Disconnect to connect: Family Day Unplugged

Feb. 5, 2015 — Twenty municipalities in the capital region have joined together to encourage residents to disconnect from their devices this Family Day in order to reconnect with family, friends and their communities.

“The idea is simple: families are encouraged to put down their phones and tablets, shut down their computers and power off their televisions and gaming consoles in favour of enjoying a family activity, such as going for a walk, gathering for a board game, enjoying a meal together or playing in the snow,” says Sara Russell, Community Support Coordinator.

Leduc County and other participating municipalities are encouraging residents to record the hours they and their families spent unplugged. Beginning Feb. 17, Leduc County residents – as well as residents from the Town of Calmar, Village of Thorsby and Village of Warburg – can log their hours online at www.goo.gl/F2ZJYZ. Residents are encouraged to tell their story about what they did to unplug. Residents can also report their hours by calling 780-955-6424.

In 2014, 22 communities unplugged for a total of 129,451 hours, including 1,940.5 recorded hours from residents of Leduc County. Residents from the Town of Calmar, Village of Thorsby and Village of Warburg logged an additional 1,988 hours.

Family Day Unplugged is an initiative organized and promoted by the following municipalities:

  • Town of Beaumont
  • Town of Bon Accord
  • Brazeau County
  • Village of Breton
  • Town of Calmar
  • Town of Devon
  • Town of Drayton Valley
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • Town of Gibbons
  • City of Leduc
  • Leduc County
  • Town of Legal
  • Town of Morinville
  • Town of Redwater
  • City of St. Albert
  • Strathcona County
  • Sturgeon County
  • Village of Thorsby
  • Village of Warburg

Family Day Unplugged Art Contest

Leduc County Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) invites students aged five to 18 to enter the Family Day Unplugged Art Contest, which is focused on the theme “I unplug to…”

“Students are challenged to identify what disconnecting from technology means to them, and further challenged to interpret that idea into visual artwork,” says Russell. “The submissions will be judged by Leduc County councillors and three lucky students will be awarded an Unplugged prize package.”

Students from Leduc County, the Town of Calmar, the Village of Thorsby and the Village of Warburg must submit their artwork by Feb. 17, 2015 at participating area schools.

For more information, contact Sara Russell, Community Support Coordinator, at 780-955-6424.

Why unplug?

  • Fifty-eight per cent of children between the ages of two and five can play a computer game, while only 43 per cent can ride a bike – www.AVG.com
  • By graduation, the average teen will have spent more time watching screens than being in the classroom, playing sports and talking to their parents, combined – www.screensmart.ca
  • Children who watch more television during the first three years of life are more likely to have greater problems with attention deficit disorders when they are between the ages of seven and nine years old – Institute for Safe Families.

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