Local Experts from Boston Medical Center, Vital Villages, ABCD Head Start, Wheelock College and The Efficacy Institute Discuss the Challenges Facing Families Today

Somerville, MA, December 11, 2015 – Parenting Journey, a non-profit organization providing strength-based programs for parents, partnered with WGBH and the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center to host the Boston premiere screening and panel discussion of the new public television documentary series, The Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of our Nation, Wednesday, December 9, at the WGBH Yawkey Theatre. The event featured the first episode of The Raising of America, which addresses some of the most challenging issues facing children, parents and families today.


“We were thrilled with the overwhelming response to the screening of The Raising of America Series, which we believe comes at a critical moment for parents and families raising young children. The support structures in place for families today are lacking but we shouldn’t lose hope. The demonstrated community support seen at the event provides evidence that change can happen, and it starts with us working together as a community,” said Maury Peterson, Executive Director, Parenting Journey. “At Parenting Journey, we believe in a two generational approach. As a society we have a tremendous opportunity to move the needle to improve childhood outcomes, but to do so we must actively engage parents and provide them with the resources they need to feel confident stepping into their role as a child’s first teacher.”


The screening was followed by a dynamic panel discussion, moderated by Barry Zuckerman, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center; Professor and Chair Emeritus, Boston University School of Medicine; and Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Parenting Journey. The conversation focused in part on what can be done at a local level to address inequalities such as the lack of affordable, quality childcare. While panelists expressed gratitude for the increasing support surrounding of these issues, they encouraged attendees to take action to affect change.


Panelists included:

Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine; Founder, VitalVillages

Sharon Scott-Chandler, Executive Vice President, ABCD Head Start and Children’s Services

Jeff Howard, PhD, Founder & President The Efficacy Institute; Chair, The Black Philanthropy Fund

Andrele Jean-Charles, MFT, MDiv, Training Manager, Parenting Journey; Parent

Marta T. Rosa, Executive Director, Department of Government and External Affairs, Community Impact/Chief Diversity Officer, Wheelock College



Front Row (left to right): Christine Herbes-Sommers, Vital Pictures; Rosamund Zander, Parenting Journey Board Member; Maury Peterson, Executive Director, Parenting Journey; Anne Peretz, Parenting Journey Founder and Board Member; Marta T. Rosa, Wheelock College. Back Row (left to right): Jay Shapiro, Parenting Journey Board Member; David Kaplan, Parenting Journey Advisory Board Member; Dr. Barry Zuckerman, Boston Medical Center and Parenting Journey Board; Jeff Howard, The Efficacy Institute; Andrele Jean-Charles, Parenting Journey; Renée Boynton-Jarrett, Boston Medical Center; and Sharon Scott-Chandler, ABCD. (Editor’s Note: High resolution images, available upon request).


About The Raising of America Series:

The Raising of America Series is a five-part documentary series that explores the question: Why are so many children in America faring so poorly? What are the consequences for the nation’s future? How might we, as a nation, do better? The series investigates these questions through different lenses: What does science tell us about the enduring importance of early life experiences on the brain and body? What it is like to be a parent today? And what policies and structures help or hinder the raising of healthy, happy and compassionate children? The Signature Hour covers all three of these issues. The four subsequent episodes each dive in for a closer look. The Raising of America was produced by California Newsreel in collaboration with Boston-based Vital Pictures. For more information about the documentary visit


About Parenting Journey:

Parenting Journey, a nonprofit agency headquartered in Somerville, MA, offers powerful programs that help parents build safer, stronger families and trains professionals nationwide to implement its high-impact approach. More than 1,700 facilitators have received training and 52,000 parents raising almost 151,000 children have benefited from Parenting Journey’s unique curriculum. Parenting Journey programs have been replicated in nearly 500 locations throughout Greater Boston, New York, Florida, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about the Parenting Journey, please visit our website


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