An Evening in the Chocolate Garden

Join A Woman’s Place (AWP), the only domestic violence organization in Bucks County, at the 19th annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fantasy for an evening at The Chocolate Garden, at Tyler Hall on the campus of Bucks County Community College in Newtown on Saturday, April 26th. This event, which is the largest annual fundraiser for AWP, is a fun evening to eat great food, meet hundreds of community members, bid on fantastic auction items, and sample the most delicious chocolate desserts from all over the county – all for a great cause!

This year, attendees will enter a garden party chock full of more chocolate delicacies than any one person can imagine. Put on your best Garden Party attire and be on hand at 6:00pm for an evening of drinks, dinner, and spectacular auction items. Don’t forget the reason why this event is called Chocolate Lovers’ Fantasy. Guests will enjoy a vast spread of desserts made of all types of chocolate and a giant dark chocolate fountain. This is the must-taste event of the year!

Tickets are $125 per person. AWP members can purchase their ticket for $100. Due to the event including dinner service, all tickets must be purchased prior to the event. There will be no tickets available at the door.

Come to the sweetest event in Bucks County! Call Director of Public Advocacy Jenny Salisbury at 215.343.9241 x108 to purchase your tickets today!

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BCAEYC celebrates Silver Anniversary Conference

 

by June Portnoy

On Saturday, October 5th, silver balloons waved in the air at Bucks County Community College’s (BCCC) Newtown campus, welcoming several hundred early childhood educators for the 25th Annual Bucks County Association for the Education of Young Children (BCAEYC) Conference.

BCAEYC is a non-profit organization consisting of over 300 members dedicated to supporting the needs and rights of young children, their families and early childhood educators. Every year BCAEYC provides an outstanding professional development experience during a full day of workshops at this conference. Over the years, the conference committee has brought nationally recognized speakers to Bucks County for the keynote address.

This year BCCC and BCAEYC co-sponsored this Silver Anniversary Conference. BCAEYC Co-President Terri Mohapp announced this year’s theme as “Growing for a Quarter of a Century.”

“This year, our committee is looking at where we’ve been and thinking about where we want to go in the future,” said Terri. “We always want to be a voice for our youngest learners and a support for those who teach them throughout Bucks County.”

Terri reminded her audience that 25 years ago, there were no early childhood education norms or standards in this county, and no Bucks County Association for the Education of Young Children.

“Thanks to the vision, hard work and dedication of a few very special people, there would be an organization that would advocate for our youngest learners and the dedicated people who care for them,” continued Terri, referring to the BCAEYC founders. “Right now we stand on the shoulder of those who came before us. The foundation is strong, and the building for the future depends on early childhood educators everywhere.”

Roseann Fry, BCAEYC’s past president, current board member and longstanding member of the conference committee, gave a special presentation to Pat Miiller.

Said Roseann, “As the conference committee gathered to discuss plans for our 25th annual fall classic, it became clear that one among us was responsible for the success of the conference for each of those 25 years. 

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BCCC hosts Sixth Annual Women’s Scholarship Tea

 

by June Portnoy

On Thursday, October 24th, Bucks County Community College (BCCC) hosted its Sixth Women’s Scholarship Tea.

Adrienne Clark, Coordinator, Development Programs of BCCC Foundation, welcomed a room filled with women at the college’s Tyler Hall.

“You are the generous donors that helped make our ‘Salute to Mothers’ Scholarship so successful,” said Adrienne. “In the past five years, we’ve awarded 60 scholarships, giving away $38,000 to very deserving women here on campus who are trying to raise a family, work and also get an education at the same time.

“Last year we awarded 10, $1,000 scholarships, and next fall of 2014 we will be awarding 16 scholarships, the largest number so far. As of today, we have already raised $11,000.”

Betty Tsai, sitting at a large table listening to Adrienne speak, is the founder of this annual scholarship award. Six years ago, Betty, a former BCCC professor, donated one $500 scholarship to a single mother who was seeking higher education at the college.

“I retired after working here for 37 years and wanted to give back to the college that had given me so much during my career,” explained Betty. “While working here, I met so many women who I knew would benefit from a scholarship like this one.”

For the first two years, in 2007 and 2008, the BCCC Foundation awarded a $500 scholarship to one recipient each year. Over the years, the number of people donating to this scholarship fund grew, and in 2011 the BCCC Foundation began awarding $1,000 scholarships.

“I planted the seed and it blossomed,” said Betty, refusing to take much credit for all the Foundation has accomplished over the years.

Jennifer Hall, a 2013 “Salute to Mothers” Scholarship recipient, attended this year’s Women’s Scholarship Tea. She is the mother of two young daughters, a nursing major with a minor in psychology and a work-study student at the college’s Upper Bucks Campus. 

“Receiving a scholarship that honors me as a non-traditional student and a single mom is amazing,” said Jennifer. “It’s not easy balancing classes, working, volunteering and being involved in campus organizations and president of one of them, so it is a tremendous weight off my shoulders being blessed to receive this scholarship.

