We've got some exciting news. CCFC is now the official new home of Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff), the annual celebration where millions of people turn off television and turn on the world around them. What would you and your family do with an extra 20, 30, or even 50 hours a week? Find out during CCFC's inaugural Screen-Free Week on April 18-24, 2011!
We all know that excessive screen time is bad for children. Time with screens is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, and attention problems. And it's primarily through screens that children are exposed to harmful marketing. Screen-Free Week is a fun and innovative way to improve children's wellbeing by reducing dependence on television, video games, computers, and handheld devices for entertainment. That's why, for one week each year, thousands of schools and communities dare to shun screens and celebrate life. Screen-Free Week is supported by leading public health and educational organizations, including the American Medical Association, the National Education Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Until recently, Screen-Free Week was housed at the Center for Screen-Time Awareness. Unfortunately, the economic downturn forced CSTA to shutter its doors. We are honored that CSTA's Board unanimously chose CCFC to continue the crucial work of helping families discover alternatives to screen time.
Reducing screen time is even more important than it was in 1994, when the original TV-Turnoff week was launched. Children spend more time than ever with screens: an astonishing average of 32 hours a week for preschoolers and more than 50 hours for older children. Turning off screens frees up hours each day to engage in constructive, fun, and commercial-free activities such as reading, playing outside, cooking, building, creating art, pretending, exploring nature, and daydreaming.
At its heart, Screen-Free Week is a grassroots effort that relies on thousands of parents, teachers, PTA members, and leaders of religious and civic organizations who organize Screen-Free Weeks around the world. Organizing one is easy and fun, thanks to CCFC's organizer kit, which will walk you through the process. The kit (available in mid-January) includes tips for ensuring participation, a how-to guide for publicizing the week, and, of course, suggestions for screen-free activities.
We'll be sending more information about this year's Screen-Free Week soon. You can also check http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/screenfreeweek for updates and resources such as our brand new fact sheet on children and screen time. If you're on Facebook, click here to become a fan of Screen-Free Week and share strategies and suggestions for screen-time alternatives.
We're so excited to launch this new program and look forward to celebrating our first Screen-Free Week with you!