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Sixties Icon Peter Yarrow Among Performers at Academy for Character Education Annual Conference

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8071

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Peter Yarrow, one third of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, will deliver a new message of cooperation and acceptance when he performs as part of the third annual Northeast United States Conference on Character Education at Hudson Valley Community College, March 19.

Yarrow, founder of a new program called "Operation Respect," will be one of more than two dozen presenters at the two-day conference, held March 19-20, at the Bulmer Telecommunications Center at Hudson Valley Community College. The Academy for Character Education annually brings together educators and community members interested in supporting and enhancing character education in the schools and community.

Also attending as keynote speakers during the conference will be Dr. Kevin Ryan, director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University; and Dr. Philip Fitch Vincent, a nationally recognized leader in the Character Education movement. Ryan will deliver the annual Frank J. Morgan Lecture on Civics and Ethical Leadership, March 19 at 4:45 p.m. Vincent will speak before conference participants on March 20.

The lectures and educational workshops are open to the public. Admission is charged and participants may pay for the full conference, individual days or for just the Frank J. Morgan Lecture on Civics and Ethical Leadership. Registrations for the conference will be accepted through March 8. For more information, call the academy at 629-7512, or visit the conference Web site,

Yarrow's Operation Respect oversees "The Don\'t Laugh at Me Project" which works to transform schools, camps and other youth organizations into more compassionate, safe and respectful environments for children. The project disseminates educational resources that are designed to establish a climate that reduces the emotional and physical cruelty some children inflict upon each other by behaviors such as ridicule, bullying and - in extreme cases - violence.

In addition to the keynote and other nationally known speakers, several community leaders and local school district representatives will talk about how character education is being adapted to their schools. Teachers, administrators and students from Albany, Berlin, Britonkill, Cohoes, East Greenbush, Lansingburgh, Mechanicville, Niskayuna, North Colonie, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, Shenendehowa, Schodack, Schuylerville, South Colonie, Troy and Voorheesville are scheduled to present.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.