Free Summer Programs At ArtFusion 19464

POTTSTOWN, PA – In addition to their regular class schedule, ArtFusion is very proud to offer three free programs during their summer session of classes. All three porgrams are sponsored by The Greater Pottstown Foundation. For kids ages 8-12, Art Academy is a general arts exploration class where students work with many different mediums. Clay Academy teaches students how to create with clay. Teen Clay Academy will challenge teens 13-17 to design and create an amazing self-directed project in clay.

The application deadline for all three programs is June 3, 2016. Applications can be downloaded at artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/. Interested parents can also stop by 254 E. High St. to pick up a paper copy.  Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis. While ArtFusion encourages everyone who is interested to apply, those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch and those who have not attended a free program before will be given priority.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

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Speech Communication Students Hone Skills While Helping Others

SPC 110 studentsPottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Speech Communication students at the West Campus have taken their interpersonal team-building skills outside of the classroom as part of a variety of community service projects.

Instructor Meredith Frank began the community service projects in her Speech Communication 110 sections in the spring semester to meet the new civic engagement component of the course. Each class was broken into teams and tasked with creating a proposal for a community service project, outlining the specifics and how their team would work together to complete it.

“They started [by] figuring out how to solve a problem,” Frank said. “Then they gave a speech to persuade. Then they do the service, and then present it again.”

Some speeches were so persuasive – particularly a team leading an MCCC campus beautification project – that other students donated their time or money to help.

Devising a community service project that students are “passionate” about is key.

“Pick something that you’re really passionate about,” Frank said. “From there, find that passion and find an organization that’s either at Montco or close to it.”

Tayla Haulcy-Clark said her group focused on the environment and planted flowers around South Hall at MCCC’s West Campus. Her group also added more colorful flowers to a 9/11 memorial and spruced up plantings in a flowerbed honoring biology professor Marie Richard-Yates, who died in 2009.

“We were trying to figure out – how can we get our hands dirty and really be involved?”

Haulcy-Clark, a MCCC sophomore studying communication, said the assignment allowed her to get to know her peers better.

“It gave our whole entire class a sense of community within the class,” she said. “It kind of made us more of a family. It’s a great idea to take ourselves out of ourselves and view things differently.”

Team leader Taylor DiLanzo and her group took on a candy-selling fundraiser to benefit the Cancer Center at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. The group set up a table outside of the West End Café in South Hall, as well as at Earth Day and Spring Fling activities, raising more than $500.

While candy is admittedly “easy to sell,” said DiLanzo, a general studies student and aspiring nurse, it can be difficult to get the attention of would-be buyers.

“You have to get creative,” she said, adding that the team played music the first day and used colorful bins during other sales. “It kind of draws people’s attention.”

DiLanzo said the project has taught her how to work with different types of people. And, most importantly, “if you want to be successful, you have to put yourself out there.”

MCCC Accounting Students Prepare Tax Returns Through VITA Program

ACCOUNTING GROUP: Montgomery County Community College students volunteer their time to prepare taxes at the Montgomery County Community Action Development Commission (CADCOM) VITA site in Norristown. Pictured (from left) are students Chenyang “Julia” Zhang, Yi “Joy” Zhao, Accounting Instructor Rita Meyhew, students Jinman “Jean” Li, Jingxu Zhu and Amanda Zhou. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Norristown, PA — A group of Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) accounting students are gaining real-world experience preparing federal and state income tax returns for lower income households.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, eight MCCC students, along with Rita Mayhew, an Accounting instructor and the faculty advisor to the student Accounting Club, have been volunteering their time at the Montgomery County Community Action Development Commission (CADCOM) office in Norristown. Since February, five students join Mayhew every Saturday for three hours. Their services will continue through April 15.

“I’m extremely proud of the effort that they’ve put into this,” Mayhew said. “They learned the software. They’re talking to the clients. They have gained a lot of confidence.”

MCCC’s accounting faculty added a curriculum requirement that five percent of a student’s grade is based on successful VITA certification. Faculty do not mandate that students volunteer. However, doing so provides students with real-world learning to reinforce and build upon what’s taught in the classroom.

“Besides learning, they’ve had tax courses, but until you actually do the work and put it into practice, maybe it doesn’t all gel,” Mayhew said. “This group in particular, they’re just very focused on learning.”

For some MCCC student volunteers, including Jinman “Jean” Li, English is their second language. For Li, a Business Administration student who plans to major in Accounting, the tax return process was unfamiliar. In her native China, tax returns are not filed.

Li said she is excited about the opportunity to gain more accounting knowledge.

“I can help people and I also can get some experience,” she said. “I just feel so happy.”

