Last Wednesday, we launched the new initiative Pottstown Trauma Informed Community Connection (PTICC), at the Pottstown campus of Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).

The event was opened by Mary Rieck, PEAK Coordinator, and the approximately 130 attendees from various community organizations, healthcare services, educational facilities, religious institutions, and more received information about our new work to reduce the effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (commonly referred to as ACES) here in Pottstown.

Some key messages presented from steering committee members such as Jack Tebes, Ph.D., from Yale University, Samantha Matlin, Ph.D., of the Scattergood Foundation, Suzanne O’Connor, of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Laurie Kolka of Pottstown School District, Dr. Andrew Trentacoste, CEO of Creative Health Services, and Kirsten Murray of Lakeside Educational Network, include that we do not address this topic with an “us versus them” mentality, almost every child experiences some type of trauma, from divorce to drug or alcohol abuse, to physical abuse, and more. With this in mind, our initiative is about coming together as people to work toward support of our children, through awareness of trauma and ACES and through implementing social-emotional learning (SEL).

In The Mercury, Michilea Patterson wrote that “’This is why some kids misbehave at school and fight at home…they’re trying to send up an SOS that’s something’s wrong,” she [Kirsten Murray] said. Suzanne O’Connor said children that are being difficult and angry all the time, most likely are experiencing some type of trauma. O’Connor, who is also a member of the trauma steering committee, said now it’s time for the community to figure out what their part can be such as how to appropriately respond to adverse childhood experiences.”

During two portions of the event, attendees were broken into groups to discuss what ACES are and how they experience trauma in their work, and how we can address the reduction of ACES and the building of resilience here in Pottstown. The groups were filled with people working in several industries, thus bringing varying perspectives to the topics, but all agreed that we can work together as a community toward the recognition of the importance of compassion, community, and recognition of the whole person.

The slideshow that was presented during the launch event can be found here.

There will be several educational sessions for interested community members to learn more about trauma and SEL. There will be a training session Oct. 6 and Nov. 15 at Pottstown Middle School. For more information or to RSVP, use the email PTICC@pottstownd.org or call 610-970-6614. You can also visit http://www.pottstownmatters.org. The next community partner meeting will be held October 19 from 9:00-11:00 at Montgomery County Community College. For information, call 610-970-6655.

You can subscribe to PTICC’s YouTube channel to see videos of local individuals’ experiences of trauma and resilience. More will be posted there soon. You can also follow PTICC on Twitter @PottstownTICC and on Facebook.

 

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MCIU Head Start – Register Now!

by Mary on July 21, 2016 Filed under: Family Information,News

MCIU Head Start, here in Pottstown, is a free preschool program for children ages 3 to 5 residing in Montgomery County who meet federal income guidelines.  This program is currently enrolling new students for the 2016-2017 school year.

MCIU Head Start offers no-cost educational, nutritional, and social services that help children prepare for success in school. The program provides services to enrolled families, and also meets the needs of special populations, including children with disabilities.

MCIU Head Start is located at 920 Morris St., Pottstown, PA 19464. Interested families may call Lakiesha Clark, who will be taking registrations for the rest of the summer, at (484) 919-6144 or email lclark@mciu.org.

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Long summer days with your child enjoying the summer sun and playing may make you ask yourself: Is my child ready for kindergarten? With PEAK’s Summer Kindergarten Readiness Programs (SKRP), you will be assured that your future Pottstown School District kindergartener will be prepared and confident for their upcoming classroom education.

Any family that is eligible for PA Pre-K Counts is also eligible for to attend SKRPs for free! We have several programs running in August at multiple childcare locations in Pottstown.

These state-funded programs are useful to help take away kindergarten jitters, introduce the routines and structures of the kindergarten classroom, gets the body’s rhythm of waking up early into motion, and fosters independence and responsibility in your student.

To register for a SKRP program, please contact one of the PEAK PA Pre-K counts cites.

August 1-12, 2016

YWCA Tri-County Area – (610) 323-1888

 

August 8-19, 2016

KinderCare Learning Center – (610) 326-0554

Montgomery Early Learning Center – (610) 326-3819

Pottstown YMCA – (610) 323-7300

PEAK Summer Spanish PEAK Summer

For more information about PEAK, call (610) 718-8635 or visit our website.

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Announcing “PEAK Summer School!”

by Mary on June 21, 2016 Filed under: Family Information,News

Pottstown families,

Today, we launched “PEAK Summer School” on our Facebook page. Each day throughout the rest of summer, we’ll be posting a new fun and educational activity for you to complete with your Pre-K Counts or soon-to-be Kindergarten student.

These activities will range from arts and crafts to science experiments to light physical exercise, to reading. Most of the “PEAK Summer School” assignments will also prompt you to do “homework.” But don’t worry, because that will simply consist of you sending us pictures of your finished activity or project with your child(ren).

The “PEAK Summer School” activities are intended to reinforce Pre-K Counts classroom learning while providing a fun bonding time with the adults in a child’s life.

To participate, follow us on Facebook, check out our daily activities, complete them with your child, and share your results with us. We will also post our activities on Twitter, and there will be weekly activity videos on our YouTube channel. Your photos or videos can be shared by commenting on the activity Facebook post, by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or by using the hashtag #PEAKSummerSchool.

We look forward to seeing the fun you have with your Pre-K or future Kindergartner this summer!

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Pottstown Celebrates Young Children

by Mary on April 5, 2016 Filed under: Family Information

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It is that time again! Join the fun on Saturday, April 16 from 1-3 pm on the grounds of Pottstown High School for this free event!  PEAK, Pottstown’s school readiness initiative, is partnering with Pottstown YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day to provide family activities and resources from more than 40 community organizations along with music from D.J. Steve, moonbounce, celebrated mascots, Pipper the Clown and fitness activities on the field followed by a community swim at the YMCA from 3-5 pm.

Thank you to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center www.PottstownMemorial.com for once again being the main sponsor for April’s PEAK Month of the Young Child events.

For more information contact Jane Bennett – jbennett@pottstownsd.org or 610-256-6370, www.peakonline.org.  PEAK – Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness. See you on April 16 at Pottstown High School!

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