| Berks Chapter of PASR &
Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees which is comprised of 1250 retired members who were employed at one of the following school districts: Antietam, Boyertown Area, Brandywine Heights Area, Conrad Weiser Area, Daniel Boone Area, Exeter Township, Fleetwood Area, Governor Mifflin, Hamburg Area, Kutztown Area, Muhlenberg, Oley Valley, Reading, Schuylkill Valley, Tulpehocken Area, Twin Valley, Wilson, Wyomissing Area, Berks County Intermediate Unit, Berks Career and Technology Centers, Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University.
Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees serves all retirees of the public schools and universities that receive a pension from PSERS. As Berks County has a large and diverse membership, there are 8 subchapters serving members.
Berks County Chapter of PASR is meeting the needs of former co-workers and friends, raising money for scholarships and educational grants, visiting members in nursing homes, doing volunteer work in the community, and lobbying state legislators on issues of importance to school retirees. We currently are working to support pension reform.
Come join us!
BERKS COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL RETIREES
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope all of you had a great holiday season. It looks like winter is finally here and it is nice to stay in our warm homes sipping hot drinks.
We have several meetings the first half of the year beginning with the pre retirement seminar on March 19th at the BCIU. Please share the information with all school employees thinking about retiring this year. We offer a free seminar to all school employees. Topics include: Financial Planning, PSERS Options and HOPS Health Options Program. We also encourage you to sign up for the, PSERS Foundation For You, workshop held by the State on March 3rd. Below are some of our other activities: 1. April 21, 2016 we will be co-hosting a Legislative meeting with PSEA-R at the Reading Leiderkrantz. Local Legislators will be invited to say a few words and then be available for Q & A. Since it is an election year, we encourage everyone to attend. 2. July 21, 2016 we will again be providing you with a free workshop on technology at the BCIU. Conrad Weiser's Computer Students will be instructing and showing you how to use your devices. 3. April 14, 2016 there will be a free workshop with Social Security from 4:00 - 5:00 at the BCIU.
There are 2 RECRO trips planned so far this year. A trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show and a Mediterranean Cruise in October 2016. Contact Pam Taylor for Cruise information at 610-374-5600 Ext. 7231. There will be other trips offered and information to come at a later date.
We are continuing our volunteer work with the Greater Reading Food Bank, Keystone Soldiers and to participate in Wreaths Across America event at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. We will also continue to support our sub chapters.
Mark your calendars for the following General Membership Meetings: Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Reading Leiderkrantz Saturday September 24, 2016 at the Fleetwood Grange Thursday December 1, 2016 at the Reading-Muhlenberg CTC.
I am still advocating for a discount in State Dues for support staff. No one has given me a reason that makes any sense. I will continue to bring it up at the Region 2 meetings and have the Region 2 Membership Chair take it to the State meetings.
As you can see we have another great year of learning and activities to help the membership enjoy their retirement.
Candy Hartranft- President BCASR
Read the 2016 BERKS PASR Chapter Spring Newsletter by clicking on the link below
In our last newsletter, I suggested that BCASR consider giving financial support to the Greater Berks Food Bank “Weekender Backback Program” to help feed hungry children attending schools across Berks County. In response to my suggestion, Pat Bright, a retired school nurse from the Governor Mifflin School District and member of our South Berks subchapter, secured a generous $500 donation from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in order to support this initiative.
On behalf of all the hungry children in Berks County, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Pat and all those involved with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Southwest Berks County Chapter, for providing a helping hand to BCASR.Our second awesome program is the after school program for C.E. Cole students in 5th and 6th grade. This year has been the most successful one for this program. The Foundation has partnered with the Park and Recreation Department of Muhlenberg Township who provides the staff of six counselors who are paid for by the Foundation. This program costs the Foundation $340 per week.
