Change To Upcoming Roundtable Event

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our Character Education Roundtable scheduled for July 30th has been cancelled. If you are interested in attending an upcoming roundtable, please email gwen.pongracz@gmail.com to be put on our mailing list.

Character Education Roundtable

Hear from educators who have seen the results of award-winning character education initiatives in their schools. Brainstorm with other educators in the Lehigh Valley.

Learn how to:

· Prevent bullying

· Improve your school’s culture and climate

· Decrease discipline referrals

· Improve attendance & academic scores

July 30th

DeSales University

University Center – Gerald White Pavilion

2755 Station Ave.

Center Valley, PA

$20 in advance, $25 at door, lunch will be provided

To learn more, click here.

6th Annual Lehigh Valley Youth Leadership & Ethics Conferences

October 14th: 8th Graders
October 15th: 11th Graders

DeSales University, Center Valley, PA

The purpose of the conferences is to motivate both students and faculty to pursue the development of competence and character within their own schools and throughout their lives as they aspire to be citizens of competence and character in society.

For the 8th grade conference, we will have an inspirational keynote speaker.  Students will then be broken up into 3 groups and will rotate in and out of concurrent sessions.  The sessions will focus on

1) Leadership and Character
2) Appreciating Differences
3) Teamwork and Communication

The senior high conference will feature a keynote speaker talking about “The Power of Character”.  Students will then be broken into discussion groups headed by DeSales University PACERs.  These are DeSales students who run the DeSales Character U program for freshman.  PACERs will begin with team-building activities and then introduce students to the concept of a values-based decision making. Using short stories (vignettes), with moral-ethical implications, PACERs will challenge the students to discover the moral and ethical issues, suggest how these might be resolved, and develop a plan for redressing the problem(s).  Successful resolution of ethical dilemmas will require “critical thinking, moral reasoning, and values-based decision making.”

On both days, while the students are in their sessions, we will hold a workshop on character education for the educators accompanying the students.  We will share ideas from schools that have been recognized by the Character Education Partnership as National Schools of Character.

Kids of Character Bullying Prevention Event

EP-704119388According to the National Education Association, 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Statistics also show that 1 in 7 students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying. Bullying is linked to psychological effects including anxiety, depression, paranoia, stress, loss of confidence, loss of self-esteem, withdrawal, breakdown and even suicide.

Please join us as we present Mr. Kirk Smalley, a nationally known speaker from Oklahoma and founder of the non-profit organization Stand for the Silent. In the recent documentary “Bully,” Kirk shared his family’s experience with bullying. At eleven years-old, Kirk’s son, Tyler, took his own life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully that had been bullying him for over two years.

Kirk’s message offers education and tools to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening to another child and family. Kirk’s mission is to continue to change kids’ lives and bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes.

This is an event open to the public.  Parents, students in grades 4 and up, educators, anyone who works with children or youth should attend.  Register online HERE

TIME:
6:15pm – 8:15pm; Doors open at 5:45pm

LOCATION:
DeSales University in the University Center/Gerald White Pavilion
2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA 18034

Character Education Roundtable

Hear from educators who have seen the results of award-winning character education initiatives in their schools.  Brainstorm with other educators in the Lehigh Valley.

Learn how to:

·       Prevent bullying

·       Improve your school’s culture and climate

·       Decrease discipline referrals

·       Improve attendance & academic scores

July 24th

DeSales University

University Center – Gerald White Pavilion

2755 Station Ave.

Center Valley, PA

$20 in advance, $25 at door, lunch will be provided

Kids of Character Inaugural Golf Tournament

logoFRIDAY, JUNE 20th – Kids of Character
Inaugural Golf Tournament at Olde Homestead!

More Information: HERE

Schedule of Events
Prizes
Details
11:30am – Registration and Warm-up
12:45pm – Announcements
1:00pm – Golf
6:00pm – Dinner and Awards
1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place
Longest Drive – Men and Women
Straightest Drive – Men and Women
Closest to the Pin – Men and Women
Pot of Gold
4 Person Scramble
Shotgun Start
Unlimited Warm-up balls
Bag Drop Service
Cart with GPS
BBQ Dinner
$90 per player

Communities Building Kids of Character Seminar – October 21, 2012

On October 21, Kids of Character held their third Communities Building Kids of Character seminar at the KidsPeace Orchard Hills Campus in Orefield. The seminar spotlighted the issues facing today’s youth and how the community may address them. Forty people came to hear how we can make a difference by promoting character education and development here in the valley. As a community, we CAN make a difference in the children’s lives and help them grow into respectful, responsible citizens.

