National Day of Unplugging and Screen-Free Week

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FRIDAY-to-SATURDAY, MARCH 9-10—National Day of Unplugging.

MONDAY APRIL 30-to-SUNDAY MAY 6—Screen-Free Week.

Two national organizations are chiming in on a message shared by ReadTheSpirit and educators nationwide: We should help children to reduce their current levels of screen time! In fact, all of us should consider how much time we spend focused on screens—and devote ourselves to more human contact.

That’s the message of the new book Sadie Sees Trouble by Linda Jarkey and Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski. You can read more about this innovative project that invites children to begin reading and creating their own illustrations with substances found in most kitchens. The sisters who created this remarkable book are both veteran educators. Linda says, “It’s an attractive option: Give a child a tablet or a smart phone and many children will sit quietly while you’re free to do other things around the home. But, very quickly that technology can replace interaction with your children.”

“We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our devices,” say the folks behind the National Day of Unplugging campaign. Visit their website to learn more about this annual effort. There’s even a direct religious connection, in this case. The Unplugging day is scheduled on the Jewish Sabbath. The effort is sponsored by Reboot, which describes itself this way: “Inspired by Jewish ritual and embracing the arts, humor, food, philosophy, and social justice, we produce creative projects that spark the interest of young Jews and the larger community.”

We say: This is a great idea that draws from ancient religious wisdom!

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The other effort, national Screen-Free Week has its own website where you can register local events and network with other folks planning to take part in this effort. This week is sponsored by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhoodwhich describes its mission as “supporting parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing.”

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