Mercer Island Parent Edge is a non-profit organization which is part of the Mercer Island PTA Council. We coordinate events and programs for parents, educators and our community.  Our goal is to encourage dialogue in the Mercer Island community.

Join Parent Edge!

Do you enjoy Parent Edge programs?
Are you curious about trends in parenting, education and supporting our youth?
Do you want to share your ideas & talents?

View details about the Parent Edge roles and responsibilities HERE.

2020-21 Events

The Parent Edge programs for the 2020-21 school year are completed. Stay tuned for programs for 2021-22 school year!


#Pandemic Parenting:
How to Help our Kids Thrive in a Digital World

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 • 7:00-8:30 PM • Virtual Presentation

This fall, back-to-school is anything but normal. Distance learning is a huge adjustment for everyone. Devorah Heitner, PhD, an expert on young people’s relationship with digital media and technology, will share practical advice and tips to help your kids succeed in this new digital classroom. She’ll also discuss how parents can make this all a little easier on ourselves, too.

Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise, explains the importance of “mentoring over monitoring” when it comes to kids’ tech use and gives advice on how to encourage a healthy relationship with media and technology – and set kids up for success, not stress, in the digital age.

Join us to learn…

  • How parents can support their children’s uses of technology to connect, create, and learn
  • A framework for deciding what digital platforms and apps are appropriate (or not) for elementary aged kids, tweens, and teens
  • Tips for teaching kids how to self-regulate their screentime
  • How to empower kids to use technology and digital media for social good
  • How to help kids through a virtual school day (brain breaks, physical activity, snacks and high fives!)

Dr. Devorah Heitner is an expert on young people’s relationship with digital media and technology. She is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and the Connecting Wisely Curriculum for grade 4-8 and founder of Raising Digital Natives. Her mission is to cultivate a culture of empathy and social/emotional literacy. Dr. Heitner’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine and Education Week. She has a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul and Northwestern. She is delighted to be raising her own digital native.

ROSETTA LEE – 2 programs
Diversity Speaker & Trainer

What I Said and What I Meant: Improving Cross Cultural Communication 
October 29, 2020 • 4:30-6:00 PM • Virtual Presentation

Humans communicate on many levels: spoken language, tone, body language, style and personality. The fact that we have complex cultural identities and a host of differing past experiences increases the probability of cross-cultural miscommunications. This workshop presents major cross-cultural communication theories, ways that cultural values, power, privilege and differences affect the way we communicate, tools for questioning assumptions, and ways to improve cross-cultural communications skills. 

>>> Did you miss the presentation? Watch a recording HERE!

Navigating Microaggressions 
October 29, 2020 • 7:00-8:30 PM • Virtual Presentation

How do you navigate microaggressions – those words and actions that offend or hurt, even though they may be unintended? Learn some of the obstacles of authentic conversations, as well as practical strategies for what to do or say when you are the target of, witness to, and agents of microaggressions.

>>> Did you miss the presentation? Watch a recording HERE!

Rosetta Lee is a highly regarded local and national expert in diversity, inclusion and equity. She is a faculty member at Seattle Girls School teaching science, math, technology, art, ethics and social justice. For over 10 years, Rosetta has been a diversity speaker and trainer on a variety of topics including cross-cultural communication, identity, and gender and sexual diversity.

www.seattlegirlsschool.org/outreach/ • Rosetta Lee (@rosettalee) Twitter


Sponsored by KCLS and Friends of the Mercer Island Library
Parents/adults and high school students welcome

> Please register by at least 5PM the day prior to each program to receive a Zoom link. For more information, contact Carrie Bowman.

Character Counts – College Admissions Beyond Grades and Test Scores
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 • 6:30-7:30pm • Virtual Presentation
Presented by Tom Barry and Veronica Leyva, Collegewise
> Click HERE for more information and to register for this program.

Conducting a College Search in the Time of COVID-19
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 • 6:30-7:30PM • Virtual Presentation
Presented by Claire Nold-Glaser
> Click HERE for more information and to register for this program.

All About Financial Aid for College
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 • 6:30-7:30PM • Virtual Presentation
Presented by David Aramaki, Financial Advisor
> Click HERE for more information and to register for this program.

Navigating American Education with your Child
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 • 7:30-8:30PM • Virtual Presentation
Presented by Kate Wang, VP of International Partnerships at MyCOS.
NOTE: This program is presented in Mandarin with slides in English and Mandarin.
>Click HERE for more information and to register for this program.

Parent Support Series

Presented by MI Parent Edge & MIYFS

Program #1
A Conversation about Our Kids” Mental Health
November 17, 2020 – 7PM

With MIYFS Elementary School Counselors & MI Pediatrics 

  • Gather mental health tips for your family to help reduce and/or better manage anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • Ask questions that are on your mind.
  • Connect with other parents of elementary kids.

FREE EVENT! For parents of elementary-aged children.

>>> Did you miss this program? Watch a recording and view the presentation slides.

Program #2
Supporting our Tweens & Teens through the Challenges of Social Isolation

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 – 7PM 

Gather tips to help support your tween/teen during this challenging time and ask questions that are on your mind.

