There’s talk sometimes that all is not right with the children, or in the case of a recent op-ed by Pennsylvania Senator Ryan Aument, that all is not right with our public schools. While that doom-and-gloom position may win headlines and votes, it’s far from the reality on the ground, at least here in Berks County. Our school districts are using innovative, creative learning experiences to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed not only in the classroom, but in life.
We recently attended the Governor Mifflin School District’s first-ever Mustang Nation Learning Expo, where teachers and students at every grade level showcased innovation and expertise for the community at large. The visitors at the packed-house event had the chance to experience more than 80 interactive presentations, during which students were eager to share their knowledge on topics ranging from Entrepreneurship in Elementary School to Analyzing AI: Student Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence through a Literary Lens. We even met a group of first graders who have become real experts on Rainbow Trout. Throughout each presentation, at every grade level, students were applying their classroom learning to real world questions and problems.
Contrary to Senator Aument’s assertion that our students are being failed by an “antiquated system … with goals that are no longer relevant,” the Governor Mifflin event demonstrated ways our schools are preparing and motivating students not only to enter today’s workforce, but to be ready for the uncharted jobs of the future in disciplines of science, math, technology, humanities, arts, and beyond.
Teachers and administrators at Governor Mifflin are so determined to ensure their students hit the ground running upon graduation, they’ve become students themselves in the Total Experience Learning® program at Albright College. This groundbreaking teaching methodology supports educators and gives them the tools to transform what could be hum-drum lessons into hands-on, interactive, entrepreneurial learning experiences. There’s a real focus on encouraging students’ organic curiosity and interests to create meaningful engagement.
And, it is not just Governor Mifflin School District. School districts, administrators, and teachers across Berks County, from Reading to Boyertown and beyond, have engaged in Total Experience Learning programs, to ensure that K-12 education in Berks County continues to be relevant and motivating to today’s students, and that the PA Department of Education learning goals are not just met, but exceeded.
A dedication to continuous improvement and lifelong learning is critical not only for our students and teachers, but also for our elected leaders. Senator Aument’s proposal to study the current education system and learn from other systems around the world is admirable. But to start from the premise that all parts of the current system are irrevocably broken and that increased funding is not the answer fails to recognize the stellar achievements of dedicated administrators, teachers, and students across the Commonwealth. Our local schools rise to the challenge of educating our students for a global economy every day, despite being funded at wildly varying levels with little to no regard for the demographic and social make up of their student cohorts.
Rather than simply dismissing all PA public education as broken, the legislature should look at the actual data and do its constitutionally mandated job to provide for a fair and adequate level of school funding so that all children, regardless of their zip code, can achieve the kind of success that we saw at the Mustang Nation Learning Expo.
READING, PA (February 6, 2023) – Berks County Community Foundation and Reading Pride Celebration (RPC) recently distributed the first round of grants from the Reading Pride Celebration Gives Back Fund. The grants support local programs that align with the fund’s mission of promoting diversity, inclusion, and equality in the Berks County area.
The following organizations received grants:
“Our LGBTQ+ youth are the future leaders of our community and we hope that these funds help educators create programs and provide much-needed resources that benefit them while promoting inclusive environments and communities,” said Enrique Castro, Jr, RPC’s Executive Director.
Each grant will be used for outreach, education, and advocacy efforts aimed at creating a more inclusive community for everyone.
“We are delighted to support these organizations through the Reading Pride Celebration Gives Back initiative,” said Cindy Milian, Health and Human Services Program Officer at Berks County Community Foundation. “Their work is essential to promoting equality and understanding in our community, and we are honored to support their mission.”
The Reading Pride Gives Back Fund was created with a portion of the proceeds from the Reading Pride Celebration Festival 2022.
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing, and distributing charitable funds to improve the quality of life in Berks County, PA. More information is available at www.bccf.org.
Reading Pride Celebration is an organization that has the mission of promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by building a community that embraces and supports differences and seeks to eliminate racial oppression, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other oppression. Every dollar raised through our Pride festival or other fundraising initiatives goes directly back to support our mission and programs.
