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We’re Back (To School) Together!

Families across the country are sending their kids back to school, and although there are still uncertainties, it sure feels great to be back.  

Back to school.  

Back to the classroom.  

Back on campus. 

Back together.  

This year, going back to school is not just about pencils and books. We have all worked tirelessly together during the pandemic to make sure kids of all ages also have resilience, empathy, social and mental health awareness, and resources to make healthy decisions. We recognize that the gaps in equity in our communities must not only be seen, but accounted for, and addressed in the form of more social and emotional learning.  

Together, we are not only back to school, but we are moving forward to better address the needs of our communities. 

As everyone settles into a new school year, yet again establishing a “new normal,” we want to stay in touch with ways to help make being back to school safe and responsible for kids of all ages. Join us as we host a three-part webinar series on making sure that a successful back to school season extends through the fall. Together we will engage on topics such as the home-to-school connection, mental health, and substance use prevention with subject matter experts, parents, and educators. Each session will be kept short and sweet and will help guide you through ways to keep your kids of all ages safe and thriving as we navigate what we hope to be the last wave of the pandemic. Register for one, two or all three of these free webinars detailed below:  

SESSION 1 | September 1, 2021 | 12:30PM—1:15PM ET: The home-to-school connection | Parents, you’re not done yet | Register  

  • Families are more involved in their kids’ schooling after a year at home 
  • What role can a school counselor play in kids’ success? 
  • What is the importance of SEL education—and how are equity and equality part of this? 
  • How can families stay in touch with their college-aged kids to keep them safe? 
  • PANEL  
    • Brian Coleman—LCPC, 2019 National School Counselor of the Year, Counseling Department Chair, Jones College Prep High School 
    • Steve Mesler, Co-Founder and CEO of Classroom Champions  
    • Brian Platzer, Teacher, co-author of Taking the Stress Out of Homework, and co-founder of Teachers Who Tutor | NYC  

SESSION 2 | September 8, 2021 | 12:30PM—1:15PM ET: Mental health, mindfulness and modeling responsible behavior | Register 

  • The last year took a toll on all of our mental health—everything is so new; nobody knows what’s normal 
  • What are some signs that your kids are struggling? 
  • What are some signs that WE as parents are struggling? 
  • What can families do to model healthy coping mechanisms and other responsible behaviors? 
  • PANEL 
    • Mary Alvord, PhD, Psychologist, Founder, Resilience Across Borders, and co-author Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens  
    • Katie Friedman, Pediatric ER Physician,, National Advisory Board 
    • Kier GainesTherapist, Mental Health Advocate, Internet Personality 

SESSION 3 | September 15, 2021 | 12:30PM—1:15PM ET: Preventing underage drinking and avoiding all risky behaviors | Register 

  • When should we start talking to kids about risky behaviors? 
  • What influence do parents have on their kids’ decisions?  
  • What are some ways to start these conversations? 
  • How best to proceed if you find out that kids have already engaged in risky behaviors? 
  • PANEL 
    • Tiffany Jones, M.Ed, Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor  
    • Christine KohPhD Music and brain scientist, parenting expert, and co-author of Minimalist Parenting 
    • Jessica Lahey, New York Times bestselling author of the Gift of Failure and The Addiction Inoculation; Prevention Coach, Sana at Stowe.  
    • Ann Mukherjee, CEO and Chair, Pernod Ricard North America, a member of


In addition to this parent-focused webinar, we are also entering the new school year looking at another key to student success: PRINCIPALS. Continuing our long-standing series, “Responsibility Starts With Me,” we spoke with elementary school principals about how they view responsibility as a whole and what they see as their impact on the decision-making abilities and future success. View the video here  

Finally, we are excited to announce that has signed on as a founding member of the Discovery Education SEL Coalition. By prioritizing social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools, kids will learn to better understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Discovery Education’s Social-Emotional Learning Center presents a curated collection resources—including’s Ask, Listen, Learn underage drinking prevention program—designed to help educators integrate SEL into core instruction and to help all students develop social and emotional competencies, cultivate self-confidence, manage stress, look at situations and issues from a variety of perspectives, and maintain their well-being so everyone can thrive. 

For the last 30 years, has worked to move the needle in the right direction, empowering families to talk to their kids about alcohol, to engage in conversations to prevent underage drinking, and to model responsible behaviors when faced with any risky behavior. We have not done this alone. We are all in this together, and it feels great to be back! 

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