Nearly 50 percent of parents say their children spend more time playing video games and watching television during summer breaks than during the school year, according to a study by Harris Interactive.
Cache Valley Unplugged is a program that seeks to encourage elementary school kids to engage in activities over the summer like hiking, fishing and stargazing rather than a summer filled with media consumption.
Scott Bennett, one of the coordinators for Cache Valley Unplugged, said kids can receive rewards called Brag Badges for participating in designated activities. He said participants can take the “v-tox” challenge, which consists of signing a pledge to give up media for ten consecutive days.
“It gives them something to do other than T.V. and video games to keep them active, healthy and pursuing things outside the home,” Bennett said.
Because Brag Badges are sponsored by local business, Bennett said the program not only benefits children in the valley, but it also assists the community. As participants retrieve their Brag Badges, the businesses then have an opportunity to advertise to the families of kids from the 12 different cities in Cache Valley.
He said the idea came from Heber City, which hosted a similar program last summer. Reports say that traffic for some local business increased by 500 percent.
The program will run from Memorial Day, which is on May 26, through Labor Day, which is on Sep. 1.