CCFC Blog

"The branding of our children begins at conception." -- Anai RhoadsWhen you have children, nothing is more disheartening than turning on your television and seeing one advert after another luring them into a sea of pink or blue. These commercials transparently target genders, and all the while offer inappropriate toys and games. Companies hone in on kids because they are the most naive and vulnerable - and the loudest consumer there is. As much as they are activists pleading their case to their parents, they are unable to recognise they are being used for profit. Essentially, the most marketed to, are children. As a parent myself, I have had to be the referee between the onslaught of plastics and gadgets being peddled to our...
My kids go to a great school, and they have great teachers. I want to say that first.  I don't doubt the vigilance or intelligence of their teachers, or whether they're being educated to a high standard.  I know they are.  But sometimes things slip through the cracks, and when they do, I feel obligated to speak out. So when my kindergartener brought home a school-published "My Counting and Number Writing Book" last week, I was really shocked to find this advertisement included in the middle of a stapled workbook of sheets from various sources - an otherwise innocuous and adorable collection of pages asking them to count the pennies, stars, animals, etc.  How McDonald's managed to pass off this shameless advertisement as a "lesson," and how...
On April 29-May 5, people around the country celebrated Screen-Free Week. Children, families, schools, libraries, church groups, community centers, bookstores (and many more!) joined in the fun. Here are some of the highlights: Screen-Free Week Everywhere! Going screen-free is most fun when we do it together. That’s why thousands of volunteers signed up to be Screen-Free Week Organizers and planned events from Alaska to Florida and places in between. There was a pajama story time in Hodgkins, IL, a cookout and family day in Copake Falls, NY, and a carnival in Portland, OR. Missoula, MT, Cambridge, MA, and Spring Garden Township, PA were among the communities that hosted a screen-free event each day of the week. For the...
We asked Screen-Free Week 2013 participants for their favorite moments and insights. Here are some of our favorite responses. Add your favorite moment in the comments section! "I saw my 9-year-old daughter laying on the floor, just day dreaming. I immediately thought, 'Oh no, she is bored, maybe she could'...then I stopped myself and just let her lay there...She wasn't bored, just deep in thought. We don't always have to be doing something!" –Kim G., Ivins, UT “We never got bored...we read a lot of books...the kids' imaginations went wild with free play.” –Sarah R., St. Paul, MN...
Worried about how to pass the time without TV, computers, or video games? Never fear! We have compiled a list of fun and creative ideas for screen-free fun all year-round. Turn off screens, turn on life and enjoy learning and creating with your family. Outdoor Activities Go on a bug hunt.Go for a hike.Create a crayon melt with your broken crayons.Have a treasure hunt.Create a nature mobile.Make an outdoor fairy dwelling.Visit a creek and find some aquatic critters.Fly a kite."Investigate" the yard with a magnifying glass.Plant a garden.Have a toy car wash.Go on a bike ride.Play hopscotch.Make a nature collage.Have a lemonade stand.Make a homemade slip 'n' slide.Learn how to roller-skate.Go on a picnic.Build a sand castle at the beach....
Hi, I’m Koa Halpern. I am 15 years old, and I started my own nonprofit when I was 10. My nonprofit is called Fast Food Free, and its goal is to get people to eat less fast food through education and community awareness, which results in healthier people and a better world. In the United States, kids spend tons of time watching television; many kids watch TV over 4 hours every day. Much of this time is spent watching commercials. Fast food products are mainly advertised through TV. Food products and fast food commercials are shown more than any other type of advertisement. If kids reduce the time they are watching tv, they see less commercials. Less commercials leads to a reduction in fast food, resulting in healthier kids.  Additionally,...
I don’t have a TV. There. I said it. I can picture your face, blank stare, uncomprehending.  I’ve seen it hundreds of times. And then I have to launch into explanations. No, no television anywhere in my house. No, I’m not Amish. No, my parents aren’t hippies or Quakers or Nazis. Yes, I know what a TV is. And on and on and on. But the real explanation is not even really an explanation. I simply don’t have one, never have, maybe never will. I just looked it up—99% of Americans own at least one television set. Along with this statistic I found several articles, all speculating about the true nature of those radical enough to go TV-less, one even going as far to say that TV occupies a spot among food and shelter as one of the basic necessities...
I don’t usually admit this to people, but my kids don’t watch much television. I tend to keep this fact about my family quiet because I’ve found that people generally react in one of two ways: 1) they get defensive and feel the need to justify their TV choices to me, or 2) they completely dismiss me as a modern-day hippie who just doesn’t get what it means to live in the 21st century. But I’m outing myself now because, as my kids get older, I’ve learned something that seems completely counter-intuitive: my life is actually easier these days because we have enforced strict television rules in our home.   I originally made the decision to limit TV in our home before my oldest daughter (now nine) was even born. I had come home from one of my...
Wendy Fiore is a language arts consultant at a Connecticut elementary school and a veteran Screen-Free Week organizer. We asked her about her experience planning over the years. How long has Chester Elementary been doing SFW? How has the school been able to keep it going for so many years?  I am the Language Arts Consultant for CES, a K-6 school. I believe I started with TV Turnoff Week in 2007. At first I informed the students & the parents about it, suggesting they participate, sharing some statistics with them, but by the next year I had developed a core group of staff members to help out with the week. I try to do one new activity or bring in one new element each year combined with what I’ve done every...
Phoenix Books in Essex Vermont has a wonderful lineup of events planned to celebrate Screen-Free Week. We asked the organizers to share their wisdom. Why did Phoenix Books decide to coordinate events for Screen-Free Week? It seemed like a natural choice for a book store!  Screen-based media have so much potential - and we do sell Kobo eReaders and eBooks here at Phoenix - but screens can also be addictive, and we love the idea of this opportunity for families and individuals to take a break from screens and spend time face to face, outdoors, being active, and, of course, reading! How did you decide on the program that you did? Our goal was to have something happening at the store everyday during Screen-Free week...

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