'Children's voices' theme of school panel tonight

Discussion of student survey data featured in third of 'Growing Up Asian' series

All Palo Alto parents and students are invited to the third segment in the PTA-sponsored series "Growing Up Asian."

The session, titled "Connecting Family and Culture to Our Children's Voices," will be tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in the board room of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.

Board of Education member Dana Tom, as well as Palo Alto parents Becky Beacom and Vic Ojakian, will discuss results of a wellness survey administered to more than 4,000 Palo Alto students last October. The so-called "developmental assets survey" measured qualities that correlate with "thriving" or "at-risk" behavior.

Beacom is Health Education Manager for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Ojakian is a former mayor of Palo Alto who became active in student mental health issues after losing a college-age son to suicide in 2004.

Organizers of the "Growing Up Asian" series have emphasized that all parents and students, not just Asians, are welcome at the events.

"Our children have spoken, is anyone listening?" the PTA said in announcing the event.

"What do the student survey results reveal about growing up in Palo Alto?

"Learn how you can help your child develop higher asset levels and shape an environment that helps our youth thrive," the PTA said.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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