Press release from Rumson School District

Studies show that children who watch less TV are more likely to read well and to be physically fit…and that each week, American children spend more time in front of a screen than they do in school!

During the Week of May 2, students at Forrestdale and Deane-Porter Schools participated in Screen-Free Week, a nationwide event sponsored by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and celebrated by schools, families, and other civic and community groups each year.

During Screen-Free Week, millions of children and adults pledge to be screen-free for at least one full day. Instead of watching TV or playing video games, children are encouraged to read, play, think, create, get physically active, and spend more time with friends and family.

This is the first year that Rumson has participated in Screen-Free Week, and the event was spearheaded by the School Safety Team under the leadership of the School Counselors, Mrs. Jennifer Crow and Mrs. Jessica Piernik. The School Safety Team is also comprised of parents from the community, teachers, and administrators. Throughout the week, school-wide announcements were made to promote participation. During Morning Meeting, students signed Pledge Cards and were encouraged to log their screen-free activities during the week to earn points for school-wide rewards.

The district provided students and their families with opportunities to participate in screen-free after school events including yoga, preparing the schools for the annual Paint the Town Pink project, the Scholastic Book Fair Road Trip, and an evening concert featuring the Forrestdale Band and Choir.

Students were excited about the “old school” feel they got from participating. Ms. Kain’s 5th grade class had an entire screen-free instructional day as well as homework that did not require the use of an electronic device.  Ms. Kain noted, “Students could not believe it was possible to do homework without the use of electronics!”

Fourth graders Sophie Drechsler and Emily Gangi were proud of their choices for alternate activities, explaining that “We made up packets to do on the bus ride since we usually just play on our phones. The packet has games like Hangman, Pictionary, and a Free Doodle. We also brought Brain Quest trivia questions to challenge one another.”