Our phones and other devices are no longer simply tools that we use. They’re also doorways into online communities. On March 18 at 8:30 a.m., the Oceanside School District is offering a Saturday Symposium for parents at the Oceanside High School titled “Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World” featuring author and expert Devorah Heitner, a noted authority on kids in the digital age.
After the Heitner’s keynote address, participants can either choose one of three smaller expo workshops, a new addition to the Saturday Symposium. Either a yoga session, an information session on your brain and emotions or the expo section. Each will be held from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m.
The expo will have representatives offering valuable tips, tools, and information for parents on college admissions, the college bound athlete, the SAFE Coalition, Families Together in New York State and the Town of Hempstead will have information on events, programs and useful applications. The Oceanside Library Bookmobile will also be on the premises.
Diane Provvido, the assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and research said the event is a “time for us to come together on a Saturday morning, have parents come in leisurely, enjoy a cup of coffee and enjoy learning together. We like to say we do it all because together we’re doing the most important mission of all, which is raising our kids and raising them to be healthy, happy individuals.”
The event is supported by Parent University, a group of individuals consisting of administrators, parents and faculty members who come together each year to talk about topics the community wants to know about. Creating a presentation specifically for parents, they get information from the community on what they’d like to see talk about. They then bring in workshops tailed to that into the community. Community topics ranged from academics to other things like nutrition, mental health and time management.
Managing the digital age triumphed overall, as parents work to catch up with technology the newer generation has always been exposed to. Provvido said, “it’s all about helping parents raise our young people with the advent of social media and technology and digital media, and how to help our kids thrive and have good empathetic digital interactions. Helping them to understand the idea of personal privacy and being a responsible digital citizen.”
The districts first symposium went really well Provvido said, and everyone was eager to plan the second one for the second week of March 2020. However, due to Covid-19, things didn’t work out as planned. This year’s symposium will be the first since Covid.
“We hope that the environment will be nice and relaxed for families who are so busy,” Provvido said. Saying they should see the event as a one stop shop for all parent and community needs to be fulfilled.