Celebrity parenting experts participate in event

Stephanie Burkhardt, Executive Artistic Director of The Dance Company of St. Augustine, informed local Historic City News reporters that on Saturday, March 29, The Dance Company will present the Community Empowerment Series, a powerful, one day event that will bring five nationally and internationally recognized celebrity parenting experts to St. Johns County.

These experts will speak on timely topics in our digitally driven society, such as bullying, cyber bullying, body image, cyber safety, protecting online identity, and much more. Studies show that a positive self-image is a deterrent to bullying and by empowering our young people with knowledge and a positive self-image; we can make a difference in the lives of our young people.

*Dr. Michele Borba, leading parenting and bullying prevention expert and author to over 25 books, will be a keynote speaker for the Community Empowerment Series. Michele offers proven ways to stop peer cruelty, and has worked with hundreds of schools to reduce bullying and create compassionate, just learning climates. Dr. Borba is frequently seen on national media outlets, including CNN, FOX, Dateline, Dr. Drew, The Doctors, Dr. Phil, and is an NBC contributor appearing over 100 times on the TODAY show. Her practical, research based advice is culled from a career of working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.

*Dr. Sameer Hinduja is a leading cyberbullying prevention expert, and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. He works with the private and public sector to reduce online victimization and its real world consequences. His research has been featured in hundreds of print and online articles around the world, as well as on radio and TV. He is the author of 4 books, including the upcoming one, Words Hurt.

*Theresa Payton is a leading cyber-safety expert, and the former White House Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Executive Office of the President from 2006-2008. Theresa currently delivers security, risk, and fraud consulting services to private and public organizations. We are excited that she will be speaking on how to protect your online identity, and help our community learn how to stay safer online. Her book, PRIVACY In the Age of Big Data, has just been released and currently the topic on many popular media outlets.

* Stacey Honowitz, Florida’s leading State Attorney for sex crimes against children, will be back to St. Augustine for Community Empowerment Day. She has prosecuted several high profile cases in Florida and is a guest lecturer who speaks about child sex abuse, the sensitive nature of these cases, the navigation of the criminal justice system and the importance of frank and open communication with children about this important and difficult subject matter. Stacey has provided important information for several years to both parents and children on the issues of child molestation and continues to send the message that the importance of reporting the abuse is the first step in healing.

*Sarah Burningham, t(weens) and body image expert, has offered to launch her next book, GIRL to GIRL: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body, here in St. Augustine. She will be speaking with girls and their parents about the importance of body image, self-confidence, relationships, fashion, peer pressure and all things girls. This is a wonderful opportunity for mothers and daughters to attend one of her workshops.

Visit the website to learn more about the speakers and their books, the sponsors for this important and educational event, and about The Dance Company’s “Everyone Dances” program helping children in our community. You may wish to purchase an author’s book ahead of the event for autograph. Vendor tables will showcase various businesses and non-profits in our community.

There will be plenty of free parking, food and beverages for sale, author meet and greet, author book signings (you should purchase ahead and bring your books for autograph), raffle prizes, and much more. This is a free event, but registration through the CES website is highly encouraged as the workshops will fill up.

Proceeds will help The Dance Company develop a Fine Arts Dance Program at the PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP UNIT Boys & Girls Club in St. Augustine. Through their “Everyone Dances” program, The Dance Company has offered to bring the program to them. The Dance Company’s highly trained staff will provide excellence in training and their talented dancers will provide mentorship. This exciting new program will reach many local children through the power of dance. Every child that enrolls will learn discipline, self-control, how to live a healthy lifestyle, and add another dimension to their confidence level.

For questions, please call The Dance Company at 904-471-4946.