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PA Virtual Senior Organizes Four-Day Fundraising Event

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Kim McGuckin of Bucks County has always stressed to her children how important it is to give back to the community. Kim and her two sons Peirce and Conor have been volunteering with The Breathing Room Foundation for over a decade. The Breathing Room provides support and care to families facing cancer in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties.

“I have always wanted to teach my children that cancer doesn’t discriminate,” said Kim. “We can help a family and give them a sense of control when everything seems like it is spinning out of control. I push my children to always look beyond themselves, and for us cyber education is the perfect way to do that.”

Due to the flexibility of cyber education, Peirce, a PA Virtual senior has turned his Graduation Project into a four-day fundraising event for the foundation!

On November 10-13, a four-day marathon of fundraising events to support The Breathing Room Foundation will take place in Peddler’s Village. Over the course of the weekend, shoppers can take part in a tasting event (Thursday), a Painting for Love event with artist Dani Giovi (Friday), and endless shopping, live music, artisan co-ops and more throughout the weekend. A fundraiser of this magnitude is certain to draw shoppers and create awareness for the foundation – which is the end goal for Peirce.

In addition to working part time at Bekky’s Village Workshop in Peddler’s Village, he uses his time between online classes to build relationships with other artisans in the shops and get them involved in the event, which doubles as his graduation project, a requirement for all PA Virtual students who graduate.

Younger brother Conor is also an active volunteer at The Breathing Room, helping run their annual backyard fair where families come and enjoy carnival type games. Conor also participates in Odyssey of the Mind at his former brick and mortar school.

Giving back to the community is a key component of PA Virtual’s school model. In addition to sponsoring school-wide community-based service learning projects each month, the school encourages students to be active in their community in their own way. For the McGuckin family, giving back is just a part of who they are.

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Posted on: October 27, 2016 by Jennifer Kilpatrick in

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National Bullying Prevention Month – Cyber Bullying

PA Virtual National Bullying Prevention MonthBullying is no longer limited to children pushing and shoving on the playground where a teacher can easily see and discipline the offender – it frequently happens behind screens and through social media and online platforms.

In July of 2015, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf passed HB229 – a measure that made it illegal to bully a child in the state through electronic communications. Adults and juveniles alike can now face criminal charges if caught in the act of cyber bullying a child. Here at PA Virtual, we have many students who chose cyber education to escape bullying, so we take every measure to eradicate bullying in our community.

Learning Coaches in the PA Virtual model oversee their child’s daily digital activities, and actively participate in their education. While nothing can every fully eliminate bullying, this model quickly allows parents to notify the school if their child has been bullied, or take action if they see their child bullying another.

Additionally, The PA Virtual Guidance Counseling Program offers a variety of services to our students just like a counselor in a brick and mortar school would. Each family at PA Virtual is also required to sign our anti-bullying policy at the beginning of the school year and pledge to uphold the core principles of the school in order to help all young people achieve their full academic and social potential.

In 2014, 25% of teenagers reported that they have experienced repeated bullying on their cell phone, or on the Internet. Also, according to NoBullying.com, 52% of young people report being cyber bullied. October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and we encourage students and adults alike to learn that harassing someone in the digital age based on how they look, feel, or act is wrong!

How can you prevent bullying online or in your community? Share your stories in the comments below!

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Posted on: October 19, 2016 by Jennifer Kilpatrick in

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