Ken Haubert, CADCOM’s director of asset development, echoed those sentiments.

“They are the best there is,” Haubert said of MCCC student volunteers and their dedication. “This is our best year by far, in our partnership with the community college, thanks to Rita.”

In all, Mayhew estimates that students will have completed 200 tax returns – or possibly more – through tax season.

Last year, 1,565 total tax returns were filed through CADCOM’s VITA program, according to Haubert. This year, with more volunteers, particularly from MCCC, Haubert anticipates even more returns being completed.

In order to qualify for VITA tax preparation services, households cannot make more than $54,000. Last year’s average income for those served at CADCOM VITA sites was $19,600, according to Haubert. The free service saved clients $352,000 in tax preparation fees last year.  This, when added to refunds of $2,626,325, generated a total community economic impact of $4,175,855 at CADCOM VITA sites alone, he said. 

Haubert said student volunteers not only benefit his program, but the community and the students as well.

“They are dealing with personalities of clients,” Haubert said. “You have to use your tact and your interpersonal skills to make them feel comfortable.

In the end, he said, students gain “real life experiences.”

VITA services are available at multiple locations throughout Montgomery County. To find the location closest to you, dial 2-1-1 from your telephone and follow the prompts. To schedule an appointment at CADCOM’s Norristown location, clients may also call 610-277-6363 ext. 115.

$5 RUSH Tickets! Film Festival At DeSales‏

Act 1 DeSales University presents

2016 Film Festival


FRIDAY,
April 1, 2016 | 8:00 pm
Gambet Center
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
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The 16th annual DeSales Film Festival is a student-run festival that seeks to cultivate and honor future filmmakers. This wildly popular film festival is dedicated to nurturing a community of student filmmakers and serves as a means to showcase their work. Featuring a wide variety of genre, the film festival showcases short films, documentaries, music videos, dance-on-camera pieces and animation works conceived, written, directed and edited by our talented TV/Film majors. This is often the students’ first chance to premiere their films before a live audience. On the final evening, the “Audience Favorite,” “Honorable Mention” and “Best of show” winners will be announced.

Join us for an inspiration, provocative and entertaining evening of cinema!

Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office

Please Note:
** Rush Tickets are available for General Admission only.

** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $7.50)

**Not valid with any other offer.

For additional information, please visit Act 1, DeSales University’s Website or call: 610-282-1100.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.org | www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

Get To Know Montgomery County Community College At Spring Open Houses‏

Montgomery County, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will hold three open houses this spring to provide prospective students and the community with information about the College’s programs, campuses and activities. The open houses are free of charge and are open to the public. For more information and to pre-register, visit http://www.mc3.edu/openhouse, call 215-641-6551 or email admissions@mc3.edu.

The College’s Central Campus, located at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, will host an open house on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m.-noon in Parkhouse Hall. The open house is held in conjunction with the 16th Annual Montgomery County Wellness Expo, which runs from 9 a.m.-noon in College Hall. Admission to the expo is free and will include presentations, giveaways and free and low cost screenings. For information on the Wellness Expo, call 484-622-0200 or visit http://www.einstein.edu.

The College’s West Campus, located at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, will host an open house on Thursday, April 14, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. in the South Hall Community Room.

Both the Central and West Campus open houses will provide prospective students and their families with information about MCCC’s credit and non-credit programs. Admissions representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process, transfer opportunities, the Virtual Campus, financial aid and intercollegiate athletics, among other topics. In addition members of the College’s faculty will share information on the 100+ associate degree and certificate programs that are part of a comprehensive curriculum.

The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College will also host an open house on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m.-noon at its facility in the Towamencin Town Square complex, located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale, Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the kitchens and classrooms while learning about MCCC’s Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts and Hospitality associate degree programs, as well as its Culinary Enthusiast and other non-credit offerings. Student Success Center advisors will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process and financial aid, among other topics.

In addition to the three spring open houses, MCCC will host specialized Dual Enrollment Information Nights for high school students and their parents on Wednesday, April 20 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Central Campus in Blue Bell and on Thursday, April 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the West Campus in Pottstown. During the sessions, participants will learn about opportunities to earn college credits while in high school.

To learn more about all that Montgomery County Community College has to offer, visit http://www:mc3.edu online.

The Harlem Wizards Are Coming To Pottstown

SAVE THE DATE!

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015
GAME @ 6:30 P.M.

The Foundation for Pottstown Education is hosting a fundraising event in the Strom Gymnasium at Pottstown High School on Friday, March 27, 2015.  The HARLEM WIZARDS Basketball Team is coming to town!

