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Dr. Myra Forrest joins Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation as Education Advocate

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Feb. 16, POTTSTOWN—Supporting education in the Tri-County area has always been a priority at the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. And as community leaders and elected officials continue to work towards fair school funding, Dr. Myra Forrest has taken up a new role as the Foundation’s education advocate to help advance those efforts.

Using a data-driven approach, Forrest is collaborating with an existing statewide advocacy group, Uniting for Action, to show the deficit in education funding.  As part of that effort, she’s authored a case study centered on the Pottstown School District.

“We are working to get this information out across the state using Pottstown School District as an example of what improper funding of a district looks like, and what the ramifications of that are,” said Forrest.  “It means that in Pottstown there are no elementary counselors. It means that there are no middle school language courses offered. It means that there are not nearly as many sports or coaches in Pottstown as in surrounding districts.  The suffering goes all the way around, and it’s a tale that needs to be told.”

The greatest opportunity for changing the funding picture is through communicating the importance and urgency of educational inequity, especially as new lawmakers take office in Harrisburg.  Forrest is collaborating with Uniting for Action to implement a letter-writing campaign—one that will make a connection with each and every lawmaker from across the commonwealth.

“People coming into Harrisburg need to be apprised of this issue. If you live in a school district that’s well funded and your children are getting a fine education, I don’t think that people pay too much attention to it because your needs are being met,” said Forrest. “We need to educate citizens across Pennsylvania about these discrepancies so that they can encourage legislators to do something about it because I believe what’s going on is unethical, and it’s immoral.”

In addition to communicating with lawmakers, Forrest is working closely with organizations across the region that have a track record of effective advocacy.  Those partnerships dovetail with the existing collaborations at the Foundation—initiatives aiming for long-term impact on the community as a whole.

Forrest has been a voice for advancing education in the region for decades.  She has taught students at every level from nursery school to doctoral programs and was a teacher and administrator in the Pottstown School District from 1992 to 2005.  More recently, she has served as the Foundation for Pottstown Education president, Owen J. Roberts School District superintendent, and associate professor of education at Immaculata University.

“Ensuring that every child in our community has the benefit of excellent programs, counselors, and educators is vital not only to setting children up for success, but for creating a more prosperous and vibrant community,” said David Kraybill, Foundation president.  “Myra’s experience and expertise will be vital to this effort.”  

John Robertson
Communications Specialist
Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation

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