United Association of Gas Workers Local # 600
United Labor Counsel of Reading & Berks County
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 71
Some individuals want to focus on the amount of money made by a hard working man in the streets of Reading but who is discussing the GIVING that has occurred..when I called around for karate placements for my children it was $125-159 a month each kid. Both my children attended for $75 a month combined , four days a week and one weekend day .. I sat in the waiting room and watched Bart spend endless time speaking and helping the youth, individually helping an autistic child, taking at risk youth and making them champions with a goal, helping parents locate jobs, providing assistance to parents on how to advocate for their children, and allowing each person to feel good about themselves despite their situation. The placement of this dojo wasn’t in a upscale neighborhood and I laughed as I heard families tell me how it was advertised by door to door walking and sharing.. what Reading needs is HOPE and a GOAL.. a belief that something Better is out there, a reason for the youth NOT to use their hands in violence in school because when they leave school they have a goal and a mission to become something great.. I have personally heard “fighters” in adolescence discuss how they avoided situations they would not have previously due to knowing they needed to remain out of trouble to continue their training and become something more than they once thought. To sit in a waiting room where there are police, county employees, neighborhood kids, parents with felon backgrounds, individuals struggling with socioeconomic situations, parents and children with mental health- and everyone feels equal, invited and respected I can sure hope that the city of Reading and Berks County has that same opportunity.
LAURA TJARKS, Reading