Offset District Budget Cuts by Turning Off Your TV

The Mehlville School District is settling the final list for millions of dollars in budget cuts, none of which are unnecessary items. Cuts like these can be scary for a parent because of the damage they might have on their child’s future. However, if you are an informed parent, you can make up some of the difference with a negligible amount of effort. Simply turn off the television, video games and Internet. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies by everyone from the American Medical Association to the American Academy of Pediatrics have been harping on this issue for decades, but little of
Continue

Parent of Teenage Son:

Much to my amazement, and surprise, not that I doubted your teachings, I received the below email from my son’s teacher. This email came six (6) days after an immediate cessation of violent TV, violent Internet games, and video games in general. Also, I implemented a taper off period of hours of viewing for even “OK” TV programming. Hello: I have noticed a significant change in your son last week and want to share that information with you. He seems more alert, interested, and is more responsive to his surroundings both in and out of class. He engages in the
Continue

Primary School in Strasbourg, France:

ECOconseil, an Institute in Ecology and Citizenship, worked with teachers and students to empower 254 children to spend 10 days without any screens: no TV, no computer,and no videogames. All the kids survived and successfully managed to live without any screen 90 percent of the time. The benefit? The kids paid better attention in class. Instead ofwatching TV or playing video games, they spent more time with their parents and friends. They slept more, too. The good old board games were dusted off the shelves in all participating households. During those 10 days, several activities were set up by community
Continue

Elementary School in Michigan:

A school in Rockford has embraced the SMART Curriculum and the results were fantastic. Fourth grade teacher, Megan McCall developed and implemented a ten day “detox” program for students leading up to the M.E.A.P. testing period. The students and their families were encouraged to follow the program prior to the M.E.A.P. testing. The “detox” entailed a commitment to no audio or visual exposure, including TV and video games, and instead play board and athletic games with their families. Students signed pledges, co-signed by parents, vowing to avoid video and online activities such as Facebook. By the time testing started last
Continue

Police Department and School Resource Officers:

After attending a couple of seminars taught by Lt. Col. David Grossman, I felt motivated to institute one of the programs he talked about. The program is the S.M.A.R.T. curriculum. I asked two elementary School Resource Officers to pick one of their high needs schools and then select ten kids from the fifth grade at each school that were causing the most problems based on past trouble within the school and with the police department. I also asked them to look for kids that have some support at home and would likely follow through with the program. We held a
Continue

SAN FRANCISCO School’s challenge: No TV

Students asked to go cold turkey on television time for 10 days in bid to curb bullying on playground. In 2001, the event started as a way to address health issues, with the idea that children were spending too much time on the couch watching television and not enough time interacting with family or exercising. Increasingly, however, schools like Visitacion Valley are looking for ways to reduce violence and aggression in the community and on the schoolyard — and they’ve put television and video games on the list. Research has found that children who cut back on screen time are
Continue