Members of our staff, alumni and students are being recruited to play against the Wizards.  There will be plenty of fun, food, and prizes!

The elementary school that sells the most tickets to the event (over 200) will receive $1,000 from the Foundation! Either the Middle School or High School will receive $1,500 from the Foundation for selling the most tickets (over 250)! The checks for the winning two schools will be presented on Friday, March 27 at the game!

Please click on the links below to see what the evening will be like.  Schools from Ohio, Red Lion, PA, and Ardmore, Pa are represented.

We will have food trucks as well as food sold at the concession stand.  Come and eat your dinner and then enjoy the game!

We hope to see you there!

PURCHASE TICKETS!

Get To Know Montgomery County Community College At Spring Open Houses

Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College will hold three open houses this spring to provide prospective students and the community with information about the College’s programs, campuses and activities. The open houses are free of charge and are open to the public. For more information or to pre-register, visit mc3.edu/openhouse or call 215-641-6551.

The College’s Central Campus, located at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, will hold its open house on Saturday, March 28 in conjunction with the Montgomery County Wellness Expo. The open house runs from 10 a.m.-noon in Parkhouse Hall, while the Wellness Expo runs from 9 a.m.-noon in the lower lervel of College Hall.

Presented by Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, Blue Bell Rotary and Montgomery County Community College, the annual Wellness Expo offers free screenings, educational information, presentations and giveaways throughout the day. Health Checks—including reduced cost 26-panel blood screening; Ultra C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Homocysteine test; and Prostate-Specific Antigen test—will be offered from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on a first come, first served basis. To pre-register for Health Checks or for more information about the Wellness Expo, visit advance.einstein.edu or call 484-622-0200.

The College’s West Campus, located at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, will hold its open house on Thursday, April 16, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Gallery in North Hall.

The College’s Culinary Arts Institute, located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale, will hold its open house on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m.-noon in conjunction with the final round of its student Iron Chef Competition. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the College’s students in action; tour the kitchens and classrooms; and learn about MCCC’s Culinary Arts and Pastry and Baking Arts associate degree programs, as well as its Culinary Enthusiast and Junior Chef classes.

All three open houses will provide prospective students and their families with information about MCCC’s credit and non-credit programs. Admissions representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process, transfer opportunities, e-Learning, financial aid and intercollegiate athletics, among other topics. In addition, faculty representatives will be available to discuss the 100+ associate degree and certificate programs that are part of the College’s comprehensive curriculum.

To learn more about all that Montgomery County Community College has to offer, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

With No State Oversight, Local Districts Set Their Own Communication Policies

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Luzerne County authorities last winter charged three school district employees with having sex with students.

A county jury last Wednesday acquitted one of them — suspended Hanover Area School District teacher Edward Evans. The other two face trial on charges they had sex with students.

After the Evans trial concluded, jury foreman Jeffrey Lotz said the jury couldn’t definitively determine if Evans had sex with an 18-year-old student, but he said Evans put himself in a bad position by taking the student into his bedroom. Evans admitted he picked the student up and took him back to his house to go over pamphlets on sexually transmitted diseases.

School districts can set their own policies on contact and communication between teachers and students outside of school. With no official state oversight of out-of-class communication, policies vary by school district.

Read more:http://citizensvoice.com/news/with-no-state-oversight-local-districts-set-their-own-communication-policies-1.1730161

Operation Backpack 5K, And 1 Mile Walk

The 5th Annual Operation Backpack 5K takes place on the Schuylkill River Trail, a flat, fast, and scenic rail-to-trail course in Pottstown, PA.

Cash Prize will be given to the top Male and Female Runner. Medals will be given by gender and age group. The course is fast, so it is not unusual to have many personal bests on race day. The event is a great race for competitive runners, and beginners, as well as walkers, both in the 5K and 1 mile. This year walkers will carry a backpack full of food across the finish line.

The event benefits Operation Backpack (or OBP for short). OBP provides food to students in the Pottstown Community whom would go without over the weekend. We work to help homeless and hungry students succeed by addressing the issue of childhood hunger.

Event schedule and times

WHEN? SATURDAY, May 10th @ 9:00am

WHERERiverfront Park, 140 College Dr. Pottstown, PA 19464

Registration:$25.00 Runner/ $20.00 Walkers

Check-infrom 8:00am – 8:55am

Register by May 2nd to get a FREE T-Shirt!!

Registration after May 2nd$30.00 Runner/ $25.00 Walkers

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Reading Teen Lied About Fight Details, Police Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

A 17-year-old Reading boy who told police he was attacked by a crowd of youths and nearly hit with a hammer during an after-school melee last week lied about the incident, according to city detectives.

