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Senator Judy Schwank Hello!

We’re getting into the thick of state budget negotiations in Harrisburg and I want you to know I am working hard to make sure education, transportation, economic development and other programs are included in this budget to help the residents of the 11th Senatorial District.


2nd Annual “Spring Clean Berks”

I am hoping for sunshine this Saturday, April 27, as moms and dads, children, seniors and residents throughout my district turn out for my second “Spring Clean Berks” event.

We’ll be starting at 9 a.m. at Nolde Forest, Cumru Township, for a “Student Environmental Spruce Up.” The Berks County Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts plus the Nolde Forest Education Center will host this 90-minute session where parents and children will get to better understand environmental protection by actually doing some conservation projects.

Then, from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., everyone will be pitching in at City Park to clean up Reading.

There’s still time to volunteer, so call my office at 610-929-2151 for more information. I hope to see you there!

PHEAA Deadline Approaching

PHEAA pheaa If you or someone you know is planning to go to college this fall, remind them that the deadline to apply for PHEAA scholarship grants is May 1, which is just around the corner.

The May 1 deadline is for first-time and renewal applicants planning on attending a degree program or a college-transferable program at a junior college or university. Students going to a community college; business, trade or technical school; a hospital school of nursing; or a 2-year non-transferrable program have until Aug. 1 to apply.

Successful applicants can get as much as $4,300. More than 190,000 students shared a state scholarship grant pool of $419 million.

Go to for more info.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Month

The Jerry Sandusky story brought the issue of child abuse to our attention in a big and very uncomfortable way. But if there never was a Jerry Sandusky, there will always be child abuse, I’m afraid. That doesn’t mean we are powerless, though.

This month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. All across this great country, people are reading a brochure, updating their emergency contact info or doing something to make them more aware of this tragic situation. Child abuse is a crime if it is caught. We know, however, that it is often unreported and not even talked about when it is suspected.

There are great free resources available to help you prevent child abuse and protect children. The Child Welfare Information Gateway is one:

Berks County Children & Youth Services is another resource: A small army of county CYS workers deal with more than 1,500 cases of child abuse and neglect every year, yet the problem is greater than that sad statistic.

Be aware. Be ready to tell authorities if you suspect child abuse. If you don’t, the child you worry about will suffer with a lifetime of trauma.

Salute to the 333rd Engineer Company

Thank you to everyone who came out on April 16 to salute the 150 members of the U.S. Army’s 333rd Engineer Company (Horizontal) as they departed for Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom.

It was a moving tribute for hometown men and women who have trained hard to protect the freedoms of our country, and are sacrificing time with their families to defend the United States of America.

MilitaryThe soldiers build and fix roads and airfields, perform surface and drainage maintenance; things that allow a highly trained fighting force to move faster.

The 333rd is in Fort Bliss, Texas, for six weeks of training. They are expected to be in Afghanistan for 10 months.

We know all too well the sacrifices our troops and their families are making with the recent death of CW2 Jarett M. Yoder. Jarett, a 2005 graduate of Oley High School, was killed April 9 while on tour in Afghanistan.  Our prayers go out to Heather (Jarett’s wife), Mr. and Mrs. Gary Yoder of Ruscombmanor Township, and the entire Yoder family.

Thank you 333rd! And, thank you for your support!

CapitolLegislation I Support

If you’ve ever wondered what bills I support, there’s a simple way to find out. Just go to the legislature’s website and search for my co-sponsorship memoranda. To get the broadest possible support, I feel it’s important to write to my fellow lawmakers to explain why I am proposing certain bills so they understand where I’m coming from and, hopefully, join me in co-sponsoring the legislation.

View my co-sponsorship memos