Dr. Suskind Speaks as the 25th Rosenberg Memorial Lecturer

Parker welcomed pediatric otolaryngologist Dr. Dana Suskind to campus this week as part of the 25th Annual Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture Series.

Dr. Suskind is a pediatric surgeon and social scientist who specializes in helping parents, caregivers and communities optimize children’s foundational brain development. She is founder and co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, which aims to create a population-level shift in the knowledge and behavior of parents and caregivers to optimize the foundational brain development [JC1] in children from birth to five years of age, particularly those born into poverty.

During her lecture and meeting with faculty earlier in the day, Dr. Suskind spoke about her initial work and book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, which focuses on the benefits and need for caregivers to engage in conversations with young developing minds. She mentioned the directive to speak 30 million words to a child has transformed into what she now calls “The Three T’s”: Tune in, Talk more and Take turns. However, even with this blueprint, parents and guardians can still fail because society does not place enough importance and provide enough support to these families. And the effects of no paid leave, families having to work more and other factors will ultimately adversely affect a child’s development; thus the need for us to invest in, champion and celebrate these new families.
Dr. Suskind’s talk showed in stark focus the needs of today’s families and the effect on a child’s development if those needs are not met. So, society must step up and ensure that all children have a stable environment so they can grow into promising adults.

Photos from the lecture are available here.

The Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture Series was created to honor the memory of one of Parker’s most dedicated and effective volunteers, Francine C. Rosenberg. In Francine’s memory, the Lecture Series is dedicated to exposing Parker and the extended community to innovative views, philosophies and teachings relevant to the education of our children and how we live our lives. Previous guest lecturers include Judith Viorst; John Gottman, PhD; Beverly Daniel Tatum; Maria Trozzi; Alvin Rosenfeld, MD; Edward Hallowell, MD; Wendy Mogel, PhD; Robert Evans, EdD; Michael J. Gelb; Ruth J. Simmons, PhD; Sir Ken Robinson, PhD; James P. Steyer; Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot; Michael Thompson, PhD; Kenneth Ginsbugh, MD, MS Ed; Paul Tough; Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair; Dr. Bruce Perry; Julie Lythcott-Haims; Eric Liu; Dr. Shauna Shapiro; Rami Nashashibi; Michelle Gielan; and Brian Levenson.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.