Ready Set Go Kindergarten Reinforces Early Childhood Education




WITF’s Ready Set Go Kindergarten

What to look for on Smart Talk, Friday, August 3, 2018:

Early formative childhood education is important for kids and their families. WITF and other community organizations believe that it is an imperative for businesses and communities, as well. 

Quality early childhood education has a measurable economic impact, which often starts as early as birth with accessible child care. Research shows that real learning is happening from birth, and what we do or don’t do when children are very young can impact their time in school and beyond.

WITF remains committed to strengthening communities through our support of school districts, families and childcare centers. We recognize that transitions can be tricky. To help support families and children in the transition from preschool to kindergarten, WITF has partnered with community agencies and sponsors to create an annual event that provides families with useful information and gives the soon-to-be kindergartners a day full of fun and memories. 

Ready Set Go Kindergarten is a fun day of exploration for soon-to-be-kindergartners and a great way for families to connect to resources.

Untitled design (82).png

WITF lobby set for Ready Set Go Kindergarten

Organizations like Child Care Consultants, Inc. (CCC), and The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) commit their resources to promoting early education and supporting families, as well.

Untitled design (81).png

Debbie Riek, Christy Renjilian, Janice Black and Jennifer Doyle

Joining Smart Talk on Friday are Janice Black, TFEC President and CEO, and Jennifer Doyle, TFEC VP of Development and Community Investment. Also in the studio is Christy Renjilian, CCC Executive Director, and the WITF Education Coordinator Debbie Riek.



Smart Talk on Harrisburg Diocese child sex abuse


Statement Harrisburg Dicosese gave reporters on confidentiality provision waivers. (Brett Sholtis/WITF)

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, August 2, 2018:

Bishop Ronald Gainer, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Wednesday released a list of 71 clergy members and others involved with the Church who have been accused of child sex misconduct or abuse 

Diocese attorney Matthew Haverstick says, “This list compiles, as far back as we have in our records, every individual against whom an allegation was made and that allegation subsequently was not disproven by law enforcement.” This means that the people on the list have been accused of child sex abuse, but, Haverstick says, they are not being called “sexual abusers.” The allegations date back to the 1940s, and over half of the people named are dead. 

Bishop Gainer said the Diocese has taken steps to protect children and that names of the accused clergy members will be removed from buildings, facilities, rooms and memorials. 

Additionally, Bishop Gainer is waiving confidentiality agreements between the diocese and survivors of child sex abuse “so that the survivors can feel free to tell their stories,” he says. A new website to address child sex abuse and policies of the Diocese of Harrisburg has also been launched by the diocese. 

Bishop Gainer released the list Wednesday, a week before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has said it will release a redacted version of a grand jury report on child sex abuse by clergy members in Pennsylvania dioceses. 

The grand jury investigation looks at allegations of child sex abuse in six dioceses, including Harrisburg, and identifies over 300 “predator priests.” 

Identifying information of clergy members and others who are challenging the report will be blacked out to avoid infringing on anyone’s constitutional rights. Judge John Clelandwho led the child molestation trial of Jerry Sandusky, will serve as special master and help determine which information can be shared in the report. 

The grand jury report will be released Aug. 8 unless there are disputes over redacted information, in which case it will be released Aug. 14 at the latest. 

On Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss the report and its aftermath are Representative Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), an abuse survivor himself, Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm, and Angela Liddle, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Bishop Ronald Gainer was invited to participate in today’s Smart Talk, but a diocese representative declined the invitation.  

Catholic abuse Rozzi update.png

Angela Liddle and Jennifer Storm, Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks)


PA firefighters in western wildfire fight/Should alligators be kept as pets?

forest fire 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, August 1, 2018:

This summer is being called the worst wildfire season in over a decade in the western U.S.  There are more than 60 wildfires burning in 15 states right now.  There have been close to 90 this season.  Millions of acres have been consumed, thousands of structures destroyed and several people have been killed, including at least two firefighters.

The weather has created perfect conditions for wildfires to start and spread.  Temperatures have approached or gone over 100 degrees throughout the west, there has been little rain, the humidty levels have been low, keeping the air dry and there have been windy conditions as well.

Firefighters from all over the country have descended on the areas where the flames are burning, including dozens from Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday’s Smart Talk, we’ll speak with Pennsylvania’s Chief Forest Fire Warden Mike Kern and Chad Northcraft, a forester who just returned from fighting fires in Nevada, about the state’s contingent of firefighters and wildfires.


Pennsylvania’s Chief Forest Fire Warden Mike Kern and Chad Northcraft

Earlier this summer, an alligator was found roaming a neighborhood in Lancaster County.  It was captured by East Cocalico Township police and turned over to the Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary in Manheim. 

Mr Rogers 8-1-18.png

Thirty-two inch alligator nicknamed Mr. Rogers

Jesse Rothacker 8-1-18.png

Jesse Rothacker

The gator was probably someone’s pet, got too big and was released into the wild and found itself wandering in a residential neighborhood.  It’s becoming a bigger problem recently and some are calling for banning the sale of alligators as pets. 

We discuss whether alligators should be kept as pets with Jesse Rothacker, Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary on Wednesday’s Smart Talk.

Alligator skull 8-1-18.png

Skull from an alligator estimated at 8 feet.