Media Contact: Erica Caceres, Communication Manager, Phone: 610-685-2231, Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Youth Hope to Unite Community on MLK Day
Reading, PA–Local teens involved in a youth-driven initiative for social justice called Stand Together Against Racism (S.T.A.R.) are coming together on Martin Luther King Day to host a community event sure to leave an impact. The S.T.A.R. initiative was born through the support of Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading and VOiCEup Berks. These motivated high school students are providing an opportunity for families to learn, unite as a community, and pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King.
In honor of MLK Day on January 16, S.T.A.R. students will host a drop-in event at Berks County Community Foundation, 237 Court Street in Reading, from 1-4 pm. Throughout the entirety of the event, there will be a student-created art exhibit, mini-service projects for youth ages 8+, and storytime for ages 4-7. Additionally, there will be a screening of the student-directed documentary, created by S.T.A.R. members, entitled ‘Stand Together’ at 2 pm (recommended for ages 11+). Following the film screening, there will be a youth-led discussion on racism and youth activism. This event will be fulfilling for all community members. More information can be found at www.voiceupberks.org/opportunity. This is a drop-in event and registration is not required but appreciated.
Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading focuses on promoting a lifetime commitment to service among youth by offering volunteer projects for youth ages 11 to 18 on Saturdays, after school, during school, virtually, and during the summer. YVC of Reading, hosted by VOiCEup, is one of over 30 affiliates of Youth Volunteer Corps, headquartered in Kansas City. YVC of Reading has engaged hundreds of young people from diverse backgrounds in over 24,000 hours of service to help this community over the past 6 years. Find more information at www.voiceupberks.org/yvc. VOiCEup Berks is a fund of Berks County Community Foundation.
Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading MLK Family Full Event Schedule
READING, PA (January 3, 2023)–Berks County Community Foundation is currently accepting applications for over 100 scholarship funds. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023. Students must complete a single online application to be matched to a qualifying scholarship. Many of the scholarships are for Berks County high-school seniors, while others support non-traditional students and students already in higher education. Criteria, details, and scholarship information can be found at http://bccf.link/scholarships.
“Scholarships help to relieve the financial burden of and increase access to continuing education opportunities for students throughout Berks County and beyond,” said Kim Sheffer, Community Foundation Lifelong Learning Program Officer.
The Community Foundation has awarded more than $10 million in scholarships to local students since its founding in 1994.
“Awarding scholarships is an impactful way to acknowledge students’ current achievements and potential, while also encouraging their future growth and success,” Sheffer said.
To review all the scholarships that the Community Foundation has available, visit https://bccf.org/search-for-scholarships/.
Applicants with questions can email Kim Sheffer, Lifelong Learning Program Officer, at email@example.com. Students can apply through March 1, 2023.
Most of these scholarships were created by Berks County residents to support local students in continuing their education.
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing, and distributing charitable funds to improve the quality of life in Berks County, PA. More information is available at www.bccf.org.
The Power of the Purse in Berks County (POP) in Berks County held its 2022-2023 kickoff meeting at Berks County Community Foundation. POP is a women’s giving circle where donations are pooled to create an impact in the Berks County community. In the meeting, there was a discussion on how to improve the lives of women and girls that included explaining The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s XX Factor Framework. Based on this framework, there are five dimensions that women look to thrive in their community: health, education, economic empowerment, personal safety, and legal rights.
“Collectively, if there is not an impact on all five, women cannot thrive. Progress in one will create a domino effect with the other dimensions,” explains Katherina M. Rosqueta, Founding Executive Director for the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania.
The Power of the Purse in Berks County Fund of Berks County Community Foundation awards grants to programs that break the cycle of poverty by eliminating or addressing barriers for Berks County girls and/or women who want to enter or re-enter the workforce or seek education they need to do so.
The deadline to apply is January 24, 2023.
