Chandler Theater Film Series Addresses Youth Crisis |


VSChildhood and education advocate Katey McPherson returns to the Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill to host a series of film screenings and interactive panel discussions focusing on parenting and family trends.

The film series is part of the Helping Chandler Families Thrive program and is jointly presented by Majestic and Chandler Education Foundation.

McPherson, a parent and educator, draws on her 25 years of experience working with students and families to bring valuable information and guidance to community members of all ages as they navigate the complexities of the social environment of ‘today.

“To meet the needs of families in our community, it’s essential to promote positive, candid discussions and to share real stories and experiences,” said McPherson, who is also director of professional development for Bark for Schools, an app artificial intelligence that protects more than five million children across the country.

“It is gratifying to partner with organizations like Majestic and Chandler Education Foundation who share my passion for investing time, energy and resources to benefit Chandler families.”

The first episode of Helping Chandler Families Thrive will include a screening of the documentary “Childhood 2.0” on August 24 at Majestic Chandler 9.

The film highlights the challenges resulting from growing up in the digital age, with a particular focus on topics such as cyberbullying, online predators, suicidal thoughts, and more.

After the film, McPherson will lead a panel of experts in an interactive discussion with event attendees. A portion of the proceeds from the August event will benefit notMYkid, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides training and support programs focused on addiction, vaping, trauma, body image, mental health, internet safety and other key issues.

“Majestic is proud to launch Helping Chandler Families Thrive this month with highly respected partners like Katey McPherson and Chandler Education Foundation,” said Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill CEO Craig Paschich.

“We are proud to use our theaters in unique ways to have a lasting and positive impact on families in the area.”

On September 21, Majestic Chandler 9 will screen “My Ascension,” an autobiographical documentary about Emma Benoit, who survived a suicide attempt at age 16 that left her paralyzed.

The film chronicles Benoit’s journey to inspire others to find hope through his painful experiences, as well as his efforts to establish a teen suicide prevention program in his home state of Louisiana.

Benoit will attend the film event virtually and participate via Zoom in the post-film roundtable with McPherson and other local experts.

On October 26 at Majestic Chandler 9, McPherson will host “The First Day.” A film shot in public and private high schools over the course of a year that “harnesses the power of personal storytelling to explore the issues, relationships and events that deeply affect our youth.”

After the screening, family advocacy and education experts will join McPherson for a dialogue about the film and its themes.

“The Chandler Education Foundation is proud to work with Katey McPherson and Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill to bring cutting-edge family and educational programming to Chandler,” said Jennifer Hewitt, executive director of the nonprofit organization.

“To truly strengthen our community, we must collaborate and find innovative ways to reach those in need, and this film series supports those goals.”

Tickets for upcoming Helping Chandler Families Thrive movie events are limited and on sale now at Majestic Chandler 9 is located at 4955 S. Arizona Ave in Chandler, on the northeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights Road.


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