Concerned about the increasingly fragile state of early childhood for a growing numberof American families, nearly 200 people gathered December 9 at the WGBH Yawkey Theatre in Boston to view an important new documentary series, The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation, followed by an illuminating panel discussion with noted area experts on childhood stress and trauma.
Co-hosted by Parenting Journey, in partnership with WGBH and the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, the viewing and discussion made a deep impression on the audience, which was clearly moved by the severity of this worsening social problem and the immediate need for determined and creative approaches to address it.
“The Raising of America accurately portrays the many hardships faced by parents and families today and stimulates discussion of what we can do better both on a local and national level,” said Maury Peterson, Executive Director of Parenting Journey. “This series aligns with our core mission of helping parents build safer, stronger families.”
The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation is a five-part documentary series that explores why so many children in America are faring so poorly, the consequences for the nation’s future, and how we can do better. Viewers saw the series’ first part, The Signature Hour, which addresses all three of these concerns.
The series is the first national, fully integrated media/public engagement project aiming to reframe the way Americans look at early childhood health and development. The series producer and executive director is Larry Adelman, co-director and head of production of California NewsReel. The first episode was filmed in large part in Boston.
The post-screening panel discussion focused on the long-term effects of stress and trauma, and the importance of a two-generational approach to improving childhood outcomes.
The enlightening panelists included Dr. Renée Boyton-Jarrett, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine; Sharon Scott-Chandler, Executive Vice President of ABCD Head Start and Children’s Services; Marta T. Rosa, Senior Executive Director of the Department of Government and External Affairs at Wheelock College; Dr. Jeff Howard, founder and president of the Efficacy Institute; and Andrele Jean-Charles, Training Manager at Parenting Journey.
The discussion was moderated by Dr. Barry Zuckerman, Chief of Pediatrics at the Boston Medical Center, and Vice Chairman of Parenting Journey’s Board of Directors.