2014 Events

Date: March 13, 2014 – For Schools
Time:9:00am – 10:45am
Doors open at 8:30am
Location: DeSales University in the
University Center /Gerald White Pavilion
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA  18034
Register online:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/take-a-stand-bullying-prevention-event-for-schools-tickets-10646557139
or by emailing gwen.pongracz@gmail.com

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2011 Events

Communities Building Kids of Character Conference
October 21, 9:00am – 2:30pm

KidsPeace Orchard Hills Campus
Donley Therapeutic Education Center Boardroom
5300 KidsPeace Drive
Orefield, PA 18069

More Info & Registration
For the third year, Kids of Character is partnering with KidsPeace, a children’s charity that for 128 years has worked to help and guide local youngsters in crisis, to hold a conference spotlighting the issues facing today’s youth and how the community may address them. The organizations are inviting the Valley’s leaders in education, business and social services to hear some of the top national and local names in character education.

Join us to learn about the character of our youth and hear how we can make a difference by promoting character education and development here in the valley. This is your chance to voice your concerns and take action. As a community, we CAN make a difference in children’s lives and help them grow into respectful, responsible citizens

The goals of the October 21 conference will be:

  • To educate the community about the importance of character education.
  • To help the community understand that it is the responsibility of everyone to promote character education and development.
  • To encourage organizations to get involved.

This no cost, half day conference has limited seating. Lunch will be provided. If you have concerns about the character of Lehigh Valley youth and want to learn more about how your organization can play an instrumental role in their lives, be sure to attend this event.

More Info & Registration

Walk for Character Education
June 11

Historic Downtown Bethlehem

Donate / Register as a Walker
On Saturday, June 11, I, Gwen Pongracz, founder of Kids of Character, will put on my walking shoes and stroll through historic downtown Bethlehem in support of the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community. We will be supporting 23 non-profit organizations that are participating this year.

This is the seventh year the event will take place in Bethlehem as Highmark Blue Shield underwrites 100 percent of the cost of the walk. With complete logistical and financial support from Highmark, the walk in Bethlehem is just one of five walks that will take place throughout the states in spring. The participating non-profit organizations are able to use 100 percent of the dollars raised by their supporting walkers for the good of the community.

I will be walking in support of the Center for Humanistic Change. This organization offers many educational programs. Several focus on character building like those that Kids of Character promotes, including Tanner’s Manners and Reading to Be a Better Me. I will be leading a walking team called “Character Counts.” Any donations pledged to support my team will be used specifically for character education programs in local schools. A small portion of the proceeds will also support the Lehigh Valley Leadership and Ethics Conferences that Kids of Character has organized the last few years.

I need people to walk as part of my Character Counts Team; and I would love donations. As mentioned above, the Center for Humanistic Change will receive 100 percent of any donation which will then be used to provide character education programs. If you walk and pledge at least $25, you will receive a t-shirt as a remembrance of the day.

I hope you can join me in supporting the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community and raising money for character education. So lace up your walking shoes or simply get out your checkbook or credit cards. Visit the link below to sign up as a walker to to donate. Thank you!

11 Principles of Effective Character Education Training
Presented by Character Education Partnership
June 17, 8:30am – 3:30pm

DeSales University – University Center
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

Register Online
Please join us on June 17 at DeSales University when the Character Education Partnership presents training on their 11 Principles of Effective Character Education.

Learn how to create or enhance a character education initiative in your district, building or classroom. Programs emphasize:

  • Driving student achievement, ethical growth and social and emotional skill development
  • Identifying teaching strategies for moral and performance character
  • Integrating character education throughout the entire school
  • Conducting assessment and action planning

Seating is limited to 60 participants.

Training cost will be funded by a generous grant from DeSales University. Discounted training sourcebook must be purchased by attendee or school.

Get More Info

Chocolate & Wine Festival
February 27, 1:00 – 4:00pm

The Melt (Second Floor)
The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley
2845 Center Valley Parkway
Center Valley, PA 18034

View Invitation
Register Online
If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t!) join us for our Chocolate & Wine Festival, a sweet and savory exploration of chocolate and wine from local wineries, chocolatiers, bakeries and restaurants. Indulge in this extraordinary event on the second floor of The Melt.

Delicious samples provided by: The Melt, Amore Winery, Chocolate Fantasy, Guerilla Cupcakes, Dolce Patisserie, Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory, and Ann Hemyng Candy.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance ticket purchases can be made at The Melt or by registering online. Proceeds benefit Kids of Character and will help sponsor the 2nd Annual Lehigh Valley Youth Leadership & Ethics Conference at DeSales University in April.

2nd Annual Lehigh Valley Youth Leadership & Ethics Conference
April 19: 8th graders
April 20: 11th graders

DeSales University

More Info
This second annual, two-day conference hosted by DeSales University dedicates one day to 8th grade students and faculty and one day to 11th grade students and faculty to motivate them 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. Each school district attending the conference is able to send six students and two faculty for each of the days. With the sponsorship of local Rotary International Clubs, there will be no cost to the schools for sending their students and faculty. We hope you can join us at DeSales when we bring this opportunity back for students and educators in the Lehigh Valley. Email Gwen Pongracz at gwen.pongracz@gmail.com if you plan to have student and/or faculty attend.

2010 Events

Communities Building Kids of Character Conference
October 22, 9:00am – 12:00pm

KidsPeace Orchard Hills Campus
Donley Therapeutic Education Center Boardroom
5300 KidsPeace Drive
Orfield, PA 18069

Register Online
For the second year, Kids of Character is partnering with KidsPeace, a children’s charity that for 127 years has worked to help and guide local youngsters in crisis, to hold a conference spotlighting the issues facing today’s youth and how the community may address them. The organizations are inviting the Valley’s leaders in education, business and social services to hear some of the top national and local names in character education.

