Conversation helps ‘chart the course’ for kids’ well-being

Survey after survey has shown Wilton’s schools to be a top priority among residents, but safeguarding the academic experience of children here — from more than just the standpoint of grades — has become a concern for some.

The community — including students in sixth grade and up — is invited to Charting the Course, a community conversation on Monday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m., in the Zellner Gallery at Wilton High School’s Clune Center. It is presented by Wilton Public Schools, Wilton Youth Council and Wilton Youth Services.

“This event is the culmination of a series that began in November with screenings of Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture and the follow up film Beyond Measure,” the youth council’s Genevieve Eason said in a press release.

“We have taken a critical look at the pressure that kids experience at school, in their extra-curricular activities, and at home, and the impact that pressure has on their well-being. After each movie screening, we had heartfelt discussions. Adults in our community are worried about whether we are doing what’s best for kids. Society and the economy are changing. Does a model of education that was developed a century ago still hold up? And how are families spending the time we have outside of school? We need to come together and make some decisions.”

At the community conversation, participants will break out into small groups to identify concrete, actionable steps for schools, families, and the community. Attendance at the movie screenings is not required in order to participate in the community conversation. All concerned members of the community are welcome, including students, parents, educators, mental health and medical professionals, youth sports leaders, community organizations and more. It is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in the topic to share their opinions and ideas.

“Wilton is ripe for change. There is growing awareness of the issues affecting children’s well-being, as well as more access to information about what does and doesn’t work,” said Colleen Fawcett, coordinator of Wilton Youth Services. “This community conversation is an opportunity for us to shape and contribute to the well-being of children.”

Registration is requested at ChartingTheCourse.eventbrite.com, to allow the organizers to prepare appropriately. Contact Genevieve Eason at geason@wiltonyouth.org with questions.

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