“Raising Healthy Dragons” Community Forum is April 23

The face of mental health awareness in Johnston is changing. On April 23, the Johnston Community School District will offer an evening devoted to educatingMother and daughter at computer parents, community members, and the public about the emotional well-being and mental health of our young people.

The “Raising Healthy Dragons: A community-focused learning forum” will take place on Monday, April 23 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Summit Middle School. Sessions as panels start at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments and childcare will be available for attendees.

The forum is organized by Chris Wilson, JCSD Student Well-being Coordinator, and the Johnston Board of Education mental health committee. Since assuming her role in 2015, Wilson has created new ways for teachers, students, and parents to interact with the topic of mental health and student well-being. The April 23 event is the second event of its type in recent years.

“Our Raising Healthy Dragons forum offers parents and community members a variety of sessions that get at the multitude of issues affecting a youngster’s mental health and well-being,” said Wilson. “We’ve put together sessions ranging from a student panel to time management and organization. I think parents with children of any age will find value in this evening.”

A number of community resources will be on display with spokespersons available from 6-8 p.m. Childcare will be available in the gym area.

Sessions are held from 6:30-7:10 and 7:15-8:00 p.m. All sessions will be presented at both times. Below are the room numbers and sessions for the evening.

Room 132 Summit Student Panel
Get to know more about the experience of being a student at Summit Middle School with current students and Summit school counselors.  Students will be sharing about their experience of coming to Summit from elementary school and ideas for parents to support their children as they prepare to make the transition in the fall.

Room 136 Raising Children in A Digital World
Bryan Burkhardt, Professor at Des Moines Area Community College will be discussing some of the current issues related to kids and technology, including creating boundaries, monitoring online activity and social media as well as conversations parents can have to establish healthy tech habits.

Room 137 Sources of Strength
Johnston High School Students will be sharing information about the Sources of Strength Program; a youth led mental health awareness and suicide prevention program new to Johnston this year.  Students will introduce parents to the Sources Wheel and how they can use the eight different concepts to help their children develop healthy social and emotional coping skills.

Room 138 JHS Student Panel
Current Johnston High School students will provide insights on their experiences at the high school, extra-curricular activities and preparing for their next steps in life.  Student will also be sharing advice and tips for successful transition to 10th grade.

Room 139 JMS Student Panel
Staff and students from Johnston Middle School will be presenting information and answering your questions about the great experiences and opportunities awaiting your student at JMS this fall.

Summit Middle School is located at 9500 Windsor Pkwy, Johnston IA. You can also following the Student Well-Being Twitter account at @JCSD_StudentWB.

Graphic for the second "Raising Healthy Dragons" community forum