FOUNDATION FOR POTTSTOWN EDUCATION RECEIVES FUNDING TO SUPPORT SENSORY FRIENDLY MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

The Foundation for Pottstown Education recently received funding which will provide free tickets for local students with special needs and their families to attend the Sensory Friendly Performance of the Pottstown School District performance of Shrek the Musical.  The funding is being provided through the generosity of a Community Wellness Grant from the Pottstown Hospital-Tower Health.

On Saturday, March 5th at 2:00 PM, the Pottstown School District will present a special showing of this year’s musical. This will be a Sensory Friendly performance that is designed especially for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities, or other disabilities. Patrons will enjoy the show together with family and friends in a welcoming, inclusive, and relaxed space. The show will also have an interpreter for individuals with hearing impairments.

Environmental conditions will be modified by maintaining a low-level house lighting in case guests must get up and move around, by eliminating harsh changes in theatrical lighting, through the avoidance of large sound and visual effects. House rules will be relaxed so that audience members can freely respond to shows in their own way and without judgment. They will be welcome to move around, get up, sing, or dance. 

In addition to the free tickets, the Foundation will also provide bubble sensory fidget toys to the students.  Also, thanks to a donation from the Sarah Davidheiser family, 20 sets of noise canceling headphones will be provided for the comfort of the students.

Casey Fenoglio, Community Wellness Program Manager from the Pottstown Hospital-Tower Health, stated that “Funding this event aligns with the community’s need to improve the health of all of our community members.  Partnering with the Foundation and the School District in making this musical accessible to students can help with social inclusion, stress reducing and creating a positive emotional experience.”

Mrs. Davidheiser was a PHS Alumni and local store owner, passed away in December 2021.  Daniel Price, one of Mrs. Davidheiser’s grandson said that his family wanted to honor her in a way that she would be proud.  “My grandmother loved music so to enable all students to enjoy this year’s musical, we are happy to provide the funding for the headphones.”

Tickets may be obtained by contacting the Foundation’s Executive Director, Joe Rusiewicz jrusiewicz@pottstownk12.org or by contacting the District’s Special Education Department at 610-970-6625.  Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The District Musical is being held on Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 7:00 on February 24, 25 and March 4 and 5th, with matinee performances starting at 2:00 on Sundays February 26 and March 6.  Tickets for these performances can be purchased on the Pottstown School District’s website.

Picture (L-R) Bob Decker, Casey Fenoglio, and Joe Rusiewicz

About FPE:   The Foundation for Pottstown Education’s (FPE) mission is to support, promote, sponsor and carry out educational, scientific or charitable activities and objectives within or related to the Pottstown School District. Visit www.foundationpottstowned.org for more information about the Foundation for Pottstown Education.  You can also follow FPE on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information contact:

Joe Rusiewicz

Executive Director

Foundation for Pottstown Education

jrusiewicz@pottstownk12.org

610-970-6616

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