2019-2020 Education Speaker Series lineup announced

The perils of social media, teen alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, and other hot topics in the parenting world are on tap for this year’s Piedmont Education Speaker Series.

All events will be from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Avenue. All events are on Tuesdays except the October 2 program, which is a Wednesday. Subscriptions will be available to purchase the first week in August during online registration on the Piedmont Store; details coming soon. Contact  info@piedmontedfoundation.org  with any questions.

September 10, 2019: “LIKE” – A documentary on the impacts of social media

This documentary film explores the wide-ranging impact of social media on the brain, on our lives, and on society, and offers insights into how we can navigate it more safely. Following the 50-minute film, there will be discussion facilitated by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Wozniak. 

October 2, 2019*: Developing Executive Function Skills

Children and teens who have trouble with executive function may have challenges in planning ahead, taking initiative, inhibiting impulses, managing time, completing tasks, and seeing “the big picture.” A nationally-recognized expert, Sarah Ward, Ms will share strategies and tools for teaching children how to develop independent executive function skills. 

October 29, 2019: Orchids and Dandelions: The Science of Sensitive Kids

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at UCSF, W. Thomas Boyce, MD studies and writes about the “dandelion” child (hardy, resilient, healthy, and able to survive and flourish under most circumstances) and the “orchid” child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile). Boyce will explore how genetic make-up and environment together shape behavior and how, with the right support, all children can thrive. 

November 19, 2019: Cannabis and the Developing Brain

During adolescence, the brain undergoes crucial development associated with judgment, critical thinking, problem solving, and memory. A clinical psychologist, Research Director at Hopelab, and Adjunct Associate Professor at UCSF, Danielle Ramo, Ph.D will explore how cannabis use affects the teen brain and can disrupt brain development with potential long-term implications. 

January 28, 2020: Nicotine, Vaping, and Adolescent Health

A Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Research in Adolescent Medicine at Stanford University, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, Ph.D will address: effects of nicotine on the adolescent brain; youth vulnerability to addiction; health risks of using new pod-based devices like JUUL; why vaping is on the rise; and efforts to reduce youth vaping. 

February 11, 2020: Teen Drinking

The Principal Investigator of the Adolescent Health Research Program and a Professor of Psychology at Reed College, Kristen G. Anderson, Ph.D specializes in addictive behaviors relating to substance abuse from late childhood through emerging adulthood. Dr. Anderson will address how teen drinking affects brain development and how to identify and discourage addictive behaviors in adolescents, to help parents develop practical strategies for addressing their teens’ decisions concerning alcohol. 

February 25, 2020: Managing Anxiety at School and Home

With over 28 years of experience as a social worker and psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children, Lynn Lyons, LICSW offers strategies and techniques for addressing, rather than avoiding, what makes us anxious. She focuses on how to interrupt the worry cycle, and how to change behavioral patterns and cognitive habits that contribute to anxiety and depression. 

March 24, 2020: How to Raise Successful People: Helping Kids Find Their Own Path

Esther Wojcicki, an educator, journalist, author, and parent, offers a formula for raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. The opposite of helicopter parenting, she advocates for letting children find their own path. She is the founder of the award-winning Media Arts program at Palo Alto High School, a leader in establishing the Google Teacher Academy, and was California Teacher of the Year in 2002.

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