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Teacher: Kurt Weinberg who teaches at Highland Acres Elementary School in Bismarck, ND. Kurt Weinberg can be contacted at kurt_weinberg@mail2.lmo.bismarck.k12.nd.us.

Name of Best Practice: No TV Week

Rationale/Purpose of Event: The purposes of No TV Week are several: To improve families' use of leisure time; To help families look critically at their use of television as entertainment; To help families find different ways to spend time together other than TV viewing; To improve families' recreation/leisure skills; To promote physical activity as a replacement for TV viewing; To promote reading as a replacement for TV viewing.

Suggested Grade Level: K-6

Materials Needed: Information letter to go home to each family, "No TV" signs for each family.

No TV Week

No TV Week is held each year at Highland Acres School during the first week of February. It is a cooperative effort between the school, PTO, community, and parents/kids of our school.

I send home a note one week before No TV Week, telling about the importance of limiting TV watching, alternative ideas to TV, and a calendar of activities at the school and in the community designed to help families change their TV viewing habit. I also send a press release to the newspaper and radio stations telling them about our week. I talk it up during class, as well!

The note contains the core of the whole notion of No TV Week. There are activity choices throughout the week for families to make. On Monday night, there is open gym at the school from 6:30-8:30 (K-3, 6:30-7:30, and 7:30-8:30, 4-6). I lay out a ton of equipment for everyone to use, and the only way kids may attend is if they are accompanied by a parent. I repeat open gym on Friday night, but only go a little later for the older kids and their families.

Tuesday is community recreation night. I have gotten the YMCA to offer free admission to all Highland Acres families that evening. Wednesday night is family reading and game night. Thursday night is PTO Bingo night, with the final blackout bingo prize being a pizza party for the classroom whose member gets the blackout. This year we also included a book swap - kids got a ticket for every book they brought to the swap, and this ticket entitled them to a book at the swap.

This week is successful. 90% of the kids in my school reduce the amount of TV they watch during this week. Nearly 50% of my kids watch no TV during this week! Many parents thank me for this week, as they make a family effort to change their habits. Teachers see more homework turned in on time during this week!

This week also acts as a great way to break cabin fever, important in the northern plains.

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 96 votes.

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