This funding is made possible by the generous women who are members of the Power of the Purse in Berks County, which was started in 2012 to improve the lives of local women and children.
You can learn more about POP, how to apply for a grant, how to donate to the group, and what grants have been previously awarded at https://bccf.org/pop/.
Apply for a grant directly at http://bccf.link/grants. The deadline to apply for funding is January 24, 2023.
The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is a program of VOiCeup Berks and Berks County Community Foundation that provides young people with the opportunity to make a positive impact in their communities. YAB members work together to identify community needs and recommend grants from the Youth and Philanthropy Fund.
This fund provides grants to organizations that address issues that impact young people in Berks County. From 1998 to 2021, the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation distributed 117 grants totaling $368,258.
This year, YAB will provide grants to programs that address youth homelessness in Berks County with preference given to programs that also address substance use disorder for those experiencing homelessness.
The application for this fund is now open. You can submit your application by visiting http://bccf.link/grants. If it is your first time visiting our site, you would need to create a username and password to access the application.
The deadline to apply for the fund is 1/23/2023.
Berks County Community Foundation is proud to support the Youth Advisory Board and is committed to providing young people with the opportunities and resources they need to thrive and make a positive impact in their communities.
The YAB program has been successful in fostering the next generation of leaders and creating positive change in Berks County.
READING, PA (September 2, 2022) – The 20 members of the 2022-23 cohort for Berks County Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Management Certificate program have been selected. The executive directors and high-potential staff members begin the professional development program at the community foundation’s headquarters in Reading this week.
“The certificate program helps local nonprofit leaders improve or renew their management and leadership skills close to home,” said Kim Sheffer, lifelong learning program officer at the Community Foundation. “It combines expert instruction from faculty from The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University with peer learning so cohort members get to know and learn from each other.”
The 2022-2023 class members:
The program includes group lunches, nonprofit management webinars, and daylong in-person nonprofit management classes led by faculty members from The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University.
The Community Foundation covers the majority of the cost of the program, however, each nonprofit contributes $500 for each participant. The program will next be offered in 2024, Sheffer said.
This professional development opportunity was designed exclusively for Berks County’s nonprofit executive directors and high-potential staff members. Note that Berks County Community Foundation is not an accredited educational institution, but rather a nonprofit that seeks to bring professional development opportunities to the community for local leaders.
Check out this Community Foundation spotlight video, where Kim discusses the program:
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing and distributing charitable funds aimed at improving the quality of life in Berks County.
READING, PA (August 10, 2022) – Reading Pride Celebration (RPC) has created the Reading Pride Celebration Gives Back Fund at Berks County Community Foundation to support projects and programs that affirm and enhance the lives of LGBTQ+ youth in Berks County.
The charitable fund, created with a portion of the proceeds from the Reading Pride Celebration Festival, will provide educators and community organizations with grants to develop or expand programming that improves the lives of LGBTQ+ students in Berks.
“Our youth are the future leaders of our community, and programs geared toward LGBTQ+ youth often receive very little, yet much needed funding. These grants will make it easier for educators to expand or establish their Gay Straight Alliances and other LGBTQ+ youth programming,” said Enrique Castro, President of Reading Pride Celebration. “We believe these programs can improve the quality of life and educational experiences for our youth and create more inclusive environments and communities for all.”
Nonprofit organizations and schools, including student programs and clubs, are eligible to apply. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded.
The application period runs from September 1st through December 1, 2022, with decisions announced in January 2023. Click here to create an account or log-in.
The Reading Pride Celebration Gives Back Fund is accepting donations. To give online, click “give now.” Donations can also be mailed to Berks County Community Foundation at 237 Court St., Reading, PA 19601. Make checks payable to Berks County Community Foundation and write “Reading Pride Celebration Gives Back Fund” in the memo line.
To learn more about the Reading Pride Celebration, visit www.readingpridecelebration.org/about.
About Reading Pride Celebration
Reading Pride Celebration is an all-volunteer organization that has the mission of promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by building a community that embraces and supports differences and seeks to eliminate racial oppression, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other oppression. Every dollar raise through our Pride festival or other fundraising initiatives, goes directly back to support our mission and programs.
