“An Evening with Dr. Jordan Shapiro” - Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 6:00 PM
In his book, The New Childhood, Dr. Jordan Shapiro provides a hopeful counterpoint to the fearful hand-wringing that has come to define our narrative around our children and technology. Drawing on groundbreaking research in economics, psychology, philosophy, and education, The New Childhood shows how technology is guiding humanity toward a bright future in which our children will be able to create new and better models of global citizenship, connection, and community.
Dr. Shapiro offers concrete, practical advice on how to parent and educate children effectively in a connected world, and he provides tools and techniques for using technology to engage with children to help them learn and grow. He compares this moment in time to other great technological revolutions in humanity's past, while presenting entertaining micro-histories of cultural fixtures: the sandbox, finger painting, the family dinner, and more. Most importantly, The New Childhood paints a timely, inspiring, and positive picture of today's children, recognizing they are poised to create a progressive, diverse, meaningful, and hyper-connected world that today's adults can only barely imagine. His book will be available for purchase, and he will be staying to sign them.
“The Power of Play” - Jill Vialet, founder of the nonprofit organization, Playworks, Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Play is one of the most important ways in which children learn.”
- Jack Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
Jill Vialet is the CEO and founder of Playworks, the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. Playworks creates a place for every child on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.
Why play? From the satisfaction of breaking a sweat to the surprise of imagination, play teaches us to be human. In fact, societies depend on our ability to “play well together.” Through play, children discover the joy of physical activity. They learn the social and emotional skills they will use in the classroom, in the workplace, and in life. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes, “Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.”
Jill launched Playworks in 1996 with two schools in Berkeley; while serving as co-founder and executive director of Oakland’s Museum of Children’s Art, she met with a school principal who asked for help in reducing the chaos and conflict in the schoolyard during recess. Since then the organization has grown to 23 regions across the U.S., reaching more than 949,000 students in more than 400 schools through direct service and training programs. Vialet is the author of Recess Rules, a fictional book written for children from 8 to 13 years old. She has received numerous honors, including being selected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2004 and named to the Forbes Impact 30 as one of the 30 leading social entrepreneurs worldwide in 2011, as well as being asked to speak at TEDMED in 2014. She also is one of a small group of Californians honored with the 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Jill is a graduate of Harvard University.