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 organisations, including dance classes, art classes, and lots of playful activities kids fancy.

When asked, the kids were happy to have done it, and rediscovered what being a kid was all about. Playing, having fun with friends and their siblings, all that kind of stuff you regret not being able to do anymore when you’re a grownup.

All in all, a friendly reminder that people should spend less time in front of their screens, that TV is not a replacement for education, that parents should spend more time with their child, that screens are bad babysitters, that children should exercise more, and read more, and spend more time playing with friends. Television is the instrument of professional marketers ready to do anything to catch children’s attention.

The 10-Day Challenge was acclaimed a success by all. Kids say that they want to do it again, WOW ! The 10 Day Challenge showed to be more than a simple turn-off. It was actually a rich and valuable media education activity, the kind that all schools in Europe should experience. Teachers and parents working together can empower children to confront some of the most powerful industries in the world, the marketing and entertainment industries.

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