Medway THRIVE Offers Community Reading Program

Medway Public Schools
Armand Pires, Superintendent
45 Holliston St.
Medway, MA 02053


For Immediate Release

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: [email protected]

Medway THRIVE Offers Community Reading Program

MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires is pleased to announce that Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. has partnered with the Medway Foundation for Education to hold a community book read of “iGen” by Jean Twenge.

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. (Tools for Health, Resiliency, Inclusiveness, Vitality and Empowerment) is a community group of teachers, parents, and staff that organizes opportunities for parents and guardians to learn about various subjects pertaining to their children’s well-being. The group came together in 2017, after Dr. Ryan Sherman was hired as the Director of Wellness at Medway Public Schools in 2016.

This winter, the group is holding its first community-wide book read. Approximately 50 books were purchased by a $900 grant from the Medway Foundation for Education, and were distributed on Monday, Feb. 4 for people to pick up for free at local businesses including Anytime Fitness, Charles River Bank, Dr. Wendy Collins’ Pediatrics Office, Medway Animal Hospital, Medway Department of Public Services, Medway Fire Station, Medway High School, Medway Police Station, Medway Public Library, Medway Senior Center, Medway Town Hall, Muffin House Cafe, Starbucks, TC Scoops, the Little Gym, and Tumblebeans Cafe and Play.

The book analyzes the needs of children born after 1994, who have grown up with internet access, and offers parents insight into the ways they can support their children to live healthier and happier lives.

“Twenge does a nice job of outlining some of the challenges we see with students, including mental health concerns, and how those are related to social media use and social emotional competencies,” Sherman said. “And how this generation has grown up interacting much different socially than any generation before them because of iPhones and less human to human interaction.”

According to Sherman, the book also offers ways for parents and guardians help their children navigate these challenges, for instance by encouraging children to have face to face social interactions. He said the book suggests parents do this by hosting social events at home and by having their children invite their friends over to visit.

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. will also be holding two parent facilitated book discussions on April 2 at 6:30 p.m. at T.C. Scoops at 104 Main St. A second book discussion will also be held on April 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Medway Public Library at 26 High St.

In addition to the community read of ‘iGen,” Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. also organizes events where speakers visit Medway High School and present on a topic of concern or interest to parents and guardians, such as self care. Recently, the group held a “pick two” event where parents were able to attend two out of four presentations on vaping, nutrition, social media, and mindfulness.

Parents left the “pick two” workshop event with ideas and tools that they could implement right away. For example, parents that attended the “social media” session left with a list of platforms and services to monitor or set limits on their children’s social media.

“Whether it’s the book read or the workshops, it’s really great to see the community value our students health and wellness,” Sherman said. “And to work together to support that.”

“It can be overwhelming for parents to go online and Google things, and not know if it is evidence based or coming from a reliable source,” he added. “T.H.R.I.V.E. brings in leaders from these fields to provide them with the most accurate and hopefully helpful information. I think one of our goals is also to bring parents together so they don’t feel isolated in this.”