Cascades Academy Independent School PK-12

Education Series

All events are free, open to the public, and held on the Cascades Academy campus. Free childcare provided during evening presentations for ages 3+. Please complete the form below to reserve your seats and childcare, sign up for our email list, and stay tuned for updates about additions to our 2017-18 series.

Teaching Kids to Stand Up Against Hate, 4.11.18

Teaching Kids to Stand Up Against Hate

with Karen Roth and Amy Howell, Ph.D.

April 11, 2018

6:00 p.m.

Free childcare for ages 3+ provided. RSVP required.

“Dad, why is it a bad thing to be a Dreamer?” “What is wrong with the Confederate flag?” “I just heard someone called a ‘!#$%&@!’ What should I do?”

Through the media and elsewhere, children and teens are being exposed to hate-filled images and taunts. Some of our students may be repeating these insults in school without knowing what they mean nor how harmful they can be. What can adults in the lives of children do to teach young people how to recognize bias and how to speak up when it is safe to do so? What makes it uncomfortable to confront bias or talk about it openly with our children?

Join in this interactive discussion on how to talk with our children about biases in our society and how to inspire and support their efforts to stand up against the hate. These conversations can have the powerful outcome of helping to ensure that all students have a safe place to learn in school. Who knows, the next Rosa Parks may arise from our own community!

Karen Roth

Karen serves as the Director of Multicultural Activities at COCC. She also teaches a course on multicultural issues in education at COCC and OSU Cascades. Her work advocating for equity and diversity spans nearly 30 years both at COCC and the University of California, Davis.

Amy Howell, Ph.D.

Since 2004 Amy has been at Central Oregon Community College as an Associate Professor and Program Director of Early Childhood Education. She is the VP for the local affiliate for the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children, and serves on the Early Learning Leadership Council, which is a governing body for the region's Early Learning Hub.

Community Read & Guided Discussion: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, 4.23.18

Community Read & Guided Discussion

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

April 23, 2018

5:30 p.m.

Free childcare for ages 3+ provided. RSVP required.

Join us in a community read this spring. In the spirit of Cascades Academy’s theme of Inclusion, we have decided to dive into the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This engaging non-fiction book tells the story of a young lawyer’s establishment of the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most in need, including the poor, unfairly condemned, and women and children trapped in the criminal justice system. Bryan Stevenson has worked in this area with an unrelenting passion, and he tells his story in a way that captures the reader's attention and displays a need for action. The story within the book is a strong reminder of how much one person can do to right an obvious wrong; it is a book of hope.

“Words such as important and compelling may have lost their force through overuse, but to read this book is to feel that they have been restored, along with one’s hopes for humanity.”
TRACY KIDDER, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains

“Bryan Stevenson is America’s young Nelson Mandela—a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all.”
-DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Additional information:

  • There will be copies of the book available before spring break at the front desk to borrow or it can also be found at the library (in print, e-book, and audio) or purchased independently.
  • Ages: Recommended for ages 14+
  • If you want to join the discussion but you find you don’t have the time to read the book, Stevenson relays a similar message found in Just Mercy in his TED talk below. This short and introspective presentation just might inspire you to read or listen to the book at a later date!

Past Presentation: Birds + Bees + Kids, 3.1.18

Birds + Bees + Kids

with Amy Lang, MA

March 1, 2018

8:15am - 9:45am - The Birds + Bees for Elementary Parents

The birds and the bees can be tough to talk about but with a little information, some careful thought and planning it’s possible to have comfortable and effective conversations that help your kids make good decisions.

You will discover:

  • Why you need to start the conversation way earlier than you think
  • Who has the most influence over your kids’ decision making
  • The number one way to keep your kids healthy + safe
  • The best way to start the conversations
  • Why knowing your values is key to talking to your kids
  • Tips for making the talks easy, fun and actually happen!
  • 6:00pm - 7:30pm - The Birds + Bees for the 21st Century: Raising Kids in the Age of Technology

    Your child will be online — sometimes safely and, frankly, sometimes not. This will influence how they think and learn about sex, love and relationships. In this class you will learn how to make sure you (and not the internet!) are their go-to birds and the bees expert!

    You will discover:

  • When to start the conversations and how to age-appropriately talk to your kids
  • How media is negatively impacting kids
  • Simple, low-tech things to keep your kids healthy & safe online
  • An easy to use birds & bees talk formula
  • Tips for making the talks easy, fun and actually happen!