Join us to learn about the character of our youth and hear how we can make a difference by promoting character education and development here in the valley. This is your chance to voice your concerns and take action. As a community, we CAN make a difference in children’s lives and help them grow into respectful, responsible citizens

Featured speakers include:

  • 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

The goals of the October 22 conference will be:

  • To educate the community about the importance of character education.
  • To help the community understand that it is the responsibility of everyone to promote character education and development.
  • To encourage organizations to get involved.

This no cost, half day conference has limited seating. Lunch will be provided. If you have concerns about the character of Lehigh Valley youth and want to learn more about how your organization can play an instrumental role in their lives, be sure to attend this event. Please email Gwen Pongracz of Kids of Character with questions or for more information.

Register Online

Character Education Roundtable
July 21, 9:00am – 3:00pm

KidsPeace Orchard Hills Campus
Donley Therapeutic Education Center Boardroom
5300 KidsPeace Drive
Orefield, PA 18069

Calling all Lehigh Valley Educators! Please attend this event if you would like to:

  • Improve your school’s culture and climate
  • See less discipline referrals
  • Improve attendance and academic scores
  • Brainstorm with other educators in the Lehigh Valley
  • Hear from educators who have seen the results of award-winning character education programs in their schools

Presenters:

  • Dr. Gregg Amore, DeSales University
  • Gwen Pongracz, Kids of Character
  • Patrick Toffler, Center for Leadership & Ethics
  • Special Guest, John Adiletto, Principal of State School of Character and National School of Character

Who should attend:

  • Teachers & Guidance Counselors
  • School Nurses in grades 1 – 12
  • Principals, Assistant Principals
  • Directors of Curriculum & Instruction
  • Superintendents & Assistant Superintendents

Seating is Limited!
Register Today by calling Gwen Pongracz at 610-285-2613 / 610-216-4475 or by email. Inquire about Act 48 Credit.

Lehigh Valley Youth Leadership & Ethics Conference
March 23: 8th graders
March 24: 11th graders

Hosted at DeSales University, school districts in Lehigh and Northampton counties are invited to send six students and two faculty members to this First Annual event. There is no cost to attend. If you are a parent, please contact your school and encourage them to participate.

AGENDA:

DAY 1: 8th Grade
Overview: What is Character & Why is it Important
Breakout 1: Leading with Character
Breakout 2: Teamwork & Communication
Breakout 3: Accepting Differences

DAY 2: 11th Grade
Overview: The Power of Character
Breakouts: Groups lead by West Point Cadets – Discussion of Leadership & Ethical Challenges Faced by Today’s Youth

DAYS 1 & 2: Faculty Workshop
Character Education IS the Plate
Integrating Character into YOUR Curriculum & Classroom
Becoming a State School of Character

Conference presenters include Kids of Character, The Center for Leadership & Ethics – DeSales University and the United States Military Academy.

Special Thank You to our conference sponsors: Forum for Ethics in the Workplace and several local Rotary Clubs.

Chocolate, Wine & Ice Festival Finale at Melt Grill
February 28, 1:00 – 4:00pm

If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t!) join us for this sweet & savory exploration of chocolate, wine, coffee and Marani vodka from local wineries, chocolatiers and restaurants.

The weekend-long Chocolate, Wine & Ice Festival ends in this extraordinary event sponsored by Community Warriors with all proceeds benefitting Kids of Character and the Child Advocacy Center of Lehigh County.

Join us for this sweet and savory fundraiser at Melt Grill, Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley, from 1:00 – 4:00pm.

2009 Events

Communities Building Kids of Character Conference
October 23, 9:00am – 12:00pm

To launch its first program, Kids of Character is partnering with KidsPeace, a children’s charity that for 127 years has worked to help and guide local youngsters in crisis, to hold a conference spotlighting the issues facing today’s youth and how the community may address them. The organizations are inviting the Valley’s leaders in education, business and social services to hear some of the top national and local names in character education. The conference will be held at the Donley Therapeutic Education Center on the KidsPeace Orchard Hills Campus, 5300 KidsPeace Drive, Orefield, PA.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Len Marella, Founder & President of the Center for Leadership and Ethics, Author of In Search of Ethics, Retired Colonel of the U.S. Army
  • Elmer Gates, Chairman of Embassy Bank Lehigh Valley & co-founder of the Gates Leadership Initiative
  • Beth Fritz, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of Lehigh County
  • Dr. Gregg Amore, Director of Counseling & Student Development, Character U, DeSales University
  • Gwen Pongracz, Founder of Kids of Character
  • KidsPeace representatives

The goals of the October 23 conference will be:

  • To educate the community about the importance of character education.
  • To help the community understand that it is the responsibility of everyone to promote character education and development.
  • To encourage organizations to get involved with and run the first Kids of Character program, “Reading to Be a Better Me”.

If you have a role in education, business or belong to a service organization, please join us to learn about the character of our youth and hear how we can make a difference by promoting character education and development here in the Valley. This is your chance to voice your concerns and take action. As a community, we CAN make a difference in children’s lives and help them grow into respectful, responsible citizens.

This no cost, half day conference has limited seating. Lunch will be provided. If you have concerns about the character of Lehigh Valley youth and want to learn more about how your organization can play an instrumental role in their lives, be sure to attend this event. Please email Gwen Pongracz of Kids of Character to register by October 9.

Emergency Preparedness Day at PA Expo Center
September 19, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table at the Emergency Preparedness Day presented by Upper Macungie, North Whitehall and South Whitehall Townships at the PA Expo Center on September 19. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. There was a good crowd and it was wonderful to have a chance to meet so many people who share our belief that character education is important.