"Children Thriving in a High-Tech World" is the Theme for Orange County’s 2nd Annual Children and Youth Summit

The Free Oct. 12 Event in Rancho Santa Margarita Features a Resource Fair and Panel Discussions on Bullying, Internet Safety and Social Media.

Santa Ana, CA, October 12, 2012 --(PR.com)-- “Children Thriving in a High-tech World” is the theme of the 2012 Children and Youth Summit, a free event designed to equip parents with practical ways of using electronic media for learning, setting Internet boundaries, dealing with bullying, and understanding social media and its use by and effects on children.

Sponsored by Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates and the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, the second-annual summit takes place from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Rancho Santa Margarita Bell Tower Community Center in South Orange County.

“For today’s children, using technology – whether it’s to text their friends, post photos and relationship updates on Facebook, or research information for homework assignments – is second nature,” said Bates, who has represented Orange County’s Fifth Supervisorial District since 2006.

“They literally can’t possibly imagine a world without all of these technology resources at their fingertips day and night. Many parents, however, worry – 'How early is too early to start using electronics? What potential troubles are lurking online? How can I appropriately monitor my children’s activities and provide guidance to them?' Our summit will feature leading experts in childhood development who will provide useful suggestions for dealing with these critical issues. I strongly encourage parents to join us at this free and valuable community event.”

Parents who have questions can contact Christie Agnew: (714) 834-4765 or Christie.Agnew@cfcoc.ocgov.com. Child care is not provided. The Rancho Santa Margarita Bell Tower Community Center is located at 22232 El Paseo.

Following is an overview of the morning’s events:
8:30 to 9:00 a.m.: Breakfast & Resource Fair (provided by Whole Foods)

Before the formal program begins, parents can attend a Resource Fair and speak with representatives from a wide variety of resource and service agencies. The representatives will be available to provide information and answer questions.

9:00 to 9:15: Welcome & Introductions

Supervisor Bates, joined by Michael M. Ruane, interim COO of Caloptima and executive director of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, will welcome parents and make introductions, and then introduce the summit’s general session speaker.

9:15 to 9:40: General Session on Addressing Bullying: Making it a Priority

Greg Branch, an educational rights advocate, will discuss the definition of bullying, when parents should get involved, and when the school needs to get involved.

9:45 to 10:20: Ages 0 to 5: “Young Children in the Computer Age”

Stephanie Reich, Assistant Professor, UC Irvine Education Department, will discuss the research she is doing in Orange County concerning children and electronic media, commonly asked questions, and will dispel myths on the topic.

Jamie Annunzio-Myers, Director of Education for PBS SoCaL, will discuss what PBS is doing in this area, and will offer developmentally-appropriate strategies parents can use in helping their children use this medium to learn and grow.

10:25 to 10:55: Ages 6 – 12: “Optimizing Children’s Media Use in Middle Childhood and Adolescence”

Dr. Janna Kim will discuss strategies for healthy Internet use and creating boundaries parents can use to let their child interact with technology in a healthy and safe way.

11:00 to 11:30: Ages 13 – 18: “Social Media: Facebook is Forever”

Dr. Josh Taylor will discuss the new and evolving social media trends as well as provide facts about the good and bad side of their use. He also will provide parents with facts about what to be looking for and what to do if and when problems arise.

11:35 to 12:00: Closing Speaker: “Parenting Through Technology”

The summit will close with a talk by Kelly Lewis of “According to Kelly.” She will discuss how technology and her blog helped her overcome postpartum depression and reconnect with her community. Through her own journey, Lewis’ blog has evolved into a go-to site for Orange County parents with questions, suggestions for kid-friendly events, and how to be an old-fashioned mom in a modern world.

12:00 to 12:05: Summit Closing and Thank You – Supervisor Pat Bates
Children and Families Commission of Orange County
Kathleen Freed