St. James, NY - October 5, 2016 - On Thursday, September 29, nearly 100 community members visited Harbor Country Day School in St. James to view the acclaimed documentary Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age and participate in a spirited panel discussion about the topic of screen technology and children.
Created by Stony Brook resident, physician and award-winning filmmaker, Delaney Ruston, Screenagers examines the impact “screen time” has on children’s development and offers solutions for how adults can empower children to best navigate the digital world to find balance in their lives. The film, which has been featured on Good Morning America, PBS NewsHour and The Dr. Oz Show, is the first feature documentary to explore the topic and offer solutions to parents and caregivers.
Harbor Country Day School hosted the screening as a way to engage the school community and the general public in a discussion of a topic that is at the forefront of nearly all caregivers’ minds.
The film was followed by a panel discussion featuring experts in the fields of digital media and children, child psychology, and education, as well as a high school student and a parent of school-aged children.
“Here at Harbor, we constantly see children and parents struggle with finding the right balance between technology and ‘unplugged’ time,” said John Cissel, Harbor Country Day School’s head of school. “We thought this was a wonderful opportunity to address the issue head-on and, hopefully, find some answers as we all navigate this issue together.”
The audience included parents, grandparents and other caregivers; adolescents; college students and recent grads; teachers; and physicians from many surrounding communities. Discussion following the film ranged from discourse about different ways parents can discuss technology use with their children, to an 11-year- old’s question about age-appropriate limits on technology use, to “Millenials” discussing the ways in which technology makes them more efficient and productive.
About Harbor Country Day School
Founded in 1958 by conscientious parents, Harbor Country Day School is an independent, co-educational day school for children from preschool through 8 th grade situated in St. James’ Village of Head of the Harbor. The school employs a whole-child approach to education, wherein its rigorous curriculum is supported by a broad program in its academic, athletic, advisory, and visual and performing arts departments designed to develop all aspects of each child's talents and interests. Harbor Country Day School’s summer camp program, Camp Harbor, is among the leading summer camp programs on Long Island. The school’s mission to “cherish childhood, cultivate wonder, and inspire confident learners and leaders” underscores every child’s experience at Harbor Country Day School and ensures that all of its graduates are prepared to lead fulfilling lives filled with wonder, confidence, and many successes.
Harbor Country Day School is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is accredited by and a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). It is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees. For more information, visit www.hcdsny.org.
About Delaney Ruston
Delaney Ruston is a filmmaker, doctor and mother of two. Through her company, MyDoc Productions, Delaney has made award-winning films such as Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, about her father, and Hidden Pictures: A Personal Journey into Global Mental Health. These films aired on PBS, and were the focus of national campaigns to raise awareness about mental health and were featured at conferences by the World Health Organization. Delaney has been invited to screen her films and be a guest presenter to hundreds of worldwide audiences. She presents to a wide range of audiences ranging from school age children to The United Nations, The World Health Organization, Harvard and TEDX.
Film has been a passion of Delaney’s throughout her education at Cornell, Stanford and the University of California, San Francisco. She melded this interest with her medical training as a fellow in Ethics and Communication. While on the faculty at the University of Washington, she participated in a National Endowment for The Arts funded filmmaking program. She was
awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to make films in India. She is currently the Filmmaker in Residence at Stony Brook Medical Center, creating films that explore the intersection of health and society. Delaney has been providing care in underserved clinics for over a decade.