NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> Debra Wachspress, the Director of Relationship Development at the Bucks County Peace Center in Langhorne, will speak on “A Deeper Look into the Peace Center; What They Do and How It Affects All of Us” on Sunday, January 13 at 9:45 a.m. at the Newtown Friends Meetinghouse, 219 Court Street. The public is invited.
The Peace Center houses the Bucks County Bullying Prevention Resource Center funded by the County Commissioners which provides free support services for parents and children on how to effectively respond to bullying in and outside of school.
The most recent Peace Center Annual Report says: “This was our busiest year on record and we say that with a heavy heart. With a steep rise in intolerance surrounding race, religion, immigration status, gender, and sexual orientation, we began to track the number of calls we received of incidents of hate in our region. In one school district alone, we received notice of more than 70 incidents of intolerance and bigotry. What we are experiencing locally tracks closely with the reported spike in incidents of intolerance and bigotry nationally.”
Located in Langhorne, the Peace Center has been working for community peace and social justice since 1982. Their programs are designed to help reduce violence and conflict in schools, homes and communities through a multicultural, community-based approach. Their mission statement reads, “We are dedicated to furthering peace by understanding and managing conflict in our community, our nation and our world.”
Specific workshops and training sessions include: “Creating Peaceable Classrooms” for Elementary Schools concerning bullying, name-calling, and group problem solving; “Conflict Resolution” for Middle and High Schools featuring communication skills, active listening as a means of de-escalating conflict, creative problem-solving, and dealing with difficult people; “Creative Discipline in the Classroom” as a worship for teachers to learn how to deal with disruptive behavior; “Respecting Me, Respecting You – A Bullying Prevention Program” for Grades 2-5 involving story-telling and role-playing about anger management, self-respect, how to intervene in a bullying incident, and problem-solving; “Bullying Prevention” for Elementary level teacher training; and, “Respecting Our Differences” and “Anger management” for Grades 5-12.
Wachspress previously served as director of community engagement at the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County and as director of public affairs for the NJ Charter Public Schools Association. Following the tragedy at Columbine High School, she served as the NJ State Coordinator for the Million Mom March media spokesperson. She was elected to the Pennsbury School Board in 2013 and serves on the policy and education committees. Debra has her B.A. degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and her M.A. degree in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers. She resides in Yardley with her husband, Dan, and three children.
Following the presentation, there will be Meeting for Worship at 11 a.m. with coffee and snacks served afterwards in the Gathering Room. Child Care is provided and the public is welcome at all events.
For more information about the Newtown Friends Meeting, visit www.newtownfriendsmeeting.org