Featured panelists:

  • Harry Brown – MIYFS Counselor, IMS
  • Chris Harnish – MIYFS Counselor, MIHS
  • Julie Wood – Mental Health Therapist

FREE EVENT! For parents of middle school & high school students.

>>> Did you miss this program? Watch a recording and view the presentation slides.

Program #3
Nurturing your Young Child’s Development during the Pandemic
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – 7 PM

Ask questions and gather tips to learn how to best support the development of your young child through remote schooling and isolation from peers, friends and family.

Featured panel:

  • Dr. Ziv Bell – Clinical Psychologist
  • Melissa Benaroya – Parent Coach, Author, Speaker
  • Dr. Liz Evans – MI Pediatrics

FREE EVENT! For parents of preschool-age children – kindergarten/1st grade students.

>>> Did you miss this program? Watch a recording and view the presentation slides.

Youth Suicide Prevention for Parents

Presented by MI Parent Edge & the MI Forefront Team
November 19, 2020 • 7PM • Virtual Presentation

Learn evidence-based prevention strategies to help youth in crisis stay safe and get support. Like first aid and CPR, this valuable knowledge supports healthy families and communities. Visit www.intheforefront.org for more information.


FREE EVENT.  For Adults/Parents ONLY!  

>>> Did you miss the presentation? Watch a recording and access resources HERE!

March 18, 2021 • 7PM • Virtual Presentation

Current issues provide a great opportunity to engage others in rich conversation, share important values, encourage deeper understanding of the news, and disrupt bias and prejudice.

Mercer Island community members are invited to join this workshop to reflect on bias, engagement, and communication. The workshop is facilitated by Anti-Defamation League Education Director, Scotland Nash EdD.

Discussion points include:

  • What are your spheres of influence?
  • What are the necessary ground rules for meaningful and respectful dialogue?
  • Incidents of hate are on the rise, what are strategies to talk about them at the table?

>>> Did you miss the presentation? View the resources HERE!

This program is appropriate for community members of all ages. The content is targeted toward adults but is appropriate for middle school and high school students.

Parenting in Place Masterclass Series

Are you burned out, concerned about your child’s well-being and wondering how your family will manage during the winter as we near a year into the pandemic? 

The Parenting in Place series comes from a group of parenting experts, therapists, authors, educators, and neuroscientists who’ve joined to share their very best strategies and ideas for how you and your family can thrive in the coming months.

FEBRUARY 17 – APRIL 7, 2021
8 part program (via Zoom)
Watch live on Wednesdays 5PM (PT) or view the recording

  • FEB 17: A Conversation on Mindfulness, Mental Health, and Anxiety. Debbie Reber and Donald E. Grant, Jr. will discuss mindfulness strategies for managing parental stress and anxiety — and ways to support children in this unusual time.
  • FEB 24: A Conversation on Raising Resilient Kids. Madeline Levine and Michele Borba will offer simple ways to teach your kids how to cope today so they can thrive tomorrow.        
  • MAR 3: A Conversation on Motivation, Stress, and Screens. Janine Halloran and Katherine Reynolds Lewis will share strategies for teaching coping skills, balancing screens with academics, and keeping perspective.
  • MAR 10: A Conversation on Sex and Gender. Courtney Macavinta and Ignacio Rivera will discuss sex education and puberty, and will offer suggestions for raising and supporting queer kids and allies.
  • MAR 17: A Conversation on Raising Ethical Children. Catherine Steiner-Adair and Howard Stevenson will offer support for talking to kids about race and equipping them to seek justice, as well as parenting around difference, whether disability, LGBTQ or racial identity.
  • MAR 24: A Conversation on Teenagers. Christine Carter and Ned Johnson will share best practices for working with teens and fostering healthy motivation, stress tolerance, and joy.
  • MAR 31: A Conversation on Big Kid Issues. Jessica Lahey and Julie Lythcott-Haims will discuss how to send our children into the world, with all the skills they need to be resilient, motivated and independent, without resorting to the escape of drugs and alcohol.
  • APR 7: Town Hall. The last week of the series will be a virtual, moderated Town Hall featuring Tina Payne Bryson and other speakers responding to the most pressing concerns and questions from the Parenting in Place community. Full lineup will be announced soon.

This series is available to Mercer Island residents at a discounted rate of $10. Special rate available to the first 200 to register — sign up today!

A portion of the registration fee for Mercer Island residents is being underwritten by MI Parent Edge & Mercer Island Youth and Family Services.

Signs of Suicide
Youth Suicide Prevention for Parents

Presented by MI Parent Edge & the Islander Middle School Counseling Team
April 20, 2021 • 7PM • Virtual Presentation

How would you respond if your child told you their friend might be thinking about suicide? Learn how to help your child save a life.

With students both in classrooms and learning virtually, this program is more important than ever. Learn strategies to help youth in crisis stay safe and get support.

The “Signs of Suicide” program is utilized at Islander Middle School. IMS students have learned to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) through this program so they are prepared to get help for themselves or a friend. Learn the ACT message so that you can support your child.

This valuable knowledge supports healthy families and communities.

>>> Did you miss the presentation? Watch a recording HERE