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'For those of us who were behind the scenes at the assemblies, our hearts will be forever changed.'

On Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, we were honored to bring Collin Kartchner, youth advocate, TedX speaker and internet crusader, to Sherwood.

Collin presented to parents at two evening events and hosted four school assemblies. He spoke to all of Sherwood's fifth-graders at Sherwood Middle School, addressed all middle schoolers at Laurel Ridge and Sherwood Middle School, and spoke at an after-school event at the High School.

In 2017, Collin created a popular Instagram account making fun of social media and then used that platform to raise awareness of the harmful effects that social media and screen time addiction can have on our youth. He now travels around the country speaking to parents, kids and educators about the connection between social media and screen addiction and the epidemic rise in teen anxiety, depression and suicide. His movement #SavetheKids has gained national attention — so much so, that he is already booked solid into March of 2022!

The overwhelming support of the community and the welcome Collin received here was incredible. Both parent nights were complimentary to the public, and tickets sold out in less than 24 hours. Thank you to the Sherwood Center of the Performing Arts and to Countryside Community Church for partnering with us to host these evenings. Also, thank you to our three phenomenal panelists, Terra A. Mattson MA LPC LMFT, Todd Ellingson MD FACEP and Detective Erin Schweitzer who spoke along with Collin both nights. They all live in Sherwood and graciously brought their expertise and knowledge about what they are seeing locally.

The presentations at the schools were also so well-received by both the students and staff. For those of us who were behind the scenes at the assemblies, our hearts will be forever changed. Watching our local youth react to Collin's message, seeing their tears and witnessing their hugs was both inspiring and eye-opening.

It is because of community members generous donations to Sherwood Education Foundation fundraisers, Calling for Kids and Sip & Spell, that we are able to provide an event like this. We also want to thank Dutch Bros, Firenze Wealth Management & Marie Boatsman, Real Estate Broker for sponsoring! We look forward to hosting more of these events in the future. If you are interested in learning more about Sherwood Education Foundation, please visit our website at sherwoodeducationfoundation.org.

Angelika Neumann is secretary of the Sherwood Education Foundation.


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