Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Screen Free Week -

I wanted to let you all know that this week is Screen Free Week, a time to get kids outdoors.  One of the National 4-H Forestry Invitational sponsors, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), is a big supporter.  Recently an article was posted on TreeHugger. I have provided the article below. Please feel free to share this article far and wide throughout your local community. I am proud to be involved with the 4-H Forestry and other 4-H outdoor related programs and it is great to have such strong support from groups like SFI.

If you weren’t already aware of "Screen Free Week," check out their web site by clicking here. Seems like a natural fit for 4-H. Maybe some local coordinators have events planned for this week? If so, please be sure and share them with us. I hope you can make the connection for less screen time and more tree time!

Are our kids out of the woods? Help them go 'screen-free.'

For today’s kids, reaching the next level of an online game can seem much more natural and important than taking a hike in the forest. But this lack of outdoor activity is taking a toll on the health of the next generation.

Just sitting around in front of a screen has gotten a lot more serious. Childhood obesity has doubled in the United States and Canada over the past 30 years. Obesity in children increases their risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and lifelong health problems, not to mention the toll on our society as a whole. Physical activity is critical to reversing this trend, and it can begin as simply as putting down the smart phone and picking up some leaves and twigs in the front yard.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is an independent, non-profit organization that aims to make the world a better place by promoting sustainable forest management through standards, research, conservation partnerships, and community building. One of SFI’s key priorities is getting more kids away from their screens and into the great outdoors by fostering partnerships with and awarding grants to nature-based community programs across the US and Canada.

In addition to getting them interested in nature today, these programs teach our kids how forests touch our daily lives and the importance of conserving it for the future, too.
Take a look at these five examples of kids doing good — and feeling good — in the great outdoors.

To read the rest of the story click here.

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