The youth was at least truthful about one part of his story: He was surrounded in City Park by a large group of youths, some of whom carried wooden boards. A video that someone posted to YouTube, however, clearly showed that the crowd was actually cheering on him and another youth as they squared off and then fought, said Sgt. John M. Solecki of the criminal investigations division.

The boy had told officers who arrived and found him bloodied on the ground with an injured left shoulder that he entered the crowd to find his cousin, only to be pulled down, punched and kicked.

“As city police investigated, video footage was found that showed he and another youth were the initial combatants in a mutually agreed-upon fistfight, and during the fistfight he injured his shoulder,” Solecki said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=465325

New Free Program At ArtFusion 19464

cropped-picture-578.jpg

Local young artists will soon get a chance to expand their drawing skills while learning about a new language. Drawing with Hebrew Letters, sponsored by Sager and Sager and The Jewish Women’s League of Congregation Mercy and Truth, will introduce students to drawing using a creative language of letters and shapes.  The graphic quality of the Hebrew alphabet is the perfect inspiration for teaching language through art.  Students will create with ink, paper and color, learning to express with their hands what their imaginations see.

This free program is open to artists of all faiths.  No prior drawing experience or knowledge of the language is required, just a desire to learn and create. Applications can be picked up at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location or downloaded from their website at artfusion19464.org.  Applications are due by March 31.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center.  The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Rutgers Students Pay It Forward On The Mean Streets Of North Camden

Camden

Image via Wikipedia

A joint effort between Rutgers University students, the Camden District Council Collaborative Board and Angel Osorio, community justice director in the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is aimed at cleaning up and improving pubic safety in one of Camden’s most notorious neighborhoods. 

North Camden is a crime-ridden neighborhood that needs a lot of help.  Rutgers students have enrolled themselves in a class to replace burnt out street lights, remove graffiti and clean up 23 alleys.  This is not a class for the faint of heart.  Checking the street lights means driving around one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the county looking for burnt out street lights, in the dark.

In a twelve block area, 16 out of 47 street lights were out.  Lighting up Camden will reduce crime.  PSE&G is notified of the broken lights and tries to fix them as quickly as possible.  The lighting project also includes finding funding so that residents can install and pay for porch lights (Fifth Ward Councilor Dan Weand has suggested this very idea for Pottstown).  Unfortunately in Camden, street lights are vandalized according to PSE&G.

This class came about as a result of Rutgers officials working with community members who are trying to carry out the North Camden Neighborhood Plan.  The class’s instructor, Lt. Daniel Howard, is a 24-year veteran of the Mount Laurel police department.  Rutgers-Camden’s new chancellor, Wendell Pritchett, wants his campus to be a national model for a civically engaged university.

Rutgers new director of civic engagement, Andrew Seligshon stated Rutgers sees itself as an anchor institution in Camden.  The university wants to attract good students and faculty members.  North Camden residents want a safer, more attractive neighborhood and better schools.  By partnering together, everybody wins! 

I wish I had more than two thumbs to put up!  Talk about teaching social responsibility!  Awesome program and kudos to all involved.

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Becomes A Destination – Kings And Wilkes Play Large Roll

Location of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropol...

Image via Wikipedia

In 2001, downtown Wilkes-Barre hit bottom.  There was no reason to go there and the merchants who remained wanted out.  Kings College and Wilkes University tried to keep students on campus and played down their downtown Wilkes-Barre locations.  Now, on the verge of 2011, things are reversed.  Businesses are relocating downtown, Wilkes and Kings proudly show prospective students downtown Wilkes-Barre and the downtown is now viewed as a “destination” by Wyoming Valley residents.

How did this miraculous transformation occur?  Four community meetings were held which drew 1,000 people.  These meetings spawned Diamond City Partnership, a public-private alliance for downtown revitalization http://www.wbdcp.com/about.htm.  After years of hard work and “seed planting” center city Wilkes-Barre is “the place to be” again.

King’s College and Wilkes University have invested over $30 million dollars in downtown Wilkes-Barre by expanding and renovating their campuses.  There are 6,500 students between both schools.  With the abundance of clubs, bars, restaurants, stores, coffee shops, the Kirby Center and a 14-screen Cineplex, downtown Wilkes-Barre is a draw for students and residents alike.  This renaissance is helping the recruitment efforts of both colleges and is attracting new downtown residents who are looking for city-living in a “walk to everything” environment.  More residents downtown will help spur more economic development.

I think this line sums it up.  A visitor at the Kirby Center was overheard saying “Wilkes-Barre?” “Who knew?”