ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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Conference Generates Ideas For Tackling Poverty In Reading

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present)

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fatherless families, a lack of jobs and school dropout rates contribute to poverty and local economic conditions, U.S. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts said Monday.

“Families with fathers and mothers are the best anti-poverty program,” said the Chester County Republican, whose district includes Reading. “Saying these simple things can land you in all kinds of trouble.”

He was speaking at a conference on economic inequality that he organized at Reading Area Community College.

In an interview afterward, Pitts listed some points raised during the four-hour event that he will pursue.

“We will come up with some projects,” Pitts said.

While some of the 75 political, business and nonprofit leaders who participated agreed with Pitts’ points, several made their own arguments for improving the economy in Reading, where the 2012 poverty rate of 40.5 percent made it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131210/NEWS/312109974/1052#.UqeN0fRDsxI

Many Shoppers Say No To Buying On Thanksgiving Day

You have to wonder what Norman Rockwell’s interpretation of Thanksgiving would be today. His classic 1943 Thanksgiving painting,“Freedom from Want,” which shows Ma placing a beautifully browned turkey down for Pa to carve, family members eagerly leaning in over the dinner table and grinning at one another, doesn’t seem complete anymore.

There are no digital devices to be seen, the family roles might be a little outdated and, of course, there isn’t an inset panel showing a son or a daughter stocking shelves or working the checkout line at Best Buy or The Gap, both of which are open on Thanksgiving Day this year.

In competition for your holiday spending dollars, retailers have pushed what has been known as Black Friday well into the day before — that is, Thanksgiving Day. Some find it an affront to Thanksgiving traditions. For others, it threatens what have become Black Friday family traditions, too.

Becka Pankowski, 42, of Fountain, Colo., is quitting her long-held Black Friday tradition altogether, saying she’s opposed to the Thanksgiving openings.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/lifestyle/20131125/many-shoppers-say-no-to-buying-on-thanksgiving-day

More To Make Trek To Grandma’s House

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine,...

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine, USA 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frank and Janet Sands usually celebrate Thanksgiving in the comfort of their Muhlenberg Township home, but this year will be different.

On Friday the couple boarded a plane to Arizona to spend the week relaxing with family and visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time.

“It will be warmer there, which is good for me,” Frank Sands said last week while picking up Arizona road maps from AAA of Reading-Berks, Wyomissing.

The Sandses are among the increasing number of Americans traveling for the holiday this year.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=429028

First Night Scranton Gears Up To Ring In 2012

First Night Scranton, the alcohol-free, family-friendly event will take place for the 13th year Saturday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. on Courthouse Square, offering an alternative to the traditional alcohol-soaked ideal of the holiday.

“There aren’t many options for families and younger people to do things on New Year’s Eve,” said Doug Smith, entertainment chair of this year’s event. “You can either go to a bar and there’s alcohol and all that stuff, or you just stay home and then you’re not going out to do anything. So it’s a great thing for families to do and for teenagers to be able to do on their own.”

First Night is a trademarked event held all over the country, promoting arts, culture and family activities. First Night Scranton was established in 1998 by Scranton Tomorrow and was turned over to the city in 2008. Now, it’s a nonprofit run by volunteers that relies on fundraising and corporate sponsors.

Read more: http://www.theweekender.com/cover/Old_times_not_forgotten_12-20-2011.html

Poverty Rate Climbing In Pennsylvania

Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 20...

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According to statistics released from the U.S. Census Bureau, families in Pennsylvania are worse off than they were 10 years ago.

Cumberland County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 6.2 percent in 1999 to 7.8 percent.

Dauphin County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 12 percent to 20 percent!

Lebanon County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 8.9 percent to 15.2 percent.

York County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 7.1 percent to 11.4 percent

Crawford County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 16.2 percent to 20.7 percent.

Erie County saw its poverty rate rise to 17.4 percent while the City of Erie’s poverty rate increased six percent to 30.2 percent and is the second-highest poverty rate in Pennsylvania.

The City of Reading has a poverty rate of 41.3 percent and comes in at numero uno!  Poverty rates for other major Pennsylvania cities are Allentown 27 percent, Philadelphia 26.7 percent, Pittsburgh 22.3 percent, 21.1 in Scranton and 20.9 in Bethlehem.

The poverty rate for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is 13.4 percent or more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians.  More than half a million people living in poverty are children under the age of 18!

These rates are higher for minority families.  For example, 45 percent of blacks and Hispanic families in Erie live under the poverty level.  The poverty rate is 25 percent for white residents.

The U.S.poverty rate hit a 17 year high of 15.1 percent.  46.2 million people in the United States were living below the poverty level in 2010.  The federal poverty level for a family of four is a yearly income of less than $22,314.

Pittsburgh PA Ranks In Top 10 Best Cities For Babies

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Pennsylvania’s second city and only city on the list was Pittsburgh.  Facing stiff competition from Phoenix, Portland and Boston; Pittsburgh pulled out a number four ranking for Best City To Raise A Baby in the USA.   

The survey was found in Parents Magazine and was based on the following criteria: Child Care, Family Safety, Fun For You And Baby, Infant Health and Money Matters.  Pittsburgh achieved a number four ranking by getting no less than a B in any category!   

“Pediatric experts and mommy bloggers helped us determine 35 important factors for young families to consider when moving with baby. If info wasn’t readily available, we dug it up, calculating what your taxes will be, the odds of having a sex offender on your block, even the number of baby swings in the parks. We gave the 100 biggest U.S. cities a letter grade in five categories….”   

To view the survey click here http://www.parents.com/parenting/money/buy-a-house/the-10-best-cities-for-babies/?page=2