National Penn donates $10,000 to Berks Women in Crisis

Submitted photo On hand for the presentation, left to right, are Jim Ferry, Central Region retail bank director, National Penn; Pam Cicero, Childrenís Counselor Advocate, Berks Women in Crisis; Mary Kay Bernosky, executive director, Berks Women in Crisis; Marjorie Ahrens, Berkshire Boulevard branch manager, National Penn, and some of the children who attend the program.

On Thursday, April 24, National Penn Bancshares, Inc. announced a $10,000 contribution to Berks Women in Crisis.

The donation is part of more than $1,000,000 contributed this year to eligible organizations across its marketplace by National Penn through its participation in the Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

The educational contribution will be used to support the organizations “Ready to Read” program. This program was developed specifically for the Safe House and Residential programs to jumpstart the development of reading skills. In addition, a large percentage of the children they serve do not consider English their first language. The organization works to bridge the distance between these children and their peers so that their school experience is positive and they remain willing to learn. They have recently completed the first year of providing this program.

“The contribution from National Penn allows us to go beyond the immediate crisis response and work with children to improve their reading skills and increase their chances of long term success,” said Mary Kay Bernosky, executive director, Berks Women in Crisis. “Reading is an important part of education but it is also a healing skill and brings tremendous comfort and confidence to children who are victims or witnesses of domestic violence.”

Berks Women in Crisis’ mission is to provide a safe haven and ongoing support system for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Their advocacy and education programs increase awareness and promote the prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault, and all forms of oppression. The organization is the only designated agency in Berks County whose primary focus is serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“At National Penn we believe we have a corporate responsibility not only to assist with our communities’ financial needs, but also to work for their betterment. Promoting education among our youth is one way we can accomplish this.” said Bruce Smith, president of National Penn’s Central Region.