Turn It Off

April 19, 2015

There is a lot more to life than computer games and text messaging. In support of National Screen Free Week, May 4-10, Rural Health Education Network of Schoharie, Otsego, and Montgomery (RHENSOM) is spreading the message to schools, libraries and other organizations across the region.

“We want families to unplug from digital entertainment and spend free time playing, reading, daydreaming, creating, exploring and connecting with friends and family,” said Tom Hohensee, RHENSOM Director. “Parents can find great ideas for activities on National Screen Free Week’s official web site.”

The week is a nationwide, coordinated effort to encourage millions of Americans to turn off televisions, smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles for seven days and turn on the world around them. Screen-Free Week is a chance for children to be more physically active, and to spend more time with friends and family.

On average, preschool children spend over four and a half hours a day consuming screen media, while older children spend over seven hours a day including multitasking. Excessive screen time is linked to a number of problems for children, including childhood obesity, poor school performance, and problems with attention span.

“Screen-Free Week is a much needed break from the screen and media dominating the lives of so many children” Hohensee said. “Now, more than ever, we should help children discover the joys of life beyond screens.”


The mission of RHENSOM is to improve the health of our county residents throughout the region. The under-served community health needs in our area, which have been identified through research, are addressed by promoting excellence and innovation in health education.

RHENSOM is funded through a grant from the New York State Office of Rural Health, Rural Health Development Program. The grant is administered through the Bassett Healthcare Network. Learn more at www.rhensom.org.

For more information about Screen-Free Week, visit screenfree.org or write to Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood NonProfit Center, 89 South St. Ste. 403 Boston, MA 02111.

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