About the Berks County Community Foundation
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing, and distributing charitable funds aimed at improving the quality of life in Berks County.
READING, PA (July 12, 2022) — Berks County Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Management Certificate is back and better than ever.
This fall, join the Community Foundation and instructors from The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University for a ten-month professional development opportunity designed exclusively for Berks County’s nonprofit executive directors and high-potential staff members.
Apply by August 9, 2022 to become part of the 2022-2023 cohort, which is limited to twenty students.
Thank you for your interest in this opportunity. The application period is now closed. This program runs every other year.
WHY IS THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION DOING THIS?
Berks County Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Management Certificate program was designed to help local nonprofit leaders improve or renew their management and leadership skills close to home.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The Community Foundation’s board of directors approved a grant that covers the majority of the cost of the program. However, each organization is asked to contribute $500 for each individual who is selected to join the cohort.
HOW OFTEN WILL THE PROGRAM RUN?
The program is offered every two years.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?
This professional development opportunity is designed exclusively for Berks County’s nonprofit executive directors and high-potential staff members. The cohort is capped at 20 participants. Some of the classes are meant to be attended by a board member, too. There is no additional cost for the board member to accompany the executive director or staff member to those classes.
WILL I REALLY GET A CERTIFICATE?
Yes. You will receive a certificate of completion from the Community Foundation when you finish the program in May. Note that Berks County Community Foundation is not an accredited educational institution, but rather a nonprofit that seeks to bring professional development opportunities to the community for local leaders.
WHAT’S THE SCHEDULE?
Click here for the 2022-2023 schedule. Important: Students must attend all sessions to receive the certificate.
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
Click here to download the application form.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
Call Kim Sheffer, our lifelong learning program officer, at 610.685.2223, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST PRACTICES IN BOARD GOVERNANCE (FULL DAY, BRING A BOARD MEMBER CLASS)
Nonprofit boards have a clear and essential job to do that, when done, allows a nonprofit to meet its full potential. Sadly, though, too many individual board members, and therefore, collective boards, don’t understand fully what this job entails. It requires more than good intentions and meeting attendance. It requires understanding the objective and true roles and responsibilities of the job of board member and a willingness to do them.
This class lays out the full responsibilities of board membership, in both the context of being part of a larger whole, as well as an individual. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of key elements of board responsibility, such as the law’s performance expectations of nonprofit board members, strategic planning, income development, financial management, and the care and feeding of the board. In addition, this class will show how to maximize the all-important partnership of board and executive director. Attendees will leave knowing how to marry their good intentions with best practices, along with helpful tools to put it all into action.
CREATING SUCCESSFUL INDIVIDUAL AND MAJOR DONOR CAMPAIGNS (FULL DAY)
No nonprofit can afford to miss the opportunities that individual giving offers. If this were an infographic, you would be looking at a picture showing that year after year – even in the leanest of times – giving by individuals is always the largest source of charitable giving. In recent history, that percentage has never fallen from around 70% and has been as high as 82%. As significant as these numbers are, an individual giving program is about more than money. It’s also about broadening your circle of supporters – those people who really care about your mission and how you achieve it. That’s why individual and major donor campaigns are a perpetual cornerstone of fundraising, though the campaigns themselves must continually be updated and refreshed.
Need to know where to start an individual giving campaign? Need to refresh and renew or strengthen your current efforts? Need help with an annual appeal, a personal solicitation with a major donor, or anything in between? This class will help you develop the tools and techniques needed to create a comprehensive, coordinated fundraising program for individuals, including understanding the individual’s relationship to your organization, identifying strategies for each approach, how to be donor-focused while meeting your organization’s financial needs, and coordinating cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities that lead to successful campaigns.
Role-play will solidify your confidence in being able to solicit donors as an essential part of your nonprofit’s fundraising mix.
KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIC PLANNING (FULL DAY, BRING A BOARD MEMBER CLASS)
For some, strategic planning feels like a chore that has to be completed. But truly effective leaders know that having a solid strategic plan is the key to motivating your board, staff, volunteers, and supporters to embrace the organization’s direction and work together to move your mission forward. This class will help you understand how to make strategic planning an ongoing, integrated function of a nonprofit, ensuring that your top priorities are driving your daily decisions and operations.
This class covers traditional strategic planning techniques and touches on related models like adaptive planning, scenario planning, and strategic frameworks to give you a comprehensive overview of how to build a planning process that will work for your organization. It will provide solid information on the steps involved, from gathering stakeholder data to creating a shared vision, from framing strategic goals, objectives, and action plans to the budget. We’ll also evaluate different strategic planning tools that will help your organization gain clarity on its purpose, the people it serves, its programs, and its priorities. The course will also offer different methods for involving stakeholders and the community during the process, and tips for ensuring that your plan is actively implemented instead of winding up dusty in a drawer. Finally, we’ll discuss techniques for ensuring that your plan can stand up to unexpected changes both inside and outside your organization, making it your most adaptable tool for ensuring long-term success.
BLUEPRINTS FOR COMMUNICATIONS PLANNING AND MEDIA RELATIONS IN A DIGITAL WORLD (FULL DAY)
Does your organization suffer from the lack of a strategic, intentional approach to communication that clearly defines your messages, your audience, and the tools you will use to achieve your objectives? Do you have a plan that builds relationships and maximizes marketing efforts? Participants in this class will learn how to create a comprehensive communication plan, from assessing communication or marketing needs to designing communication strategies and tactics. A good communication plan helps build relationships with key publics, including volunteers, donors, and the media, as well as reducing potential risks, and this class will provide a thorough overview of how this is done. Recognizing that media relations is a powerful tool for nonprofits, even without financial resources, much of the class will be devoted to the essentials of media relations and how they fit into, and support, your overall marketing plan.
While the world of media has changed drastically in recent years, the fact that all media are swamped with requests for coverage remains constant and those who give the media what they want, when and how they want it, are the ones who will prevail. Working with the media offers tremendous value to organizations in conveying their messages, promoting events, and communicating with huge audiences, for minimal cost. Whether you’re sending out traditional news releases or tweeting your announcements, there are specific skills and strategies that will give you the best chances of getting coverage from both long-established media and the so-called new media. This class embraces those time-honored skills of good writing and compelling story-telling that remain constant, while recognizing the new strategies and approaches that new media demand of those who want to be successful in disseminating their organization’s message.
DEALING WITH A DIFFICULT BOARD MEMBER (WEBINAR)
Judging from the number of times we’re asked about a disruptive or otherwise problematic board member, most nonprofits have faced this obstacle. Among the frequently reported offenses are board members who promote their own agendas, who micromanage board and staff, and who fail to fulfill commitments.
Regardless of the particular behavior, one disruptive board member often becomes a serious obstacle to board productivity, effectiveness, and harmony. There are both immediate and long-term actions that can be taken to preempt these obstructions and this webinar will present proven strategies. It will also offer actions that can curtail potential problematic behavior so as to prevent erosion of morale and productivity of board and impacted staff.
This webinar is structured to allow sufficient time for participants to ask questions about their particular challenges so that all participants can learn from each other about how to address these common issues. The session can help you move toward creating a more positive environment for your organization to forestall an exodus of valuable board members and staff seeking to escape from the chaos and frustration caused by a difficult board member.
LOVE THEM OR LOSE THEM: HOW TO KEEP THE DONORS YOU HAVE (WEBINAR)
It is well known that it is harder to get a new customer than to keep a current one; and so it is with donors: it is easier to keep a donor you already have than gain a new one. And yet, nonprofits, on average, retain less than half of their donors every year, causing them to have to work harder to bring in new ones. What if you could get the “secret sauce” that would allow you to improve your retention rates, thereby keeping more of your current donors and losing fewer? This one-hour webinar will share the elements of that sauce, that truly isn’t much of a secret, but rather the basic elements of good donor cultivation, such as appreciation of the very first gift, to really effective communication, to good donor stewardship, and more. Walk away with practical tips, proven successful efforts, and more.
