Are Our Children Too Stressed Out?

A mother of three, Vicki Abeles took on an investigation into the lives of our children to see what life is really like for their generation.  What she found was youngsters being rushed from class to sports to homework to community work.  The result of her research is the documentary film, “Race to Nowhere:  The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture.” The film sheds light not only on our overtired, overstressed and over stimulated youth, but also on the burned-out teachers and deeply frustrated parents who have become the norm in our culture.

Katie Couric, CBS News Anchor, had an opportunity to interview Abeles for her web show and was profoundly impacted by the film’s message.  As she shared, “Over-scheduled, stressed-out kids aren’t just less competitive, they are miserable…this film is a poignant reminder that straight A’s and high SAT scores are not the Holy Grail.  We all want our kids to excel, but I’d take a happy child over a ‘depressed success’ any day of the week. “

The Boulder JCC will screen the film at a special program on Thursday, February 23 from 6 pm – 9 pm.  Following the screening, a panel consisting of educators, parents and students will share their thoughts on how this film relates to our children in the Boulder County area.  The administrators will share how their school districts are addressing the important issues raised in this film.  This will be a unique presentation, as several of the panel members will speak about the film from the Jewish perspective.

The panel includes Don Stensrud, Fairview High School Principal (Boulder Valley School District); Dawn Macy, Sunset Middle School Principal (St. Vrain School District); Betsy Fox, Co-Founder of Parent Engagement Network (PEN) & Positive Community Development Expert and Jerry Pinsker, Jewish Educator.

These are important topics to bring to the table for discussion; especially in a community which greatly values education.  Education is an important Jewish value, which is one of the reasons that the JCC has chosen to show this film,” explains Shari Blake Schnee, BJCC Shalom Family Director.

Click here to register. The registration fee is $10 in advance and $15 at the door (depending on ticket availability.) Babysitting will be available for those in 5th grade and up and must be reserved in advance by emailing Shari Blake Schnee at

For more information on this event, go to or to  This event is recommended for parents of children in fifth grade and up and for high school students.

This event is made possible through a grant from the 18 Pomegranates Foundation and is co-sponsored by Boulder JCC Shalom Family & JTeen and Parent Engagement Network (PEN).

About Jayme Zerivitz

Jayme is the Communications and Marketing Director at the Boulder JCC. She holds a BA in Communication from Tulane University. She is also a mom of two girls who loves living in Boulder.

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