Our Vision

Our vision is to understand and address compelling questions regarding media’s impact on child development through interdisciplinary dialogue, public information, and rigorous, objective research bridging the medical, neuroscientific, social science, education and academic communities.

Our History

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is a 501C(3) non-profit organization founded by Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, who has spent her career in public service ranging from non-profit development, medicine and philanthropy devoted to children and adolescents.  As a parent herself, Dr. Hurst-Della Pietra was curious eight years ago to understand the cognitive and long-term impacts of frequent technology use among her own children. She started Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development in 2013 to:
– Provide a forum for researchers, clinicians, and other experts from a wide variety of disciplines to meet, collaborate, and share research
– Advance funding  in the emerging field of digital media and children
– Provide parents and educators with the resources and answers to questions they have to raise happy and healthy children in the digital age.
She created the Institute as the principle vehicle through which she and others could address three urgent questions:
1. How is digital media enhancing or impairing children’s ability to live happy, healthy, and productive lives?
2. How are years of electronically mediated interactions shaping children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development?
3. What should we do about it?
The Institute promotes objective, inclusive, integrative scientific research by scholars with diverse perspectives from all relevant disciplines. In this way, it facilitates collaborative achievements beyond the reach of any one kind of expert.

Our Founder

Pamela Hurst-Della PietraDr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra (pam@childrenandscreens.com) is the founder and president of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, a nonprofit organization stimulating a dialogue on the impact of digital media on toddlers, children, and adolescents. The Institute organized a national conference on this subject for the National Academy of Sciences last year.   A Long Island-based philanthropist along with her husband Stephen, a few recent projects include endowing a chair in biomedical imaging at Stony Brook Medicine, starting the DellaPietra lecture series at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, which brings the best and brightest minds of our time in science and math to high school and college students on Long Island and developing a weekend enrichment program for gifted high school students in math and science. Pamela also developed the Mount Career Laboratory, a series of hands-on career workshops, which helped that school earn New York State’s Blue Ribbon of Excellence. She currently serves on the President’s task force of the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, and has been recognized as Person of the Year by the Suffolk County Boys and Girls Clubs and the Ward Melville Heritage Organization. She has also served as the founding director of several other highly successful non-profit organizations and programs.  Early in her career, Dr. Hurst-Della Pietra worked in television post-production for children’s educational programs such as Sesame Street.