BOARD ORIENTATION DONE RIGHT (WEBINAR, BRING A BOARD MEMBER CLASS)
Once you have found new board members, make sure you offer an effective orientation experience that doesn’t assume that they know everything they need to about the mission, culture, background, and history of the organization. Your organization has an obligation to clearly spell out what’s expected of each board member, and also what you are committing to the relationship.
FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDGETING (1/2 DAY CLASS)
The accuracy of your organization or program’s budget is one of the key factors in an organization’s financial stability, growth, and ability to fulfill mission. Your budget is your financial plan, and the outline of how your mission and objectives will be carried out, guiding your organization’s operations and key decision-making. This essential class will demonstrate the components and qualities of an effective budget, the budgeting process, budgeting best practices, and projecting critical cash flow.
Starting with a brief overview of financial statements, you will learn how to read the story they tell and review basic financial terms and different types of financial systems. After covering core concepts, the class will address a systematic approach to constructing a budget for a program or organization.
In addition to learning how to create a budget, this class will include strategies for monitoring actual income and expenses and comparing them to the budget so that you’re able to make important management decisions in real time, and be able to project, based on reliable data. You’ll learn about how cash flow statements can be used to monitor and project potential cash shortfalls so you are able to adjust and plan accordingly. We will also cover methods of allocating shared costs and explain how to incorporate that into your budget. With a deeper understanding of all the components of your budget, including administrative and overhead expenses, you’ll be in a better position to make the case for being worthy of support from potential and current donors and other stakeholders.
THE POWER OF FINANCIAL FORECASTING FOR SUSTAINABILITY (1/2 DAY CLASS)
A strong financial management process is essential to a nonprofit’s well-being. In times of concern and uncertainty about the economy and the prospects for funding, the ability to perform accurate and timely financial forecasting becomes indispensable. Day to day challenges, such as gift restrictions, adherence to mission, fixed and variable expenses, call for the skill to accurately forecast cash flow, while being adaptable to changing conditions. The result is a stronger and more resilient organization.
This class will explore the basic inputs required to develop and evaluate financial projections for your organization. Understanding how and when resources are available to your organization will not only enable you to guide policy and programmatic decisions, but also assist you in strategically planning your organization’s growth and sustainability.
FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN RESOURCES (FULL DAY)
Too few nonprofits have a dedicated human resource professional on staff. Yet, the minute you have a staff member, or are even thinking of hiring your first staff member, it is imperative that someone in the organization understands the essential human resource responsibilities, regulations, and laws.
Because workplace laws guide and control much of what we must do with employees, this class covers the major workplace laws and the legal principles that govern the employment relationship. It will explore the importance of good policies and procedures in creating an effective working environment and provide an introduction to two of the most common and challenging HR responsibilities: addressing performance problems and effective guidelines for hiring the right people.
READING, PA (June 13, 2022) — A program that encourages teens to develop an interest in philanthropy and volunteering has awarded grants totaling $15,000 to four Berks County organizations that address mental health issues among youth.
For the 2021-2022 school year, the volunteers of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) identified mental health as a major concern for students in Berks County.
This year’s Youth and Philanthropy Fund grants:
YAB annually awards grants from the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation. From 1998 to 2022, the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation distributed 117 grants totaling $368,258. Learn more here: https://bccf.org/youth/
YAB is a program of Berks County Community Foundation and the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. The program combines lessons about philanthropy and awarding grants from the Community Foundation with opportunities for service-learning and volunteering provided by the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. This year’s YAB had 39 members from schools across Berks County.
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing, and distributing charitable funds aimed at improving the quality of life in Berks County. More information is available at www.bccf.org.
Contact: Jason Brudereck, Director of Communication, email@example.com, 610.685.2223