Parents must register their children with Dr. Gifﬁng, Principal of C. E. Cole. Two sessions are held each year – spring and fall. Students’ homework is checked while they receive tutorial help in the computer room. While one group does this, another group is in the gym to learn athletic skills and have fun. After a snack in the cafeteria they switch locations so all students can beneﬁt from the academic and athletic sessions. About 30 students are involved at this time with the hope we can enlarge this number. Everyone involved believes this to be an excellent program. The parents pick up their children at 5:00 p.m. Any parent interested should call the C. E. Cole building for information for next year.
In addition to these two programs, we are involved with supporting the high school “No Room for Hate” program by partially funding their yearly assembly. The foundation has also funded a variety of individual high school students’ requests for ﬁnancial assistance with special courses and/or needs.
If you are interested in volunteering to assist the foundation, call Nate DeLuca at 610-921-0419 or write to the foundation at P.O. Box #245, Temple, PA 19560. Donations are gratefully accepted at the Temple address. We are a 501C3 non-proﬁt education foundation. Contributions are tax deductible.
2016 BERKS ASR COMMUNITY SERVICE SURVEY
To access the Community Service Survey form please click on the link below.
Print this form, complete it and return it to: Mary Ann Zerkowski, 2146 Fairview Avenue, Reading, PA 19606-1810
Legislative - Political Education
When you were employed, the annual dues you paid to your union provided the cost of your legislative representation and lobbying. These dues amounts ranged up to several hundred dollars. In retirement, this is no longer true. Unfortunately, the annual dues charged by PASR is not enough to support all of our legislative efforts. L/PEC was created for those who could afford to contribute more, to help PASR establish a strong and effective legislative voice for all school retirees.
What is this money used for? It is used to provide the information and support our legislative volunteers and members need to promote issues of concern to all school retirees with their legislators. Your contribution to L/PEC enables PASR volunteers and members to effectively advocate for benefit improvements and fight to protect the benefits they are currently receiving and other school retirees.
Social Service Memorial Honor Fund
One of the SSMHF goals is to promote awareness of the activities that are undertaken by the association on behalf of our members in need. BCASR sub-chapters have a Social Service Memorial Honor Fund Committee whose function is to serve its members.
A memorial shrine is displayed at each meeting to perpetuate the memory of our members who are gone, but not forgotten. A basket is also in place if anyone wishes to contribute money towards the county or state Social Service Memorial Honor Fund. Funds for SSMHF are generated from interest on investments and by contributions from individuals and chapters. These contributions are used entirely for helping members in times of emotional and financial distress. The fund also provides moral support, gifts, and visits to the sick and "homebound." Last year, state wide $38,641.00 was given to members in need.
Because of the special efforts of sub-chapter SSMHF volunteers, many members were provided with attention, support, and recognition. Their hard work throughout the year is truly impressive and deserves heartfelt thanks!
Membership Benefits And Services
Good news concerning membership cards. You can obtain your membership card for BCASR from your sub-chapter president and begin using it for the following BCASR only discounts. In order to participate in these discounts your dues must be current. The discounts are good through June 30, 2016
. Reading Symphony, 25% off tickets for performances and 50% off of a full year membership for 1st. time members only. Call the office directly. Do not go through a second party.
Adelphia Seafood, 10% off purchase on Tuesdays only.
Sneaker Villa, 15% of purchase
Reading Farmers Market Wyomissing, 10% off purchase at most stands on Thursday’s only and must be 62 years old.
I HOP - 10% off
Any questions please call Candice Hartranft at 610-488-1568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Most businesses offer discounts. All you have to do is ask.
Notice: Unpaid Dues for BCASR. We have all forgotten to pay dues and other items once and a while. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us pay our bills. If you pay Annually and have not paid your dues for 3 years or more years, you will be removed from our data base. Annual Dues is only $5.00. You may contact Robert Troxell at (610)779-7315 or by email at email@example.com.
RECREO - Travel with BCASR
"HUNTERDON HILLS PLAYHOUSE”
For details, PLEASE CLICK BELOW
BERKS CHAPTER INTERNATIONAL TRIP FOR 2016 HAS BEEN CANCELED