In light of the notion that front of a computer, tablet or TV screen than they do in school, students in the Rumson School District recently participated in what was dubbed Screen-Free Week.
The nationwide event, sponsored by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, was celebrated during the week of May 2 by Dstudents at Forrestdale and Deane-Porter schools.
During Screen-Free Week, millions of children and adults around the nation pledge to be screen-free for at least one full day. Instead of watching TV or playing video games, children are encouraged to read, play, think, create, get physically active, and spend more time with friends and family.
This is the first year that Rumson has participated in Screen-Free Week. The inaugural event was spearheaded by the School Safety Team under the leadership of school counselors Jennifer Crow and Jessica Piernik. The School Safety Team is also comprised of parents from the community, teachers, and administrators.
Throughout the week, school-wide announcements were made to promote participation. During morning meetings, students signed pledge cards and were encouraged to log their screen-free activities during the week to earn points for school-wide rewards.
The district provided students and their families with opportunities to participate in screen-free after school events, including: yoga, preparing the schools for the annual Paint the Town Pink project, the Scholastic Book Fair road trip, and an evening concert featuring the Forrestdale Band and Choir.
Students were excited about the “old school” feel they got from participating. Ms. Kain’s fifth grade class had an entire screen-free instructional day as well as homework that did not require the use of an electronic device. “Students could not believe it was possible to do homework without the use of electronics!” Kain said.
Fourth graders Sophie Drechsler and Emily Gangi were proud of their choices for alternate activities. “We made up packets to do on the bus ride since we usually just play on our phones,” they said. “The packet has games like Hangman, Pictionary, and a Free Doodle. We also brought Brain Quest trivia questions to challenge one another.”
— Edited press release from the Rumson School District