A month after the school year kicked off at Scituate’s Inly School, school officials are set to begin a new speaker program with several noted professionals already slated to come to the campus.
In its first year, the Sue Omran Speaker Series program, named in honor of a 37-year-old Inly teacher who passed away after a battle with breast cancer in 2011, hopes to bring a renewed focus on adult education, bringing more speakers and presenters on a variety of topics to the campus several times during the school year.
The spirit of the presentations embodies the memory of Omran, organizers say.
“Sue was very curious, intellectually curious, loved learning, loved going to workshops … and thinking of teaching as a craft, as a mom and as a teacher,” said Donna Milani Luther, head of Inly School. “Hopefully this series is going to fulfill those wishes for her.”
Speakers will be brought on a variety of issues, all of who are considered experts in their fields.
To begin the series, Inly has invited Deborah Roffman, a best-selling author, educator, and national consultant on sexuality education.
Roffman will discuss her latest book, “Talk to me Firs: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kid’ ‘Go-To’ Person about Sex”, during the presentation Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.
“It’s about how you speak to kids in developmental stages…and it’s about how you become that adult a kid turns to when they have questions to ask. Someone they can trust and open up to,” Milani Luther said.
According to Sally Sisson, a PR spokesperson for the school, Roffman has been to the school in the past to discuss adolescent sexuality, and the talks have been very successful.
“They have been well attended and she’s a very engaging speaker and she’s got a good sense of humor. Sometimes people come and aren’t sure what to expect, but she’s very straightforward and very helpful, and she always follows her talks with a substantial Q&A so people can ask questions,” Sisson said. “She’s good at coaching parents on how to answer difficult questions, mainly with young children but really any age. Her whole thing is starting young, and knowing what’s appropriate for what age but not waiting too long to broach difficult subjects.”
The talk will focus on sexting, bullying online, the increasing sexualization of younger children, and the role the media and television plays with today’s idea of sexuality, including shows like “Teen Mom”.
“Inly wants to give parents the tools to be able to parent effectively and to deal with what’s going on in the world today,” Sisson said.
In addition to Roffman, Inly will host Deepak Chopra and Dr. Rudy Tanzi on Dec. 4 with their book “Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Mazimize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being”.
The book is slated to be published in early November, but already anticipation is high, especially given the reputation of the authors; Chopra has published over 65 books, and Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard University, co-discovered the first Alzheimer’s disease gene.
In April, Inly will also host author and naturalist Richard Louv, who will speak about his book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”.
Louv has written for several major publications, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. This April 3 event will be co-sponsored by the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.
“It’s all about life long learning. This speaker series – parent education is the focus,” Sisson said. “It’s about parents becoming educated on how to be good parents and how to help navigate difficult issues.”
Tickets for the Roffman discussion, $10 for community members and free for Inly families, will be available at the door. Upcoming talks will have tickets sales available before the event.
For more information on these programs, visit Inly’s website.