Parent Education Committee

The purpose of the Parent Education Committee is to provide speakers, educational programs and resources to HPISD families concerning topics relevant to raising our children to become healthy and responsible young adults.

Upcoming Events

6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017

Highland Park United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall

3300 Mockingbird Lane

DR. LEONARD SAX, author of The Collapse of Parenting

This presentation begins with the question, “Why are so many kids today so fragile?” Sax begins with a review of evidence that American kids are indeed more fragile – about 400% (4X) more likely to be anxious or depressed, and much more likely to fall apart in response to stress – compared with American kids from the same demographic 40 or 50 years ago. Sax defines fragility as sensitivity to volatility. If that definition is valid, then one reason that so many kids today are so fragile might be because parents shield them from volatility and uncertainty. The remedy, then, is to expose kids to more volatility, within constraints: you don’t want your child to be run over by a truck or abducted by strangers. (Becoming UnFragile is NOT the same thing as being resilient, as Sax explains.)


7 p.m.., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

Location TBD

Adults & Students Invited

DR. DELANEY RUSTON (via Skype), director of Screenagers

Screenagers probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

Dr. Delaney Ruston is a filmmaker, Stanford trained physician and mother of two. Delaney decided to make Screenagers because she believes deeply in the importance of helping kids find balance in our tech filled world.  She is passionate about having the film be a vehicle to bring parents, educators and kids together for post screening discussions so change can happen not just in our homes but in our schools and communities. She will engage in a discussion following the film. View the trailer at 

6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 1

Highland Park United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall

3300 Mockingbird Lane

SHAWN ACHOR, author of The Happiness Advantage, 

Before Happiness and The Ripple Effect

At schools and companies alike, we are sometimes taught to think: “if I work harder, then I will be successful, and then I will be happy.” This formula–which undergirds much of our educational and professional world–is scientifically backwards. Achor will explain how positive brains reap a unique advantage raising nearly every educational and business outcome–but only if we get the formula right. By demonstrating how happiness is a choice, we can help students not only cultivate positive habits and mindsets, but achieve higher levels of success as a result. 

Achor has lectured or worked with over a third of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as the NFL, the NBA, the Pentagon and the White House. His research has been published in the top psychology journal for work he did at UBS in partnership with Yale University to transform how stress impacts the body, and he recently did a two-hour interview with Oprah at her house to discuss his mission to bring positive psychology to the world. To view Shawn Achor’s TED Talk, click here.

6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 26

Highland Park United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall

3300 Mockingbird Lane

AMY BLANKSON, author of Parenting The Future Of Happiness

Technology—at least in theory—is improving our productivity, efficiency, and communication. Yet the proliferation of smartphones and Internet access also coincides with historically high levels of depression and life dissatisfaction. As the speed of innovation increases, researchers are turning attention to a crucial question: Will we continue to see declines in physical, emotional, and mental health due to our current use of technology, or can we use new strategies to harness technology and improve happiness and wellbeing?  In this talk, Amy Blankson shares simple, scientifically-proven, and practical lifehacks to increase performance and wellbeing in the Digital Era.  

Blankson is the only person to be named a Point of Light by two Presidents (President Bush and President Clinton).  She received a Presidential appointment to serve a five-year term on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National Service, and was one of the youngest delegates to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future.  Amy received her BA from Harvard and MBA from Yale School of Management. View Amy Blankson’s recent presentation at