Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness (PEAK)
Daycares are provided at many non-profit organizations and local churches in the area and the Pottstown community is nationally recognized for Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness(PEAK). The mission of PEAK is that “Every child in Pottstown will enter kindergarten ready to learn and achieve.”
Their five key strategy areas include: community outreach, family engagement, quality improvement, health/wellness, and kindergarten transition.
The initiative was created to improve the readiness of children entering kindergarten and also engage and impact the families of young children. With hopes of bringing a positive change to the Pottstown area, and the lives of the students of tomorrow, PEAK has three main goals that they aim to follow:
• Access to high quality child care, early childhood education, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.
• Parents have access to high quality skill building and resources needed to prepare them to be their child's first "teacher" and to prepare their children for success in school.
• Access to health and wellness services to ensure that they are prepared to maximize their potential in school.
In the beginning of 2015, PEAK was awarded a $1,250,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The money awarded will be spread over three years to pursue five specific goals that PEAK has, including "Develop and Support Parents as Leaders" and "Improve Success for Pottstown Students."
A full list of Chamber Member Childcare facilities is located in the Buyers’ Guide beginning on page 33 and the online Business Directory at tricountyareachamber.com.
Boyertown Area Senior High Construction
The Boyertown Area School District has chosen to renovate the Boyertown Area Senior High School, a $44 million dollar project, to provide an opportunity for 9th grade students to attend as part of a comprehensive 9-12 grade configuration. The old 1920-1930 building will be updated and utilized as the 9th grade academy.
• Contractors are continuing to work on the New CUB Gym on the North side of the building and have started their new Art wing on the North West side of the building. The Old Cub Gym will be transformed into a music suite providing increased instructional space for orchestra, choir, and band students.
• 6th grade students from the elementary school will move up to the junior high buildings, which will become middle school grades (6-8).
Pottsgrove High School Renovations and Additions
During a feasibility study of Pottsgrove High School in the summer of 2012, it was found that the school yielded a number of critical needs and deficiencies, including the ability to function as a 21st century school. Renovations on the building, costing $28 million dollars, have taken place over a two and a half year period.
Owen J. Roberts Elementary Construction
Construction will begin during the 2015-2016 school year to replace the East Coventry and East Vincent elementary schools. Both new buildings are expected to be completed by 2017 and will cost approximately $56.6 million dollars to complete. Also, the school district is launching a new program – “Wee Wildcats.” Under teacher supervision, this program will give high school students the experience of running a preschool, giving local preschoolers an early jump on learning.
Foundation for Pottstown Education
The Foundation for Pottstown Education is an organization determined to support, promote, sponsor and carry out educational, scientific or charitable activities and goals regarding the Pottstown School District.
• The Foundation works to support opportunities and frame developments to fully mature students’ potential.
• One of the big initiatives that The Foundation for Pottstown Education is working on is the Early College Program.
- This initiative was designed with high performing, low income students in the Pottstown area in mind. These students are given the opportunity to complete their first year of college at Montgomery County Community College in their junior or senior years in high school.
- The Foundation pays for the students to take classes, if they retain a B or above in all of their coursework at Montgomery County Community College.
- Eligible students for the program have a 90% GPA or above in all courses, show financial need, and must be serious about their education. Students who are eligible must apply to be a part of this program.
The Hill School
The central priority of The Hill School's mission has remained constant for many years: to ‘prepare students for college, careers, and life.’ However, how a young person finds success in college and careers (and thus arguably in life) continues to change. The Hill's current and future students often must address problems that require an expanded toolkit; they must possess a wide array of technological, analytical, and entrepreneurial skills. Moreover, the landscape for college admission – and subsequent career advancement – is changing dramatically due to rapidly increasing global competition, accessibility, and tuition costs.
• Recently discussed, the Hill School is planning to implement a new curriculum.
- Quadrivium is an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to mathematics, science, technology, design, and engineering.
Montgomery County Community College
Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is a place where the future is created, a place where desire and knowledge are combined to yield opportunity.
• Conveniently located in Pottstown, MCCC has taken an evolutionary step for the concept of community colleges.
• At the University Center, there are 10 Bachelor’s degrees, 3 Master’s, 1 Doctorate, and 3 Certificates available.
• A new breakthrough for MCCC is the ground breaking of the final phase of the Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center, which is located on a former Brownfield site. The final phase of the expansion on the West Campus, broke ground in June 2015. This site will be home to the Sustainability and Innovation Hub. It will contain an aquaponics and hydroponics learning laboratory, engineering learning laboratory, and a collaboration community area.
• “This hub will be a place where faculty, students and community can learn, share knowledge and work together to create a healthy and sustainable environment,” said former MCCC President Karen Stout, “that enhances the economic health and well-being of the borough, and Montgomery County and frankly the tri-county region.”
Each Leadership class is comprised of twelve to fifteen individuals who have been selected for their potential to expand their involvement in the development of the tri-county area. Each member has made a demonstrated commitment to leadership in both their community and place of employment. These individuals represent business and industry, government, the arts, volunteer and social organizations, education, professional groups, labor, hospitals, and utilities.
Participants meet once a month for programs covering topics such as: Arts & Culture, Business, Economic Development/Infrastructure, Education, Government, Health & Human Services, Justice, and Leadership Development.
In order to graduate from the program, participants must complete a group project on behalf of a local Chamber Member nonprofit organization, and also need to secure a position on a local nonprofit's Board of Directors.
Mission: To sustain community participation and involvement by training and providing new and emerging leaders with the expertise to serve on nonprofit boards.
LEADERSHIP TRI-COUNTY STATISTICS
• Over 175 community members have participated in the program.
• In the 22 years of the program, 50 projects have been completed on behalf of local nonprofits.
• 100 local nonprofits have also benefited from receiving informed and trained individuals to serve on their board of directors.
• The class of 2016 will be the 15th class.
The tri-county area also offers a variety of educational institutions, including: Berks Career and Technology Center; Coventry Christian Schools, Inc.; The Perkiomen School; St. Aloysius Parish School; West-Mont Christian Academy; Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center; and the Wyndcroft School.
• Chamber Member Educational Institutions
• Public School Districts
• Intermediate Units
• Colleges and Universities within 25 miles of Pottstown