NEW GLASGOW – New Glasgow Recreation and Active Pictou County are encouraging children and families to join in on a national challenge to “unplug and play.”
The ParticipACTION campaign runs from March 24 to 30 and attempts to get kids to step away from technology for at least 60 minutes a day and be active instead.
“The ParticipACTION program also tells us that the average Canadian child spends close to eight hours a day in front of some kind of screen, whether a TV, a computer, a phone or a game,” a release from the Town of New Glasgow says.
“Technology and electronics are now dominant means of not only entertainment but everyday communications and education, especially for children, so it can be very hard to take the time to power off and actively play.”
New Glasgow Recreation is offering packages for interested families that include an activity journal to log what children accomplished during the week.
Parents can encourage or join in and help children keep track of their activities in the journal, and return it to New Glasgow Town Hall or the Active Pictou County office in the Pictou Town Hall by March 31.
Each child who takes part and reports their activities will receive a certificate of participation.
Participating schools in New Glasgow include A.G. Baillie, Acadia Street, Temperance Street, and New Glasgow Junior High School. Other Pictou County schools wanting to participate can contact Active Pictou County at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.activepictoucounty.ca
If children are participating through their schools, the journal logs will be distributed and returned to each respective school.
As an incentive, an outdoor activity prize at each participating school will be offered as well as one for the general community. Any family who is active in the after-school hours will receive a bonus ballot for the draw.
“We are endorsing and promoting the ParticipACTION campaign by providing resources and activities through our schools as well as the community at large to help parents find ways to encourage their children to become more active. Pledging to become part of the Unplug & Play is an old-school way to be active,” New Glasgow’s recreation manager Norma MacLeod says.
“It is sure to be lots of fun and may set the stage for a new active and enjoyable play routine. Once children try these games, often they are having so much fun, they don’t want to give them up. You might even start a whole new family tradition.”
Karri Trowell, after-school co-ordinator for Active Pictou County, questions whether children are meeting physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity.
“By participating in Unplug & Play, children will have the opportunity to be outdoors and explore and use their imagination to have fun.”
She cites highlandconnect.ca as a resource for information and activities happening throughout the Highland Region.