'Take Back Your Brain' by Participating in TV-Turnoff Week

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Recent statistics show that Americans spend over 30 hours each week watching television. To combat our tendency to become couch potatoes, it is expected that over 20 million people around the world will be taking a break from television from April 23-29, 2007, to celebrate TV-Turnoff Week. Googol Power's latest single "Take Back Your Brain" is a free song that all families and schools can download to motivate children to try taking a break from screen time. Their website at http://www.TVvgFREE.com provides practical tips, resources and inspirational ideas. In addition, there is an annual creativity contest where kids and schools can win prizes by sharing what they did during their television video game free challenge.

Recent statistics show that Americans spend over 30 hours each week watching television. "This does not even include the growing number of hours spent on other media such as video games," says Susan Jarema, founder of Googol Learning. "If you do the math, this is up to 25% of our waking day or close to 10 years of our lives!" To combat our tendency to become couch potatoes, it is expected that over 20 million people around the world will be taking a break from television from April 23-29, 2007, to celebrate TV-Turnoff Week.

Canada's award-winning music group, known for its motivational Googol Power Math Series, wants to inspire students to take charge of their lives and get physically and creatively active. Googol Power's latest single "Take Back Your Brain" is a free song that all families and schools can download to motivate children to try taking a break from screen time. Their website at http://www.TVvgFREE.com provides practical tips, resources and inspirational ideas. In addition, there is an annual creativity contest where kids and schools can win prizes by sharing what they did during their television video game free challenge.

"We set up TVvgFREE.com to provide families and teachers with further inspirational tools to help students take control over their life," adds Jarema, who teaches goal setting and life skills on a regular basis in her math workshops. "Taking the challenge is empowering. Participants realize they can commit to and achieve a goal. They discover that they can find creative, active and interesting ways to spend their time -- ways that can better themselves and our world."

"Research tells us that the more time our children spend with screens, the lower their grades and the heavier they become. We are facing both a literacy and obesity crisis around the world and limiting screen-time is the first step in taking control of the situation," says Robert Kesten, Executive Director for the Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness and home of TV Turnoff Week.

"If we are looking for a world with a future, then we have to increase imagination as well as human interaction. To do this, we must excite young and old alike with the wonders of the real-world. Technology is a wonderful thing, but we must remember it is a tool to make our lives better. To use it properly, we must no longer allow it to control us, we must control it. Turnoff Week 2007 is but a first step in that direction," says Kesten.

There are ways that media can have a positive influence on learning. Television, computers and video games have their place and can each be great educational tools when used in moderation. "It comes down to finding the right balance," says Jarema. "Parents need to screen game and programming content and to set limits on the time spent viewing television and playing video games." "The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend any screen time for children under 2 and states that children two years and over should be limited to one to two hours of total screen time per day," adds Kesten.

The Television Video Game Free Challenge is not only limited to children and not just to Turnoff Week. "This challenge is for everyone and can be done at any time!" exclaims Jarema. "It's time to go out and do things -- rather than mindlessly watch. Try unplugging your TV and putting away those video games for one week. See the difference a week can make in your life -- or the life of your child. Let's all go TV-VG FREE for one week and Take Back Our Brains!"

Free downloads, resources and more information on going TV Video Game Free can be found at http://www.TVvgFREE.com. The TV VG FREE website is sponsored by Googol Learning, Cackleberries Entertainment Inc., Pacific Music, and Songs for Teaching.

TV Video Game Free Challenge http://www.TVvgFREE.com
Googol Learning http://www.googollearning.com
Center for Screen-Time Awareness and TV-Turnoff Week http://www.screentime.org/

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SUSAN JAREMA
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