Dear Parents,

We hope many of you were able to see our kick-off event, Navigating the Tides , on Tuesday evening at Junipero Serra High School. For those of you who couldn’t make it, we will post a link to the video on our website in a few weeks – so stay tuned!

We are now looking ahead to an evening with Paul Tough in conversation with Denise Pope on Thursday, October 3 . Tough provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of higher education and why college reform is needed. We hope you will come with open hearts and minds as Tough articulates possibilities to help us work toward viable solutions. Another resource on this evolving topic is a recent thought-provoking article by former Common Ground speaker and New York Times writer, Frank Bruni: When Did College Turn So Cruel?.

We are also delighted to have Lynn Lyons join us on Tuesday, October 15 to provide concrete strategies and tools that can inform and guide us in helping our children manage anxiety , high-pressure situations and the challenges of daily life.

And on Tuesday, October 22 , Bellarmine College Preparatory will be hosting our third viewing of the Like documentary , followed by a panel of educators and teens eager to share their experiences surrounding the integral role social media plays in all of our lives today.

Come and enjoy these special offerings!

Warm Regards,

Marcie Kay
Executive Director
Common Ground Speaker Series
Our Next Event!


in conversation with

DENISE POPE

Thurs Oct 3, 7:00 pm
Paul Tough & Denise Pope Photo
Does college provide real opportunity for all young people who want to improve their prospects or is it simply a rigged game that protects the privileged and excludes everyone else?

Drawing on new research explored in his latest groundbreaking book, The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us , Paul Tough will reveal how the landscape of higher education has shifted in recent decades. He'll expose hidden truths of how the system works, whom it works for and what it feels like to be a young person caught up in the hope, joy and frustration of the college application process.
Join us for this important examination of our college system which will both inspire and enrage. This event will make us think differently about who we are as a country – and whether the American dream of opportunity and mobility is still a worthy one.
More October Events
Tues Oct 15, 9:30 am
Tues Oct 15, 7:00 pm
Lynn Lyons Headshot
Anxiety is the leading mental health issue among American youth. Clinicians and research suggest it is growing and has a generational link, with patterns of worry and anxiety passed from parents to children. Often our attempts to help anxious children may instead serve to strengthen these patterns. Lyons addresses these cycles head on and equips families with an alternative approach that focuses on active engagement over avoidant behavior.
A Documentary About the Impact of Social Media on Our Lives
Tues Oct 22, 7:00pm
Parents and students ages 10 and up are welcome to attend!
Admission is free of charge for all attendees at this event.

Common Ground Speaker Series enthusiastically presents our third screening of LIKE: A Documentary About the Impact of Social Media on Our Lives . The film will be followed by a moderated discussion.

Technology is a tool that is here to stay – when we understand its effects more realistically, we become motivated to learn how to navigate it more safely together. LIKE is an IndieFlix Original documentary that explores the impacts of technology and social media on the brain, on our lives and on society.

We hope LIKE will inspire people of all ages, especially kids, to self regulate. It is not about blame. It is about looking in the mirror and empowering ourselves to create balance in our lives and to learn to support each other.
Event Admission
All Common Ground Speaker Series events are free of charge to the parents, faculty and staff of our member schools. Adults not affiliated with a member school may attend for a $20 fee at the door. Please register on Eventbrite for each event. Registration is optional and offered for attendees’ convenience to receive reminders and event updates. Also please plan for early arrival to ensure seating which will be first come, first served.

Directions and more information about Common Ground Speaker Series, including a list of our member schools , may be found on our website .
Other Community Events
Find additional parent education events throughout the community. Follow the links for details about event sponsors, attendance and registration (these events are not sponsored by Common Ground).

Oct 18, The Nueva School, San Mateo

Join other parents and educators for a day filled with inspiring presentations, thought-provoking discussions and meaningful resources. World renowned thinkers share their expertise on a multitude of diverse topics, including neuroscience and neurodiversity, anxiety and mental health, artificial intelligence, racism, equity, climate change, student independence and study strategies, and college admissions. 


“Forget ALL the parenting books - the ILC is the greatest way to inform your thinking and ease your nerves about raising kids in a fast-paced, high-stress world.” 
- 2017 ILC Attendee
Challenge Success Parent Education

Sept 27, 7:00 pm, Stanford University, Memorial Auditorium

Join Challenge Success for an evening with best-selling author and psychologist Lisa Damour and Challenge Success Co-Founders Madeline Levine and Denise Pope to learn more about the value of healthy stress, the risks of unhealthy stress, and practical solutions for how families and schools can support kids to have balanced and fulfilling lives. 


Oct 1, 6:30pm, Palo Alto

Oct 22, 6:30pm, Palo Alto

Oct 24, 11:30am - 1:30pm, Palo Alto, Athena Academy

Oct 29, 6:30pm, Palo Alto

Complete CHC Parent Education Schedule
Menlo Park City School District Speaker Series :