Clinton Speaks at SMC

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The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) of the Huron-Superior Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) hosted a presentation, focusing on the emotional development of children on Monday, April 30.

Dr. Jean Clinton, a clinical professor at McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, was the guest speaker at a workshop for parents and caregivers of students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

Over one hundred people attended the event at St. Mary’s College and by video conference at schools in Wawa, Elliot Lake, and Hornepayne, including HSCDSB staff members and members of partner agencies that support our schools.

“This was a very important presentation considering the many challenges our students face. Dr. Clinton’s expertise in the health, wellness and well-being of children is second to none and her presentation was very informative,” said PIC Secondary Representative, Ron Zagordo.

The presentation touched on a variety of strategies parents and caregivers can utilize to support a child’s emotional development, decrease their stress and improve their self-esteem. All three play an important part in the overall achievements of our students.

Dr. Clinton also spoke of how studies show that modern technology, specifically social media, is causing more anxiety and stress in our youth. She noted that a good parental practice would be to limit or restrict cell phone access to students under secondary school age. She also reiterated that parents need to play an active role in their child’s life to ensure they are making healthy choices.

Prior to the presentation, partner agencies, including the YMCA, Algoma Family Services (AFS), and Algoma Public Health, hosted information booths to outline their programs that support healthy lifestyle choices for youth.

“I think it’s important that students are aware that there are other choices out there, healthy choices that they can make to deal with stress, mental health issues or peer pressure. It’s also important that parents stay involved with their children and interact with them, knowing what they’re doing and who their friends are. Other than if there is a danger to the student or others, we provide confidential services for students if they’re hesitant to speak to their parents or other adults,” said AFS Alternatives for Youth Coordinator, Teresa Coccimiglio.

The Parent Involvement Committee was very pleased with the evening and very appreciative of the financial support provided by a Parent Reaching Out grant from the Ministry of Education.

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