Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Families and schools learn how to navigate digital world together


LEAVENWORTH – Cascade School District kicked off the first of a four-part community event to help students and parents better understand and navigate the digital world on Jan. 29. 

The event showed a documentary called Screenagers, Growing up in the Digital Age, which is the first film of a three-part series. The following two films will be screened on Feb. 12 and Mar. 18 at Cascade High School Auditorium. The fourth event will be a community Q and A and discussion on Mar. 25. 

“We as a community need to come together and help guide our young people through this "digital world," if you will. We give them this power. We give them this computer in their hand, but then - and no judgment - but sometimes we don't offer them the tools and skills to actually use it well,” said Icicle River Middle School Principal James Swanson before the screening.

The first film dove into the struggles of families handling social media, video games, and academics, and looked into solutions such as setting clear boundaries with phone use and having an open dialogue about technology. 

The second film in the trilogy is called Screenagers Next Chapter: Addressing Youth Mental Health in the Digital Age. The third film is called Screenagers Under The Influence: Addressing Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age. 

A community event on Mar. 25 will host a panel Q and A, foster group discussions, and share resources regarding the topic of the films. The conversations will be tailored around the feedback and questions received at the end of each film. The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, the location of the event is yet to be determined.

“I hope we have a community conversation around technology and making sure that we're being safe for kids, but also thinking about how adults are role models about how we can use technology safely and respectfully. I think it'll be beneficial for the entire community,” Cascade School District Superintendent Tracey Edou.

The series was created by physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston of Seattle, WA. Ruston was inspired to create the trilogy when she struggled with the right approach to screens with her 12 and 14-year-old and saw other parents and schools were also struggling with their approach. As a physician, Ruston started looking at medical research to understand the negative effects of the digital world on teens and look for solutions.

The following two films will be screened at 6:30 p.m. at Cascade High School Auditorium on Feb. 12 and Mar. 18. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media


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