Best Selling Author Paul Tough Speaks at the WellPower’s Town Hall Meeting on Growing Successful Children

The WellPower in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS held a town hall meeting, on Tuesday, September 24, that brought together representatives from Denver Public Schools, Clayton Early Learning and the WellPower to discuss how Denver can “Grow Successful Children” and explore how we can help children overcome adversity.

Paul Tough, best selling author of “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity & the Hidden Power of Character” spoke to the more than 100 guests about the qualities that matter most for our children have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. Tough also touched on how toxic stress at an early age is the reason a large number of children lack the skills they need to succeed, and the antidote to toxic stress is parents.

During the panel discussion and question and answer portion that followed, it was evident that for those children who have encountered traumatic events, getting help and being understood are key to their emotional success. Children and adults alike want to be seen for whom they are, not being defined by the problems in their life.

The panelists included: Paul Tough; WellPower CEO Dr. Carl Clark and Director of Child and Family Services Dr. Lydia Prado; Denver Public Schools Mental Health Services Program Manager Steve Nederveld; and Clayton Early Learning President and CEO Charlotte Brantley. The panel, which answered a variety of questions from the audience, was moderated by “Colorado State of Mind” host and executive producer Cynthia Hessin.

The event also featured live-tweeting using the hashtag #WellPowerTownHall.  Some of the tweets included points from Tough’s book, including the idea that when dealing with a child’s mental health issues, families are hungry for help.

This was our first town hall meeting and we are excited about the interest it generated among the guests. The WellPower will continue to bring our community together to collaborate on actions that will lead to growing successful children and building stronger communities.