Pottsgrove Volunteers Help on Saturday’s Train Trip

BOYERTOWN PA – Teachers and paraprofessionals employed by the Pottsgrove School District to support its students with autism are volunteering their time Saturday (March 27, 2021) to ride on the Colebrookdale Railroad‘s “Sensory Friendly Train” and ensure its guests enjoy themselves, the railroad preservation trust reported.

  • Read an earlier Post story, here, about the train ride, what guests will see and do, and how the trip has been specially adapted to earn its “sensory-friendly” designation.

The train excursion down the Secret Valley Line between Boyertown and Pottstown is specially prepared for members of the special needs community, it explained in a Thursday media release. It departs the Boyertown station at 1 p.m., and returns by 3 p.m. Tickets are available here.

Pottsgrove’s volunteers are by no means the only help aboard. The railroad also said the price for children’s tickets on the ride has been significantly reduced to $10 per child, thanks to sponsorships by KenCrest Services, and retired teacher and philanthropist Sylvia Landis. KenCrest additionally is providing gift bags for passengers up to age 12 that include several items families will find helpful. The railroad itself is staffed by volunteers who will help make the train run smoothly and on time.

Part of what motivates Pottsgrove’s involvement is passion, according to West Pottsgrove Elementary School teachers Danielle Albanese and Maria LaSpina. “We are extremely excited to participate in The Sensory Friendly Train,” they said. “As special education teachers who work with students with autism, this type of event holds a special place in our hearts. We are passionate about supporting events that are accessible to all. We know the families in our community appreciate these events!”

The feeling is similar at KenCrest, its Home and Community Based Services Executive Director Roseann Adamo added. Because the organization provides early intervention services across Pennsylvania to more than 8,000 families annually, “we see how impactful it is that families with diverse abilities have inclusive opportunities to socialize and participate together,” she said.

To ensure rider safety, the railroad also has put several coronavirus-related health measures in place.

Photo by Debbie Zlomek for The Post