WHAT and WHEN of SCREEN FREE WEEK?
Screen-Free Week is an annual, international celebration when schools, families, and community groups plan to spend seven days without entertainment screen media. This year Screen Free Week will be held May 5- May 11th 2014.
We know how important screens are to modern life. Sorting out what’s entertainment and what’s work or communication can be a difficult task. The idea behind Screen-Free Week is definitely not focused on anyone being asked to stop using your computer for work or school. Rather, it is a week to look at how screens of any kind might be interfering with family time. During this week we ask you to think carefully about how screens are being used in your home. Instead of watching TV, going on the internet, or playing video games we hope you will get yourself and your family more involved in reading, playing, thinking, creating, getting physically more active, and spending more time being together.
WHY SCREEN FREE WEEK?
Regardless of whether children are consuming “good” or “bad” programming, it’s clear that screen media dominates the lives of far too many children. It is a concern to many educators that too much screen time can displace all sorts of other activities that are important to early childhood development. Excessive screen time has been linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, and attentional problems. And it is primarily through screens that children are exposed to marketing which turns easily into the “I want’s”.
Screen-Free Week is a fun and innovative opportunity to reduce our dependence on entertainment screen media, including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices. It’s a chance for children—and adults—to rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen.
WHO, WHERE and HOW of SCREEN FREE WEEK
Anyone can participate by simply making a conscious effort from using screens for entertainment during the week of May 5-11, 2014. Experience tells us that it’s more fun when planning a major life-change activity to have the support of others.
Prime Time will be publishing a suggested list of activities that are “media-free” but we think your ideas are great too! Please send any photos (jpeg) and a short description of how your family is spending time involved in activities during Screen Free Week by May 15, 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share them with others. One lucky family will win a basket full of board games.