Roots of Revitalization

Social Change Through Action In Pottstown PA

Springtime Student Open House at Tri-Pac Performing Arts Center of Pottstown, PA March 11, 2012


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The Mission statement of  Village Productions located at 245 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464 (ph. 610.970.1199) is to “seek and strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and educational opportunities geared toward a diverse audience.” This local theater did just that Sunday, March 11th, 2012 offering free acting workshops for area children during their Springtime Student Open House.

The acting workshops were divided into grade aged groups K-4th, 5th-7th, and 8th-12th grade, and the classes involved theatrical games similar to charades and simple improv scenarios. Mr. Tony Girozzi taught the acting classes, and some of those in attendance were Hannah Paczkowzki, Sebastian Coates, Ben Williams, Erin Miller, and Dane Jensen-Sellers.

Tony G. has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Univesity of The Arts in Philadelphia, PA and has been involved with Tri-Pac since 2008. Tony G has filled many roles at the theater from acting to set and costume design to directing. You may have seen Tony G. perform in “Honk”, “The Frog Prince”, and Peter Pan” which are all past Tri-Pac shows. At 1 pm the community and open house guests were treated to a student performed “Hansel and Gretel”.

Beyond acting classes the Tri-Pac Performing arts center also offers monologue coaching, voice, flute, trumpet, piano, and guitar musical lessons. Acting classes range in prices from $95-$185 for a two month duration, where students have classes weekly. Contact the Tri-Pac for an entire list of class offerings, and financial aid tuition may be available for acting students who qualify.

Please contact Marta Kiesling at Village Productions if you wish to support Tri-Pac through volunteering, monetary donations, and or supplies.


Connor Kurtz: Ambitious and Involved Teenager! December 12, 2011

Filed under: Kool Kids,Reflections of Youth — roots of revitalization @ 3:04 am
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Connor Kirtz: High School Senior and School Board Member!

Age? Grade? Hometown?

I turned 18 on September 8th, I am in twelfth grade at Daniel Boone Area High School, and I am from Douglassville, PA.

Your family is from Pottstown and your mom is a teacher in the local schools correct?

My family is from Pottstown. We lived in the East End on Cherry Street until we moved to Amity Township in the mid-90s. Both of my sets of grandparents still live in Pottstown. My grandfather, Ron Downie, previously served as a 5th Ward Councillor and a Pottstown School Board member. He is currently Chairman of the Pottstown Water and Sewer Authority. My mother is a second grade teacher in the Pottstown School District.

Kurtz Family

Connor Kurtz and his family.

When did you become interested in  government?

I became interested in government in late 2006. My interest in local government really only began about two years ago.

Can you explain your political leanings?

I am a registered Republican–both fiscally and socially conservative. I believe that liberty is maximized only when government is limited. The principle of limited government is particularly important now. In these tough economic times, families are forced to cut back–I believe that our elected officials need to do the same. Society cannot afford to keep spending the way our government (at all levels–from school board to Congress) continues to spend.

Do you have a mentor? Whom and why?

When it comes to politics, I consider my Grandfather Downie a mentor. While we may disagree on some issues, he is a wealth of information when it comes to everything political. He truly is a Pottstown legend and his experiences have taught me a lot about public service. (Mr. Ronald Downie,

When did you decide to run for school board and why? Which school board?

I decided to run for the Daniel Boone School Board in March of 2011. At that time, I had been attending school board meetings for months and I was not happy with the way that some members of the board approached spending. Additionally, I believed that my status as a student would provide the board with unique insight. As someone who had attended Daniel Boone schools since kindergarten, I knew that I would bring a fresh, new perspective to the school board. My message of reduced spending and accountability resonated with a large number of Amity Township residents: last May, both Republicans and Democrats nominated me for a seat on the school board in a four-way primary with over 44% of the vote. In November, I formally won a seat on the Daniel Boone School Board. I was sworn-in last Thursday as one of the youngest school directors in Pennsylvania history.


Connection June 30, 2011

Filed under: Reflections of Youth — roots of revitalization @ 6:00 am
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By, Ronald C. Downie 


We were young bright faced back then
Yet lived through each hard war year.
Seated far too long we were fidgety
Shifting again and again in our chair,
Adolescently tuned in for ring , ring ,
Recess, up and out, gulping in fresh air.

Loudly spilling out past heavy metal doors
We chose sides for macadam ball games,
High-low jumping preceded double Dutch .
Pupil pods were sprouting lifelong nicknames .
We chalked for hop Scotch, loved dodge ball,
Made fast friends long before our adult aims .

How high could a metal chain swing be pumped ?
How fast could the rickety old merry-go-round turn ?
How much climber time did we spend up side down ?
How was hard round steel hand polished smooth as an urn ?
How far out were the fields where the big kids played ?
How do we remember Miss Neiman who urged us all to learn ?

She joins with memories of cool chilling breezes sent yet
From western blue skies, mauve at late sunset, still .
She is present in our thoughts about classrooms, those of
The playground, even, out picking milkweed pods, at a fire drill .
Mrs. Francis Neiman Buchert, here today with us, is our
Connection to Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School, built upon a hill .

History of poem:

Written in 1997 to commemorate the passing of 50 years of graduates of Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School, 6th grade, who all then went on to Pottstown Junior High School (pre-dated Pottsgrove district). We honored our favorite teacher of 50years prior, Miss Francis Neiman who later married Kenny Buchert . Mrs. Francis Neiman Buchert was present at the reunion in 1997 but just recently passed away.
This class lived through the Second World War Two Years. Further works by Mr.  Downey can be read at: