Screen-Free Week is approaching! From May 1-7 share in the
joys of life beyond the screen and engage in activities that
prepare your child for the future--such as reading! A guest blog
post from Jean Rogers at Campaign for a Commercial Free
When I was raising my daughter, Kate, and her twin younger
brothers, Evan and Scott, reading was an essential part of the
bedtime routine. First we read a book, then sang a song, and then
said a prayer. The routine was great, but there was one problem: at
the end of the book, they always asked for one more book! On nights
I had the energy, I obliged them-I enjoyed the books as much as
they did. And even more than the books themselves, I enjoyed how
each of my children experienced the stories differently, absorbing
the characters, settings and phrases in their own unique ways.
One favorite was When Dog Grows Up, a Little Golden
Book about a dog (named Dog) thinking about the different jobs he
might have. Dog imagines himself as a race car driver, an
astronaut, and an orchestra conductor. One night, when I read the
page about Dog imagining he could be a police officer chasing
robbers, Evan's eyes widened. "That means someone else wants to be
a robber when they grow up!" We all laughed together, taken by
Evan's astute observation. He'd processed the book in a way that
Kate, Scott, and I had not!
Reach Out and Read gets it: the pediatric practices that
encourage families to share books with their young children
understand the positive impact families reading together has on
children's development. Unfortunately, while many families enjoy
story time, it's so easily displaced by apps, games, videos and TV
shows. Modern bedtime routines often include a parent and child
using separate iPads or other screen-based devices.
That's why CCFC invites all families to participate in
Screen-Free Week. During the week of May 1 - 7,
schools, faith-based organizations, community groups and homes will
celebrate the week-seven days when families give themselves the
opportunity for more reading, more creating, more playing, more
thinking, and more and more fun!
Families who participate in Screen-Free Week find out together
what life beyond screens can hold. Even if screens are unavoidable
for older children's school work, reducing non-school, non-work
screens for a week has opened new worlds of outdoor adventure and
true family engagement through board games, screen free dinners,
and lots and lots of reading. Learn more and register a Screen-Free
Week event at www.screenfree.org.
And family reading doesn't need to just mean parents reading to
children: when Kate started reading independently, she often took
over the book part of the bedtime routine. Reading to her
brothers-everything from Richard Scarry's picture books to the
Box Car Children series to Charlotte's Web-gave
Kate a sense of accomplishment. They looked up to her, learning to
love reading because she did. And now, as adults, they have close,
happy bonds. Reading together didn't just strengthen my children's
language development-it strengthened their relationships.
-Jean Rogers, Screen Time Program Manager
-Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood
We have closed our comments option due to SPAM, but we
welcome your comments on our Facebook and Twitter platforms.