‘Point in Common’ community speaker series launched

A collaboration with educators, businesses and nonprofit groups is aimed at helping 4K-12 students be more successful.

“Point in Common” is a community speaker series for parents, teachers, business people and anyone who wants to have a positive influence on students. The intent is to learn from some of the brightest, most innovative educators in the nation. They’ll share ideas to raise awareness and engage more people in ways to improve education. 

“Our goal is to equip parents and teachers with the tools they need to teach children to think critically, solve problems and invest in lifelong learning,” said Marty Loy, dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

“Education is a lifelong process,” said Attila J. Weninger, superintendent of Stevens Point Area Public Schools. “No longer can we achieve success in school or in life after school with only the formal education we received in our youth.  We need to broaden the horizon from which we take curriculum, teaching and learning practices, and measures of achievement.” 

Three speakers will be featured during the school year. Each presentation is from 7 to 9 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

The first, on Monday, Oct. 21, will provide a greater understanding of how a child’s mind works. Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., chief operating officer and senior scientist at MIND Research Institute, will speak on brain science and learning. He co-founded the nonprofit MIND Research Institute to apply academic research on the brain to educational programs for elementary school students.

Peterson also will present to area elementary teachers from 9 to 11 a.m. and secondary teachers from 1 to 3 p.m. that day. All Oct. 21 presentations are at the Ben Franklin Junior High School Auditorium.

Peterson’s approach has been especially helpful with children who have different learning styles. Educators and future teachers will learn about teaching students to think, reason and solve problems mathematically. Parents will learn game-based ways to teach toddlers and preschoolers during the evening presentation.

Other talks are scheduled in 2014 at Sentry’s Theater @1800:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 28 - “Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook: Balance and Boundaries in Technology Use,” with Megan Moreno, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital Center

  • Tuesday, April 29 - Daniel Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of “The Talent Code” and “The Little Book of Talent”

Point in Common is sponsored by the Stevens Point Area Public School District, Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools, UW-Stevens Point, Mid-State Technical College, Sentry Insurance, Okray Family Farms, Phi Delta Kappa and the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin.  To register or for more information, visit www.pointincommon.org.​ 

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