Staying up to date with JPII
Kitchen Garden Flourishes Despite COVID Changes

With our kitchen closed for food preparation and learning opportunities, Mrs. Rene Berkhammer has found new ways for her students to interact in the garden and utilize its bounty of vegetables and herbs which are lovingly tended to by Mrs. Priscilla Plucinsky and her dedicated team of garden volunteers. With many parts of the school yard being off-limits due to social distancing, the garden is the one place the students and adults can enjoy nature and learn valuable life skills.

Mrs. Berkhammer says, “There are perfect moments of awesome learning, despite this crazy, sterile, COVID classroom time. Mrs. P and the gardener volunteers established a sensory-walk archway. We picked the pretzel beans, herbs, cranberry beans, tomatoes and peppers. I created a dish at home and brought it to share for lunch. I really miss our kitchen classroom. However, the pretzel green beans helped inspire new creations such as this artwork from Cynthia. This is why I love my guys.”
Delicious Dish Crafted
From Our Garden
Yardlong Beans
Cynthia's Pretzel Bean Inspired Artwork
Employment Opportunities
Why I love to work at JPII:

"The compassion and interest the staff shows goes beyond helping the students. JPII is more than a workplace, it is a family." - Marlene, Job Coach (3 years with JPII)

Now is the time to join our JPII team as we are currently in search of caring individuals to fill Teacher Assistant roles. For more information, click here. If you know someone who would be a good fit, feel free to forward this email.
Pendants with Purpose

Our students have been working hard and having fun since getting back into the classroom in August. Pendants with Purpose is still open for business and working to make holiday-themed products.

Lovely earrings and pendants are available now! Email Mrs. Berkhammer at for any requests or custom orders for the holidays. She will be take orders on a first come, first serve basis.

“We’ve never had anyone care for Molli the way that your staff does,” - Kellie G
I know that there is hope for Molli and that she can do it. I have faith in her. When you get the right people to work with your child, good things will happen. I wanted the best for Molli and I found JPII. - Kellie, Molli’s mom
Before coming to John Paul II Center for Special Learning (JPII), Molli had a difficult time in school. Simply getting her on and off the bus became a challenge because she didn’t feel comfortable there. She was non-verbal and didn’t make eye contact. Then, her parents found JPII.

“I have never seen her at ease before,” says her mother Kellie. “She is a totally different child. She even runs out to get onto the school bus, which never happened before.”

The difference? JPII’s staff worked with Molli to make her comfortable at school, knowing that once she enjoyed coming to school everything else would fall into place.
Today, there’s hope. Today, she’s part of a community. They engage and connect with her. She used to have frequent meltdowns because she didn’t know how to communicate. Now she can communicate with us without melting down by using problem-solving skills. She’s writing, she’s verbalizing, she comes home and tells us stories.
She has friends, which she didn’t before.

I never thought it was possible for her to do what she’s doing because I was always told she’d never do things and that my expectations were too high. I knew I could get her there, but not by myself. When we walked through the door, we knew that JPII was for her.
Every day before was a bad day, but not anymore.
Phone: 610-777-0605
Individual & Business Tax Credit Program Creates Scholarships
More than half of JPII students rely on scholarships to be able to attend our school. Many of their families are at or below the poverty level, so these scholarships make all the difference in not only their lives, but also in the lives of their families. Unfortunately, the demand for financial aid far exceeds the resources available.  The good news is that the Special Purpose Entity (SPE) tax credit program is a game changer for our school.

SPE is a tax credit program available through the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation (EPSF). Both individuals and businesses can participate in this program. JPII WINS with needed scholarship money. YOU WIN with a 90% tax credit and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping a Catholic school community that works tirelessly teaching children with special needs.
Book Orders

Place your fall book orders today! Mrs. Berkhammer will be notified and can arrange for a pickup. If you have questions, please contact her here.

  1. First Time Ordering Online? Go to the Scholastic website.
  2. Click on Connect to your Teacher
  3. Enter our one-time Class Activation Code (HG6HC).
  4. Shop and submit your child's book order.
  5. Your books will be delivered directly to the classroom.  

Orders are due by October 16!
John Paul II Center for Special Learning | 1092 Welsh Road, Shillington, PA 19607 | 610-777-0605