  • Free childcare for ages 3+ provided during the evening presentation only. RSVP required.

    About Amy Lang, MA

    Since 2005, award-winning parenting expert, speaker and author Amy Lang, MA, has been helping parents of all beliefs turn conversations they dread into a regular (and fun) part of their family lives.

    Past Presentation: Empowering Ourselves to Raise Culturally Competent Children in an Age of Indifference, 2.7.18

    Empowering Ourselves to Raise Culturally Competent Children in an Age of Indifference

    with Bryan K. Hotchkins, Ph.D.

    February 7, 2018


    If you missed Dr. Hotchkins' talk, you can watch it in its entirety on our Youtube channel.

    Often parents feel like they are raising their children within a cultural bubble where a lack of exposure to diversity makes it difficult to prepare them holistically for global citizenry. This realization often confuses, frustrates and stifles parents who are uncertain about how to educate not only their children, but themselves. We know households often serve as the gateway to how children are empowered to navigate heterogeneous environments, but what happens when parents lack the experiential reference points to teach? This lecture is intended to help parents understand how to raise the cultural competency of children while providing them with useful introspective strategies and resources.

    • How should parents prepare to have the RACE TALK with their children
    • How to create holistic, introspective environments within your homes
    • What to do (or not) if your child feels unable to engage in difficult discussions about difference
    • How to talk to educators at your child’s school about creating safe spaces in class(es)
    • Tips for children and parents about how to be an ally on the periphery of discussions
    • How to help your child understand racist, sexist and heterosexist behaviors

    Free childcare for ages 3+ provided. RSVP required

    About Bryan K. Hotchkins, Ph.D.

    Dr. Hotchkins is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the department of Educational Psychology and Leadership and a Faculty Fellow for the Institute for Inclusive Excellence at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.

    A critical race pedagogue, Dr. Hotchkins studies the relationship between student identity development, organization climates, contexts and climate. More specifically, his research problematizes issues pertaining to the intersection of leadership, activism and access of students across K-20 educational contexts. Dr. Hotchkins’ research is guided by questions related to how institutional environments and racial constructions influence student, faculty and administrator involvement on campus. With nearly 12 publications, twenty-six academic paper presentations and invited lectures to his credit since 2014, he is actively committed to using qualitative research to amplify the voices of marginalized people while validating their experiential knowledge(s). Dr. Hotchkins holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah and degrees at University of Oklahoma and Southern Methodist University. Ultimately, Dr. Hotchkins strives to utilize his research expertise to further inform K-20 administrators about the needs of diverse student populations. His leadership bridge program is a prime example of his work in the field concerning how to prepare students to traverse institutions of higher education and the real world at large.

    Past Presentation: Is It Rude, Mean, or Bullying? 12.6.17

    Is It Rude, Mean, or Bullying?

    with Dawn Betts, Cascades Academy Director of Counseling

    December 6, 2017


    Download Dawn's presentation here.

    Often parents feel powerless and frustrated when their child is being bullied and sometimes parents don’t know it’s happening. We know that parents play a vital role in helping their child navigate behavioral aggression and yet they don’t often know how to help. This workshop is intended to help parents understand behavioral aggression and provide them with useful prevention and intervention strategies and resources on how to help their child or teen.

    What are the signs parents should look for.

    • Create healthy anti-behavioral aggression and bullying habits early
    • What to do (or not) if your child is being bullied
    • How to talk to educators at your child’s school about bullying
    • Tips for children and teens on how to stand up to the bully
    • Tips for parents: What to do if your child bullies others
    • What parents can do to prevent and address cyber-bullying
    • How to help your child/teen understand the bully and passive aggressive behaviors

    Free childcare for ages 3+ provided. RSVP required.

    About Dawn Betts

    A native Oregonian, Dawn joined Cascades Academy after spending 25 years working and raising a family abroad. For sixteen years Dawn worked as a high school counselor at Singapore American School, the largest international school in the world. Prior to Singapore. Dawn and her husband Steve worked in Bangkok, Kuwait, and Brazil. Dawn graduated from Willamette University with a Bachelor's degree in Education and later earned an Master's degree in Education and a Master's degree in School Counseling.