“Without these financial awards, I would not be able to afford college, as I have many responsibilities as a parent…I have now been given the motivation to do well in the future because my hard work is being acknowledged.”

Keynote Speaker Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, BCCC President, shared a heartwarming story of her own mother’s challenge of raising her three young children after her husband unexpectedly passed away. With no college degree and having not worked in years, she had no confidence to go back into the workplace until she went to community college to learn some skills.

“But she didn’t just learn skills there,” explained Dr. Shanblatt. “She also learned self-confidence, hope, and she learned to trust herself again. The people at that college guided her on an important path.”

Dr. Shanblatt’s mother ultimately became a stockbroker and was able to earn enough money to take care of herself and her children.

“It was that community college experience that she (my mother) talked about often that made the difference in her life,” continued Dr. Shanblatt. “And so this scholarship matters to me on a very personal level.

“There are rare times in life when one really has an opportunity to deeply touch someone else’s life in a transformative way.

“Through this scholarship tea; for the scholarships we provide; through the support and encouragement we give to women; particularly women with children who are really trying to better themselves and their children’s lives, we have that rare opportunity to truly make a difference for others.”

To make a donation to BCCC’s “Salute to Mothers” Scholarship, and help change a woman’s life, call 215-968-8224 or email foundation@bucks.edu.

PHOTO CAP: From left, Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, BCCC President and Keynote Speaker; 10-year-old Aubrey Hill, who is standing beside her mother, Jennifer Hill, a 2013 “Salute to Mothers Scholarship” recipient.

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BCAEYC celebrates Silver Anniversary Conference

On Saturday, October 5th, silver balloons waved in the air at Bucks County Community College’s (BCCC) Newtown campus, welcoming several hundred early childhood educators for the 25th Annual Bucks County Association for the Education of Young Children (BCAEYC) Conference.

BCAEYC is a non-profit organization consisting of over 300 members dedicated to supporting the needs and rights of young children, their families and early childhood educators. Every year BCAEYC provides an outstanding professional development experience during a full day of workshops at this conference. Over the years, the conference committee has brought nationally recognized speakers to Bucks County for the keynote address.

This year BCCC and BCAEYC co-sponsored this Silver Anniversary Conference. BCAEYC Co-President Terri Mohapp announced this year’s theme as “Growing for a Quarter of a Century.”

“This year, our committee is looking at where we’ve been and thinking about where we want to go in the future,” said Terri. “We always want to be a voice for our youngest learners and a support for those who teach them throughout Bucks County.”

Terri reminded her audience that 25 years ago, there were no early childhood education norms or standards in this county, and no Bucks County Association for the Education of Young Children.

“Thanks to the vision, hard work and dedication of a few very special people, there would be an organization that would advocate for our youngest learners and the dedicated people who care for them,” continued Terri, referring to the BCAEYC founders. “Right now we stand on the shoulder of those who came before us. The foundation is strong, and the building for the future depends on early childhood educators everywhere.”

Roseann Fry, BCAEYC’s past president, current board member and longstanding member of the conference committee, gave a special presentation to Pat Miiller.

Said Roseann, “As the conference committee gathered to discuss plans for our 25th annual fall classic, it became clear that one among us was responsible for the success of the conference for each of those 25 years. 

“As its first co-chair, Pat Miiller shared her vision that early childhood education staff would come together for a special day of quality training and begin to see themselves as part of a proud profession in progress. 

“Through 25 years, Pat has worked tirelessly to help the conference grow and improve. Her passion for this very special event is still burning brightly, and we are all indebted to her service.”

Lori Borman, Director of Child Development Specialties in Philadelphia, presented nine Outstanding Educators’ awards. She explained that award recipients were nominated by parents, school directors, co-workers and consultants.

“To receive this Outstanding Educator Award, a professional award, educators are nominated for outstanding professionalism as achieved in early childhood educations that goes above and beyond their normal job descriptions.”

Lori presented a special Outstanding Educator Award to past president, Kathe Bryner.

Said Lori, “Kathe has worn many hats as early childhood educator, early intervention specialist and past president (of BCAEYC) for the past two years.” 

Cindy Sherman and Mary Theresa Smith, each from the George School Children’s Center in Newtown received an Outstanding Educator Award. Cindy was described as a “patient, creative and supportive teacher.”

A parent who nominated Mary Theresa Smith stated, she “has taken an active role in supporting our son who has autism. During her non-working hours, she attends autism conferences, consults with professionals and uses that information to adapt to the classroom environment and her teaching strategies so our son can be more successful.”

Mary Higgins from Crossing Cooperative Nursery School in Washington Crossing also received an Outstanding Educator Award.  She was described as the go-to person whenever anybody needs something.

Debra Ratti, another Outstanding Educator Award recipient, works at Wee Care Early Learning Center in Langhorne. 

The person who nominated Debra wrote, “She patiently nurtures her little ones through the first year of life, shepherding them into happy, confident and curious toddlerhood.”
The other three Outstanding Educator Award recipients included Jennifer Aloan from LI’L Bucks Partners in Learning at the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology in Jamison; and Susan Ranieri and Michelle Brett, both from St. Paul’s Preschool in Warrington.

