The Grinnell-Newburg Community School District and the Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium have partnered to bring a community-wide speaking event series to Grinnell. The second event addresses the topic of the effects of media on children. On September 15, Dr. Douglas Gentile research scientist, author, and professor of Psychology at Iowa State University will be presenting: “Maximizing the benefits of media while minimizing the harms.” Dr. Gentile has authored over 140 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, including studies on the positive and negative effects of mass media on children in several countries, video game addiction, and mindfulness practices for reducing anxiety and increasing happiness. Dr. Gentile runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University where he conducts research on media’s impact on children and adults. As the leader of this effort, Dr. Gentile develops and conducts research projects designed to give parents and other caregivers the kind of information they need and want to make informed media choices for their children.

Along with the speaking event on Sept. 15, families can enjoy a free pasta meal provided by Pagliai’s Pizza served in the Grinnell High School cafeteria from 5:00-6:15pm. A community resource fair hosting various agencies in the Grinnell area will also be available from 5:00-6:15pm outside the high school auditorium for attendees to learn about mental health therapy services as well as local resources such as heating and housing assistance, food resources, dental and vision services, public health, and more. The highlight of the evening is Dr. Douglas Gentile speaking event in the high school auditorium from 6:30-7:30pm.

Free childcare will be available in the high school media center provided by LINK from 6:15-7:30pm so parents can attend the speaking event. The evening’s events are free, but reservations for the meal and for childcare are required in advance. Reservations can be made by completing the online QR code displayed on flyers or by calling the high school at 641-236-2720.

Melissa Ford, one of the organizers of the event says, “We are excited to welcome Dr. Gentile to speak on this important topic and encourage parents with children of all ages to attend.” She continues, “The resource fair is a great opportunity for anyone in the community to discover options for support. The surrounding Grinnell area has so much to offer and we are happy to share the information.”

Grinnell-Newburg CSD and Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium are committed to providing the local community with information and support regarding mental health and hope you join for the free events. For more information, contact Melissa Ford, Grinnell CSD Director of Special Programs at or Jennifer Cogley, Director of Partner Programs at Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation at

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