Student Wellness Symposium Draws Crowd

Loudoun school system Director of Student Services Clark Bowers estimates about 200 people turned out to Riverside High School on Saturday for Navigating the Path to Student Wellness.

The event was a first-of-its-kind symposium for parents and the community to put student mental health and wellness at the forefront. It brought together speakers from private and public health providers, nonprofit organizations and law enforcement, as well as psychologists and social workers who work in Loudoun’s public schools.

The event featured keynote speaker Ann Masten, an author and professor of child development at University of Minnesota. Masten has spoken internationally about how to build resiliency in children, the subject of her book “Ordinary Magic.”

After Masten’s talk, the half-day program included a resource fair with 33 organizations and more than 20 break-out sessions on topics ranging from the brains of gifted students, to trauma, to substance abuse.

Bowers said the event “has provided a strong foundation for future collaboration,” and that parents have already volunteered to serve as community liaisons to spread the message for next year.

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