This year’s keynote speaker was Rick Ellis, whose presentation was entitled, “Back to the Future! Who Will Save the Block Corner?” He suggested that early childhood educators should consider going back to certain fundamental basics, such as reviving read-a-longs, preserving playtime and maintaining classic societal behaviors and manners.

Following the opening ceremony, conference participants could choose three out of 33 workshops in which to register. For more information about BCAEYC, visit www.bcaeyc.org.

PHOTO CAP: Kathe Bryner (left) and Pat Miiller with their awards

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The Piazza Nuova Lodge proudly presents international Italian pop singer and songwriter Giada Valenti in concert

The Piazza Nuova Lodge, Order Sons of Italy in America of Yardley/Newtown, Pennsylvania, proudly presents Venetian born international Italian pop singer and songwriter Giada Valenti in concert on Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 3 p.m., at the Gateway Auditorium at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA.

Accompanied by her full band and the Bucks County Community College ‘Madrigal Singers’ Giada will take you on a musical journey singing her own renditions of hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s as well as recent contemporary songs combined with Italian songs and Christmas favorites. All songs have fresh new arrangements with a warm adult contemporary pop sound. With her delightful personality Giada Valenti has become a brand that stands for romantic music, glamour and spectacular shows.

In addition, professional harpist Gloria Galante will perform during the reception and program break. Gloria is the professor and creator of the harp program at West Chester University Harp Ensemble, a Musicopia ensemble leader, and is on the prestigious roster of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
 
Tickets: $30, Family Rate 4 or more $25 each. For tickets call: 1-800-838-3006 event #429249 or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/429249.

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Bucks County Poet Laureate reading Nov. 17th

A reception and poetry reading to honor 2013 Bucks County Poet Laureate Alexa Gutter (pictured) of Lower Makefield will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, November 17th in the Orangery at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown.

Also reading: runners-up Natalie Mera Ford, Tom Mallouk, and Sandra Becker, all of Doylestown, and 2012 poet laureate Lara Adams Gaydos of Chalfont. Free and open to the public.

For information contact the Department of Language and Literature at BCCC, 215-968-8150.

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James A. Freeman publishes ‘Temporary Roses Dipped in Liquid Gold’

Longtime Bucks County Community College English Teacher James Freeman will soon see his latest book of poems, “Temporary Roses Dipped in Liquid Gold,” published by Finishing Line Press. 

The book, due out this month, features a full-color painting by the young Bucks County artist Anna Gaul as well as 14 poems of intense emotional experiences, Bucks County and Philadelphia settings, uplifting and elegiac scenes of the natural world and forged connections among sensitive people.

Speaking to universal conflicts and themes, the poems are born from the loving particulars and from the daily life of the author in two home places, Bucks County and Shasta County, CA. 

Widely published poet Dr. Christopher Bursk says of “Temporary Roses,” “This is a world which encompasses much: the Shoshone, the DAR, fat waxy blueberries, cool water and cosmic sand, Mt. Shasta, Maui, a Chevelle 396, a 300-pound winch, bottle-brown reeds. Like all accomplished storytellers, Jim Freeman creates a richly evocative landscape of discovery and loss, challenge and courage, and we are better for out explorations of it with him.”

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Emma McNally among youth volunteer award winners

Emma McNally, a 10th grader from Central Bucks High School South, was among a dozen Bucks County youth who were honored last month for their exceptional work in alcohol, tobacco and other drug use prevention in their schools and communities.

The awards were presented at the Lead On! Youth Leadership Conference on Wednesday, May 29th, at Bucks County Community College in Newtown.

Emma has been the Chalfont Borough Junior Councilperson for over a year now. Most recently, she brought the “Young Lungs at Play” initiative to the Borough Council’s attention for implementation at Blue Jay Park.

The Council was so impressed with the program and her presentation that they decided to make all of the parks in the Borough smoke-free. Emma’s advocacy efforts led to policy change in tobacco prevention, exemplifying environmental change.

For information about the Lead On! Youth Leadership Conference, call 215-345-6644 or visit http://leadonyouthconference.org.

PHOTO CAP: Emma McNally

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Winning artwork

 

Emma Sio of Newtown, a sophomore at the George School, recently won honorable mention in the Congressional Art Awards for her sculpture lamp.

The award was presented by Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick in a ceremony held at Bucks County Community College.

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Switch Career Tracks with Basic Railroad Training Course

Free information sessions will be held April 15 & 22 for those considering a career as a locomotive conductor or engineer; classes start May 4
 
Locomotive Engineer and Conductor Basic Training Program. 65-hour introductory course prepares you to enter a training program to become an engineer or conductor on a freight or passenger rail line. Free information session 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Monday, April 15 or Monday, April 22.

To register for free info session, call 215-968-8409. Course will run May 4 – June 25 (Sat. & Tue.) at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa., 18940. Fee: $365 (plus textbook) Register: www.bucks.edu/con-ed or 215-968-8409.

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