Although our START Program began just for parents in elementary schools, we are working on developing resources to support educators, coaches, healthcare providers, and business leaders. We believe when a community begins to speak the same language about healthy new tech-use norms, the deeper our impact—and the healthier our kids—will be.
We were recently invited to share our training with a special group of people who are building wellness every day for the 22,000 students in Blue Valley—the school counselors. It was an honor and a privilege to hear support for digital wellness from voices like Claire Allen, counselor at Lakewood Middle School in Blue Valley, who shared:
You can visibly see the difference in kids who are not allowed to use social media. These are the kids who are engaged in the world that is going on right in front of them. I know this because I have talked to the kids who are not on social media. They say to me, “My mom will not let me have a phone/ social media because…” Either the parent does not think they are ready or it takes up too much time that they could be doing other things. I really would encourage parents to know their kids and have those conversations and connections with them. When kids know why and that it is non-negotiable they are comforted and feel safe.
After hearing from several voices like Claire’s, it was clear this group feels digital wellness is critically urgent for the flourishing and health of our kids. We loved hearing them brainstorm solutions—and are excited to see the ways they are already championing the START message and program in their school communities.