1:00 PM13:00

Tech, Talk, Tacos

They’re growing up and headed to middle school! It’s an exciting time with lots of changes.

We’re putting together a casual roundtable exclusively for parents of rising 6th graders to talk strategy for the transition to middle school, specifically when it comes to managing technology.  Homework is generally online. Kids are free to switch buses without a note, so communication home becomes important. Parents are no longer dictating their social lives organizing play dates because the kids are doing it on their own.  How do we help our kids manage it all?

Let’s taco ‘bout it.

*The chips and guac on us!  The margaritas aren’t. Food and drinks available for purchase. Taco’s highly encouraged. Event is free, but please RSVP to so we can save you a seat!

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to May 5

Screen-Free Week

Concord Promise and Turning Life On are psyched to partner with many local organizations to help keep kids busy over Screen-Free Week (SFW) and beyond.

What is Screen-Free Week? From April 29-May 5, kids and families are encouraged to unplug and avoid using screens except for school-related work.

Why? A healthy childhood depends on a surprising thing: play! Through creative play, kids explore their physical world, build their curiosity, and expand their imaginations. But often, time spent on ad-supported screens displaces the kind of creative play kids need to thrive.

During Screen-Free Week, kids and families can unplug and reconnect with the world around them. An hour that was once dedicated to TV can become an hour of make-believe, art, reading, or enjoying nature. Both parents and kids can use this week to reconsider the value of screen-based entertainment in their lives and establish year-round screen-free habits.

SFW gives families and communities an opportunity to come together and connect with each other. 

Who’s in? Our partners include The Toy Shop of Concord, Be Well Be Here, Gymnastics Academy of Boston, The Concord Museum, Discovery Museum, the Concord Free Library and deCordova Museum.

What can you expect? Events, discounted or free admission, talks and get togethers.

Screen-Free Events over SFW:

As always, we are psyched to partner with the Toy Shop of Concord who will be awarding Concord Elementary Students who stay screen-free with a $5 off toward $10 purchase. Click here for the form and rules.

Sunday, 4/28 from 1-4:30pm - Little Women 150th Anniversary Celebration at Alcott Orchard House. Outdoor celebration is free. For more information, visit the Alcott Orchard House website.

Tuesday, from 4/30 10-10:30 - Join us for songs, stories, rhymes, and play at the Fowler Library. This interactive program is perfect for busy families and will help develop the early literacy skills that your child needs. CONTACT: Stephanie Rivera  or 978-318-3350

Tuesday, 4/30 from 10-11am - Dress your Stuffed Animal at the Discovery Museum. Free with admission. Learn more on the Discovery Museum website.

Wednesday, 5/1 from 11:45-12:45pm - Free GAB Preschool Open Gym / Play. To register, click here.

Friday, 5/3 from 7-8:30pm - Free GAB Friday Night Open Gym. Registration required. To register, click here.

Saturday, 5/4 from 10-12pm - The Concord Museum has developed a program just for SFW! Slow-down and consider the world around you, notice overlooked details, and make connections.  Journaling can be your family’s invitation to creative expression, new thoughts, and broader perspectives. For more information and to register, visit the Concord Museum Website.

Saturday, 5/4 from 2-3:30pm - The Concord Free Public Library. As human beings, we all need time for free, unscheduled moments. What happens to our bodies and minds when we do or don’t experience them? How can we make room for free time in our busy lives? Join Be Well Be Here founder, Lara Wilson, to discuss simple ways to tap into Free Time: The Source of Your Force. Try some creative games and mindful wellness practices that honor your way in the world, relieve anxiety, and lead to confident self-expression. Learn how these methods of accessing your flow state – or “the zone” – boosts the force that already exists within you. Grade 7-10. Click here to register.

Sunday, 5/4 from 1-4pm - $10/person, $20/family ($15 for materials) - Family Nature Skills Festival at the Umbrella. Spend the afternoon learning to start a fire by friction, whittle sticks, make crafts and tools with natural materials. Learn how to see the forest through an animal’s eyes and move with stealth; listen to and identify birds; and learn about wild edibles. To register, visit the Umbrella website.

Events added and updated regularly. Stay tuned as we finalize details but mark your calendar!

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9:00 AM09:00

Keeping Tech in Check with Mindful Wellness

Join Concord non-profit founders, Lara Wilson of Be Well Be Here and Adrienne Principe of Concord Promise, on a journey to discover how mindful wellness can help our children (and us) manage technology for healthier lives. Today’s technology is designed to demand our attention nearly 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Whether your child is engaging with smartphones, social media or gaming, developing the skills necessary to keep tech in check can be challenging. The pull of technology also affects our relationships, our productivity, and our children’s abilities to study and learn. Together, we will discuss current findings in human development research (including neurobiology and psychology), and our own life experiences to understand why it’s so hard to disconnect. Lara and Adrienne will offer real strategies that you and your children can experiment with to promote healthier relationships with technology for a happier, fuller life. 

