Sunday, April 28, 2013

Celebrate Screen-Free Week 2013

This will be the third year that I will be celebrating Screen-Free Week with my family. Sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Screen-Free Week encourages children, families, schools, and communities to "turn off screens and turn on life."

We've done this to various degrees in previous years, depending on  how many school and work responsibilities that we've had that relied on technology. This year, I hope to make a clean break, steering clear of TV (which we don't own anyway), computers, tablets and electronic readers throughout the week, and only using my cell phone to make voice calls (no text). I will be encouraging my children to stay away from all of the same technology outside of school hours (and may share information about Screen-Free Week with their teachers and encourage them to limit screen time in the classroom to the extent possible as well).

Now that my children are six and nine years old, I admit that I'm looking forward to Screen-Free Week more than they (or my husband) are. But in spite of the challenges, we do find that each year we wind up spending more quality time with each other (and more time reading) when we're unplugged. This year, I hope to involve my children more in household responsibilities and to use more of my own time to play with them as well.

I'll be taking the next seven days off from blogging in honor of Screen-Free Week but will be back at The Write Question with another children's or young adult book review on Tuesday, May 7. I hope you'll join me in celebrating Screen-Free Week 2013 by reading a book with your family. More information about the event can be found at

Random House is also encouraging people to participate in Screen-Free Week this year, and has recruited some children's book authors and illustrators to explain why:

Renée Vaillancourt McGrath has worked at Montana Public Radio as a program host since 2002. Her background is in librarianship and she currently works as a freelance editor, blogger, and website developer. Check out more of her book reviews at

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