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From March 5 to 9, students at Middle Gate Elementary School observed a technology-free week after fourth grader Tyler Rosvally came up with the idea. The school’s Student Council worked on March 27 to tally all of the hours students logged while participating in the week.
According to his mother, Jennifer Rosvally, Tyler came up with the idea to allow children and their families to “get in touch.” She shared that they talked about feeling connected and disconnected from those around them and the possible relationship between acts of anger. Then Tyler thought about asking others to connect more with their families by putting away electronic devices.
After working with the school’s Student Council, lead teacher John Sullivan, and Principal Christopher Geissler, the school held “Back in Touch Week” at the start of March, with different themes each day to encourage students to limit screen time and engage in family activities. Students also completed logs to share any time they spent using technology. At the end of the week, the grade with the least minutes spent using technology earned a popsicle party and an extra recess. The fourth grade logged the least minutes using technology, according to Student Council advisor and library/media specialist Suzanne Hurley.
The school district ended up having three school days canceled due to the weather during Back in Touch Week, but, according to Ms Rosvally, families observed the week at home anyway.
While the Student Council tallied minutes on March 27, Tyler explained he wanted the week to be held because, “I’d rather be with a family playing a board game then play a board game on a screen.”
Tyler said he wants to live in a safer country and he thinks “all the screen time” can lead to feeling disconnected.
Fourth grade Student Council member Claire DiNoto said she learned from participating in the week that, “You don’t always have to base your life on electronics.”
Kieran Garrity, a fellow fourth grader and Student Council member, said, “There are more things in life than always being on your electronics.”
“I learned that life isn’t always on a screen,”said fourth grader and Student Council member Sofia Talluto. “It is with family and friends.”