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'Five talks on timely topics,' as the group describes them, will be offered Tuesdays starting March 30.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Teachers like Banks High School's Schere Caufield have been leading lessons from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.A Hillsboro-area nonprofit organization has announced a speaker series on supporting youth education and care outside the classroom.

Washington County Kids says it will offer "five talks on timely topics" beginning on Tuesday, March 30, with a new talk being given every following Tuesday through April 27.

"The Parent Speaker Series is designed to provide useful information, tips, and tools for parents/guardians of children K-8," the nonprofit stated in announcing the series. "Each one-hour session begins with an informative and informal presentation by our professional speakers and allows adequate time for participants to ask questions."

The sessions will be held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There is no cost to attend.

Talks begin at 6 p.m. Tuesdays.

Registration is available on the Washington County Kids website.

The talks address topics like at-home learning and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A full list of topics is available on the website.

The topic of the first talk, presented by Travis Pilarcik of Sequoia Mental Health Services on Tuesday, March 30, is "How to Support Anxious or Depressed Kids: What Therapists Want You to Know."PMG FILE PHOTO - Evan Marx uses a 3Doodler Pen during a makerspace event in Tualatin in 2017. Several Washington County libraries have introduced a 'library of things' with educational materials and gadgets that can be checked out.

There will also be a virtual Summer Program Expo from 7 to 8 p.m. April 14. Information about programs and care opportunities over this coming summer will be shared at that event.

Visit the website for details on the Summer Program Expo.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Katie Riley"Research is clear that out-of-school time programs improve student academic success and strengthen mental health and social-emotional competencies, as well as reduce antisocial behavior and substance use and abuse that can prevent young people from entering the justice system," said Katie Riley, Washington County Kids president, in a statement.

School districts across Oregon have either started to welcome back students — as in Banks and Sherwood — or are preparing to do so by the end of March.

However, not all students will be going back to classrooms before the end of the school year, as families have the option of staying in comprehensive distance learning.

Furthermore, most in-person learning will be offered under a so-called hybrid instruction model, in which students attend school on a part-time basis while continuing to take some of their lessons online.

By Mark Miller
Editor-in-Chief, Washington and Columbia counties
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