Featured speakers included:

Anne Baum, VP, Capital Blue Cross of Lehigh Valley
Will Iseman, CEO and President of KidsPeace
Jim Tice, consultant with US Attorney’s Office Eastern PA District
Jane Wells Schooley, Olweus Bullying Prevention Consultant
Mike Brady and John Muraco, KidsPeace
Mark Enriquez, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Hector Sanchez, St. Luke’s Neighborhood Center

Attendees learned about the importance of character education and that it is the responsibility of everyone to promote character education and development. Participants were encouraged to get involved with youth because “We Can Make a Difference.”

Lehigh Valley Youth Leadership & Ethics Conference

March 27: 8th graders
March 28: 11th graders

DeSales University

DeSales University and Kids of Character will be hosting their third annual Youth Leadership and Ethics Conferences. Each school district is invited to send six 8th graders and two faculty members on March 27th and six 11th graders and two faculty members on March 28th.

There is no cost for you and your students to attend. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Most important points learned from previous conferences:

8th graders—Your silence is your consent. To be the one who steps out when someone is being bullied.
11th graders—Character can develop no matter who you are. Make decisions on what I believe, not on what others attempt to persuade me to do.
Faculty—Lack of time doesn’t mean you can’t do character development. Character education can and must be integrated into everything in the school.
Please contact gwen.pongracz@gmail.com to register.

“Taking the Initiative” – TV Show WBPH, December 13 & 16, 2011

Dr. Gregg Amore of DeSales University and Gwen Pongracz were interviewed by Rev. William Kuntze on WBPH TV60 show “Taking the Initiative.” Dr. Amore coordinates the PA sponsorship of the Character Education Partnership State School of Character Award Program. The show is broadcast at 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays on RCN, channel 60; Service Electric, channel 51; Blue Ridge, channel 19; and on many Comcast areas, channel 17. Our segment aired on December 13 & 16, 2011.
View the video

3rd Annual Communities Building Kids of Character Seminar – October 21, 2011

Strength of Character…The Foundation of True Success, published in Lehigh Valley Family Magazine – November 2010

A quick search on Webster’s defines character as “Moral or ethical quality; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity; reputation; good repute.” Digging a bit deeper, character can be defined as “the stable and distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determines his or her response, regardless of circumstances.”

Consider how strong a person’s character must be to “determine a person’s response regardless of circumstances.” Is your character that strong? What about the character of our children?
Read full article

Kids of Character’s Gwen Pongracz speaks to The Morning Call during Character Counts Week – October 20, 2010

This is Character Counts Week, a time to stress the benefits of character education. Character education can have different names — anti-bullying, social and emotional learning or social skills, positive youth development, etc. They are all about teaching our children how to become respectful, responsible citizens who will make good decisions in their personal lives, family lives and future work lives.
Read full story

Second Annual Communities Building Kids of Character seminar – October 22, 2010

On October 22, Kids of Character held their second Communities Building Kids of Character seminar at the KidsPeace Orchard Hills Campus in Orefield. The seminar spotlighted the issues facing today’s youth and how the community may address them. Fifty-four people came to hear how we can make a difference by promoting character education and development here in the valley. As a community, we CAN make a difference in the children’s lives and help them grow into respectful, responsible citizens.

Featured speakers included:
Dr. Len Marella, Center for Leadership & Ethics
Lee Butz, Alvin H. Butz, Inc.
Alicia Ruiz Orbin, Allentown Youth Success Zone
Sam Martinez, Allentown Youth Coalition
Bill Royer, Bethlehem Community Collaborative
Jessica Parnell, Bridgeway Academy
Andrew DeAngelo, Community Justice Planner
Henry Moore, PA Regional Center for Public Safety Innovation
Karen McAndrew-Bush, PA Career Link
Maria Isidor & Mair Hokenson, Alliance for Building Communities

Attendees learned about the importance of character education and that it is the responsibility of everyone to promote character education and development. Participants were encouraged to get involved with youth because “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.”

KidsPeace President and CEO Promotes Kids of Character on WFMZ, Channel 69 – November 2, 2009

KidsPeace President and CEO appeared on the morning news on WFMZ, Channel 69 today to help promote Kids of Character, a local nonprofit that is promoting instilling character in our children at a grass roots level. Isemann appeared with Gwen Pongracz, founder of the organization, to explain that parents, educators, business leaders, neighbors, community members and all responsible adults are all stakeholders in teaching our children the core values of character.
Read full article

“As Many as 300,000 education jobs could be cut from state budgets in the next year.”

According to Beth Sullivan, President of Education Voters of America, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa introduced the Keep Our Education Working Act (S. 3206), which would create a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund to help keep teachers, principals, librarians and other school personnel on the job as states face crippling budget shortfalls.
Click here to read more