Families forgo screens as entertainment May 4–10
May 4–10 is international Screen-Free Week in 2015. This is the fourth year of an organized effort in Philipstown that encourages families to forgo screens for entertainment purposes for one week. Screen-Free Week is not antitechnology. The idea is to take a break from screens as entertainment, as an opportunity to refresh and reassess personal habits and priorities. Screen use is permitted for work and school purposes. The event is organized online by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
Screen-Free Week started in the 1980s as TV turnoff week and has continued to grow along with the ubiquity of screens. In 2012, over 60 Philipstown families participated in the program. In the past two years, over 100 families took part. Children have expressed appreciation for increased attention from their parents, who are less distracted. Parents have marveled at the renewed activity and creativity of their children. The event is purposely planned for the spring, a time to enjoy community events and outdoor recreation.
Anyone can participate in Screen-Free Week simply by forgoing screen use as entertainment during the week of May 4–10. Those who would like to participate officially in Philipstown’s Screen-Free Week may register at the Butterfield or Desmond-Fish libraries. Haldane Elementary students will receive registration forms in their backpacks. Those with questions about Philipstown’s Screen-Free Week can call 914-420-9727. More information on the international event can be found at screenfree.org.