OCTOBER 24, 2019
7:00 PM at The Falstaff Family Centre
35 Waterloo Street North, Stratford


The Falstaff Family Centre is pleased to be hosting a free public screening and moderated discussion, of the ground-breaking feature documentary SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in The Digital Age.

The film, which has been screened more than 8,000 times to four million people in more than 70 countries around the world, will be shown in the Community Room on Thursday Oct. 24 at 7:00 p.m. and parents are being encouraged to bring their children.

By some estimates, kids are spending an average of 6.5 hours a day on screens. This film explores the effects, while offering parents and families ways to navigate a world with instant access to screens and proven solutions that can help.

The award-winning filmmaker, Delaney Ruston, is an American physician and a mother. She was inspired to make the documentary after constantly struggling with her own two children about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around cell phones, social media, gaming and monitoring online homework. So, she turned the camera on her own family and others to reveal stories of messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.

“Many of our youth have not acquired vital person-to-person communications skills,” notes McKennitt, herself a concerned parent and the owner of the Falstaff Family Centre, a former school she turned into a resource supporting children and families in Stratford and Perth County. “The nature of their activities is shrouded in the secrecy of the on-line world and we, as parents, find it hard to keep up.”

Interwoven into the family stories are insights from brain scientists and cutting-edge thought leaders. You also meet Hannah, a 14-year-old victim of social media bullying who struggled trying to hide her social media use from her mom. And Andrew, whose love of video games turned into an addiction, taking him from earning straight A’s to failing college.

And as McKennitt points out, citing British Dr. Arik Sigman’s 2013 report to the European Union, “This is not a cultural conversation about how children spend their leisure time...screen time has become a medical issue.”

Delaney has made other films, including the award-winning Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia. She has presented her films to a wide range of audiences ranging from school-aged children to the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Harvard and TEDX.