Parents who may feel like their children's schedule at school is overwhelming – for them and their kids – may want to fit an upcoming community program into their datebooks.

Start Talking Grandview and the Stand Project UA have partnered this school year to present a series of community discussions and informational programs for parents in both school districts. The series is being presented with Syntero Counseling, the Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington school districts and both local libraries.

The first event, set Tuesday, Sept. 12, will be a community discussion on the themes included in the books "Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation," a nonfiction work by Vicki Abeles, and "The Admissions," a novel by Meg Mitchell Moore.

"We have encouraged families to read these books over the summer," said Meg Hatta, chairwoman of Start Talking Grandview. "Upper Arlington school counselors and Grandview school psychologist Eric Pickering will share in the discussion with parents about the common themes presented by these books."

With an increasing emphasis on high school students preparing for college and career and creating a schedule and set of school activities that will help get them into the college of their choice, "a lot of families are feeling more and more pressure," said Jenny Ledman, past president and a member of the Stand Project's steering committee.

"We chose both a fiction and nonfiction book to present different perspectives on the same general topic," she said.

Both books were among the titles included in the Stand Project's Book Club in a Bag project in association with the UA Library.

"We chose about 20 books and featured several copies of one of the titles along with a set of discussion questions in the set of book bags we have on display at the library," Ledman said. "The goal is to spark and facilitate a discussion in a family, among a group or in the community about the issues covered in the books."

That also is the goal of the Sept. 12 event, she said.

A discussion will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Upper Arlington Library, 2800 Tremont Road, and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

"The nice thing about the two groups joining together is that we can offer a program in the evening for people who work during the day and also have one during the day, which may fit other people's schedules," Ledman said.

"It opens the opportunities for parents to choose a time that best fits their schedule," Hatta said. "There will be valuable information and discussion and we encourage everyone to attend, whether they have read the book or not."

Other programs that will be held in the fall include:

•"Marijuana: A Panel of Experts Weighs In," set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Upper Arlington Public Library.

"There's a lot of research that shows the harmful impact marijuana has on a teenager's brain, which is still developing," Ledman said. "This program will help parents learn more about marijuana and give them the answers to the questions they might have about the drug."

•"Street Smarts," a program presented by DARE and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, will offer information about a variety of drugs, including marijuana, LSD, cocaine, prescription medication and alcohol. This program will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 13 in the auditorium at Upper Arlington High School, 1650 Ridgeview Road.

•"Practical Parenting," offering tips on raising a self-reliant child, will be presented Nov. 14. As with the book-club discussion, a session will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the UA library and again at 6:30 p.m at the Grandview library.

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