Beverly Speaker Series: Navigating the Adolescent Years 

The Beverly Speaker Series: Meaningful Conversations for Parents and Educators will host Charis Denison, M.A. Sun., Jan. 29. 3 to 4:30 p.m., Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W. 111th St. This is the second in the three part series.

The Beverly Speaker Series is a community collaboration of local businesses, civic organizations and educational institutions hosting nationally recognized experts in the fields of education, child development and parenting. The intention is to inspire and support families and educators about topics that are important to the well-being of children in our neighborhood. The theme of the series is understanding, connecting and supporting adolescence.

The arrival of the adolescent and teenage years often seems to come without warning. This sudden shift is often not fluid for the parents, grandparents and teachers of 11- to 16-year-olds. Adolescence can be a whirlwind of steps forward and back regarding developmental shifts, emotional and intellectual changes, and the broadening of possibility and potential. The experience for adults at home and at school can be both wonderful and, at times, complicated and confusing.

Charis Denison is a teen advocate, parent educator, and expert on adolescents and teenagers. She has great expertise in identifying what teenagers need to develop life skills, as well as teaching parents and teachers how to help teens do this. Denison has designed and implemented Health and Human Development Curricula in many schools around the nation. Most importantly, she possesses a rich understanding of how teenagers and parents can navigate today’s complex adolescent experience while maintaining communication, respect and connection.

Denison co-authored “Tolerance for Others,” a middle school-focused human development text. Her work is featured in Peggy Orenstein’s new book, “Girls & Sex: Navigating the New and Complicated Landscape.”  Denison has also been highlighted in two TED talks: “The Gift, The Flip Side of Teen Behavior” and “Young Men’s Relationship to Culture.”

The Beverly Speaker Series was initiated last year following the outstanding attendance at presentations by Dr. Tina Payne Bryson who spoke about how children’s brains develop.

“Parents and educators packed her talks and the support afterwards was humbling in how much she impacted how adults related to and understood children. I saw a sincere excitement and wish from parents and educators to learn more about the children who are central in their lives.” said Carly Carney, owner of Beverly Yoga Center who is spearheading this effort.

Many locals have stepped up and donated to the Beverly Speaker Series. “Without the generous donations of so many organizations and businesses, this would not have been possible.” Carney explained.

On Mar. 7, the series will host the final speaker, New York Times best-selling author Dr. Michael Thompson who will speak about the nature of adolescent boys.

Educators who attend these presentations are eligible to receive professional development hours. More information can be found online at

There is no admission cost for these events, however the Beverly Speaker Series is asking for donations to support future speakers. This can be done at the time of registration. Registration and more information: or




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