‘Charting the Course’ for education changes

Wilton’s youth and school community will continue its Community Conversation series — begun last fall — with two upcoming events. Charting the Course is a three-part series in response to rising rates of student disengagement, anxiety and depression.

A screening of the documentary Beyond Measure will be shown Monday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m., in the Middlebrook School auditorium, 131 School Road. The series will culminate with a Community Conversation on Monday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m., in the Zellner Gallery in the Clune Center at Wilton High School, 395 Danbury Road.

“We began this series in November with two screenings of Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” Genevieve Eason of the Wilton Youth Council said in a press release. “In the Q&A sessions after the film, it was clear that there is a hunger for change. Families are struggling in our high-pressure culture, but often the solutions to our problems aren’t always obvious. We hope that Beyond Measure will help to spark ideas about what is possible.”

The film Beyond Measure features schools across the country that are breaking away from test-driven education, viewing critical thinking, communication, exploration, experimentation, collaboration, and creativity as the key to good education.

“The stress felt by our students is an ongoing problem that has been discussed in our community for a long time,” said Colleen Fawcett, coordinator of Wilton Youth Services.  “We understand that it is formidable. We can make a cultural shift, only if many of us — individually and collectively — make incremental shifts in our own realms. That is the purpose of the community conversation.”

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.

“At the community conversation, we will ask participants to consider three areas of children’s lives: home, school and organized activities. Working in small groups, we will identify concrete, actionable steps for schools, families, and the community,” Eason said. “This is our chance to come together to share our ideas, hopes and concerns for our children.”

The series is presented by Wilton Public Schools, Wilton Youth Council and Wilton Youth Services. Admission for both the movie screening and the community conversation is free; registration is recommended at the links below. Contact Genevieve Eason at geason@wiltonyouth.org with questions.

Beyond Measure: 10 a.m. — BeyondMeasureWiltonAM.eventbrite.com; 7 p.m. — BeyondMeasureWiltonPM.eventbrite.com.  

Community Conversation in the Zellner Gallery — ChartingTheCourse.eventbrite.com.tag