Space is limited, please RSVP by visiting Keeping Tech in Check or contact Lara at 978-203-2825 or

Adrienne Principe is co-founder of Concord Promise, a local organization committed to supporting parents through partnerships and education in an effort to make smartphones in middle school the exception, not the rule. She is also founder of Turning Life On (TLO). TLO, an expansion and extension of Concord Promise, seeks to unite, inform and empower community members who care about healthy technology use in Concord and beyond.

A writer, teacher and meditator for over thirty years, Lara Wilson founded Concord's non-profit mindful wellness collaborative, Be Well Be Here, where all are welcome to co-create experiential integration practices for well-being. Following an 18-month cancer journey, Lara developed and taught mindfulness curricula in both public and private schools in the northeast and south. She has worked mindfully with cancer patients, students with learning issues, young athletes, disabled individuals, architects, celebrated authors, the elderly, medical professionals, bankers, CEOs, artists and strangers willing to give practice a try. Lara holds a master's degree in English & American Literature, a Graduate Certificate in Mindfulness Studies, and certification in restorative yoga and Reiki Level II. She has studied qi gong with various instructors, including Master Yang Yang, a clinical specialist at Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. Lara’s experiences with integrative healing have been included in medical case studies, and were featured in an article about cancer, connection and community in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine written by a core faculty member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. 

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6:30 PM18:30

Wireless Education: Free Open Discussion on the Safety of Our Children's Exposure to Wireless Radiation in School

Schools today use high-density mesh Wi-Fi networks which can create more intense microwave radiation exposures. This exposure to constantly-emitting microwave transmitters has scientifically documented health impacts that many parents and educators are unaware of. Learn more about what possible health risks children face when they are constantly exposed to wireless radiation throughout the day at school from mesh wireless networks.

Free admission, reservations are welcomed:

Speakers include:

  • Ronald Melnick, Ph.D., Former Toxicologist of National Institute of Health (NIH), Senior Science Advisor, Environmental Health Trust

  • Dr. Martha Herbert, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School

  • Dr. David O. Carpenter, Public Health Physician and Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization

  • Frank Clegg, CEO of Canadians for Safe Technology and former long-time president of Microsoft Canada

  • Theodora Scarato, MSW, Executive Director, Environmental Health Trust

  • Cecelia Doucette, MTPW, Technology Safety Educator

Topics to be discussed:

  • Why school mesh wireless networks are especially dangerous - see actual radiation measurement from local schools

  • The advice given by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for schools - does your child’s school know the facts that can protect your children?

  • Studies that reveal the health risks involved with constant exposures to microwave emitting technologies including the most recent report from the US showing clear evidence of cancer

  • Health risks associated with devices including damage to the brain and reproductive organs

  • Common early-onset symptoms of microwave sickness including fatigue, headaches, tinnitus (ear ringing/pain), chest pain, nosebleeds, nausea, behavior issues, anxiety, depression and more

  • What your school can do to protect students and staff by using technology in a safer way -- including recommendations in the manufacturers’ own fine print warnings

“Children are more vulnerable to electromagnetic fields of radiation (EMFs) so it’s important to minimize their exposures,” Wireless Education Technology Safety Educator Cecelia Doucette, MTPW, said. “We want to break down the facts and start the conversation with parents and educators in our communities to reduce our children’s exposure to this high volume of microwave radiation that’s happening right in their classrooms.”

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6:30 PM18:30

Smart, Safe, & Kind Online: Helping Our Kids Be Good Digital Citizens

The Meadowbrook School is sponsoring a free event for parents and educators on Monday, March 25 at 6:30pm. Featuring a panel of experts on digital literacy in children of all ages, parents and teachers are invited to come and join in the discussion. Please register and bring a friend! 

The panel includes Louisa Sullivan, Senior Community Strategist from Common Sense Education; Lynette Owens, Founder & Director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids & Families; and Kerry Gallagher, Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely.

Pre-register here

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6:30 PM18:30

The Simple Interactions of Everyday Helpers with Junlei Li

Discovery Museum Speaker Series

The Simple Interactions of Everyday Helpers

Who is a helper in children’s lives? Of all the Fred Rogers’ quotes, “always look for the helpers” is perhaps the most repeated. Aside from moments of crisis and disaster, what does it mean for each of us to look for the helpers, be a helper, and help the helpers? Junlei Li will share lessons from both the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and real neighborhoods to show and tell what is deep, simple, and powerful about helpful human interactions.

Junlei Li
Saul Zaentz Senior Lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and
former Director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media

This event is free, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Cash bar provided by True West. 

Why is this relevant to technology?
One of our biggest concerns about too much tech use is how tech interferes with “deep, simple, and powerful…human interactions.” Communicating online is not the same as communicating face-to-face. When we support each other in real life, human connections are made that make us happier and healthier individuals. Technology may attempt to replace these interactions with online social networks but they cannot.

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7:00 PM19:00

How to Make Devices Not Divisive: A Screen-Time Workshop

From the Center for Parents and Teachers:

Internationally renowned educator and author Kim John Payne, M.Ed will discuss how to maintain loving limits and discipline around screen-time and media; how to help our kids build good judgment so they do not become overwhelmed with media; strategies to help them navigate the peer-pressure and the status symbol of devices.

Free and open to all adults!

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