following was provided by the Schuylkill Canal Association.

The 2021 Holiday Luminaria will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m..

This magnificent holiday light show will be held along the Schuylkill Canal up to Lock 60 and the Locktender’s House in Mont Clare.

Come to enjoy the entire evening or just to see the beautiful candle light reflect along the canal and towpath. Limited parking is available at Lock 60, luminaries will light the way to the Locktender’s House.

The accosication will be hosting an outdoor event this year and will have warm beverages and snacks available.

Holiday music will be provided by the string duo, Meadowlark. Santa will not be there but he will be dropping off some gift bags for the children.

The outside of the Locktender's House will be decorated for the holiday.

No admission fee is charged however donations will be gladly accepted. Only a steady downpour of rain cancels the event. The site address is 400 Towpath Road, Mont Clare, PA 19453.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Pottstown Music Concerts Held Thursday


Blogger's Note: The following was submitted by the Pottstown School District.

The public is invited to enjoy a night of free holiday music Friday night. 

The Pottstown School District Band Concert, featuring all district bands, will be held on Thursday Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the high school Davenport Auditorium. 

Hear holiday music from the 5-6, 7-8, and high school bands. 

The concert is sponsored by P Schools Music Association. 

Light refreshments will be available. 

Masks are required.

There will be no paper program handed out, but you can view it using a QR code.

Click this link to view it:

Friday, December 3, 2021

Ricketts Center to Host Holiday Story Reading Dec. 7

Blogger's Note: This post was submitted by Hearts of Humanity.

This event is designed to bring the Pottstown Library to the children and make the holiday season come alive through storytelling and imagery. 

Hearts of Humanity CDC has partnered with STRIVE and Friends of The Library to make the magic of the holidays and the loving spirit resonate even more with the children, as there are so many in need at this time. 

The event will be hosted on ZOOM as well, so that senior citizens can watch the event from the safety of their homes and listen to the stories, as well. 

The ZOOM information has been shared with the HUD Housing Director of the retirement towers on High Street across from the library. 

Holiday books and holiday book markers will be distributed as giveaways at The Ricketts for the event. 

Please join us and celebrate Pottstown and it's youth on Tuesday, Dec 7th from 4-5:30 pm for a wonderful Storytelling Time.