The award-winning documentary Screenagers is will be shown next week in Terrell, and all area parents and children ages 10 and up are invited to attend.

Screenagers explores how parents deal with social media, video games, academics and internet addition, while offering solutions to help young people find balance in today’s digital world. Some recent studies show us that screen time increases dopamine production and causes behavior that mimics addiction.

The screening is being organized by Sharna Ellis, who chairs the Kaufman County Child Fatality Team as part of her job as an administrative assistant to the Kaufman Police Department.

Ellis saw the documentary at a Partners in Prevention Conference sponsored by the Texas Department of State Health Services and knew she wanted to bring it back to her community. Screenagers is only shown by special license, but she signed up for a chance at a free screening, and Kaufman County was selected. 

“I knew this was something Kaufman needed to see,” she said. “It addresses the concerns and issues our society has with the use, or misuse, of screen time.”

Next week’s event also will include a question-and-answer session with staff from the Kaufman County Advocacy Center. The screening is free, but advance sign up is appreciated at screenagers-documentary-terrell.eventbrite.com. A link to the signup page is also available on the City of Kaufman facebook page, as well as the Kaufman Police Department page.

The film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Jamie Foxx Performing Arts Center in Terrell. Doors open at 6 p.m.

“We need to break down those barriers and have these conversations,” she said of parents and teenagers. “Particularly right before school starts.” Volunteers from the Kaufman Independent School District, churches and other groups have been helping her get the word out about the free screening. This is one of only four screenings coming up in Texas, while it has been shown more than 7,000 times to 2 million people in more than 60 countries. 

Screenagers was made by Delaney Ruston, a physician and filmmaker who was struggling with her two kids and their screen times. 

A preview of the film is available at www.screenagersmovie.com

More information is available by calling the police department at (972) 932-3094. 

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