PTA kicks off education series with documentary

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“Screenagers” will be shown Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

A new education series will kick off Feb. 9 in Whitefish with the goal of addressing different topics relevant to parents and guardians of students.

The Whitefish Parent Teacher Association and the Whitefish School District are sponsoring the new series.

“We’ve been talking for a long time about trying to do things that make the PTA more relevant and more about members and parents’ lives, and one of the things that popped up over the past couple years is doing some sort of a parent education series,” Christine Rossi, PTA Chair, said.

The first event on Feb. 9 is the presentation of “Screenagers,” a documentary about struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.

Ryder Delaloye, director of curriculum and instruction for the district, offered the film as a good start for the series, and Rossi said the suggestion was met with excitement from the board.

“This is just the start of something that we hope will be helpful to parents and will address different topics throughout the year,” Rossi said.

Rossi said this particular film is relevant to issues she has faced as a parent. The constant need for connection through smartphones and other devices has created a new environment that parents aren’t always sure how to navigate in.

“You need to be connected, you need to be on your device,” Rossi said, “but at the same time science has proven that it’s almost like a drug.”

“I thought it was pretty relevant for parents who have kids of any age,” she added.

The next event set for April 4 will be “Developing Social Media Awareness,” which will discuss the legal, moral and personal implications of navigating through the world of social media as a student. After that, Rossi said she hopes to see the series explore other topics like homework help and other ways to help students learn.

The “Screenagers” viewing is free and open to the public. The film is appropriate for adults and children age 10 and older.

The film will be shown at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center at the Whitefish Middle School and will go from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information on the film, visit screenagersmovie.com.

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