ThinkFun® Inc., the leading creator of mind challenging games and the TV-Turnoff Network, an international non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging individuals to reduce screen time, announce today a joint collaboration to support healthier lives and communities by providing enriching alternative activities to watching TV or using other screens.
Together, the two organizations will support programs to encourage families to participate in activities, such as reading and playing games, which do not involve excessive recreational screen time. To celebrate national TV-Turnoff Week, to be held April 24 – 30, 2006, TV-Turnoff Network will be launching the “50 Kits for 50 States” program by donating ThinkFun Strategy Lab Game Kits™ to each state. The ThinkFun Strategy Lab Game Kit contains a comprehensive assortment of non-electronic learning games manufactured by ThinkFun Inc. The game kits can be used by school and community leaders to demonstrate how families can enjoy spending time together, having lots of fun and improving essential thinking skills – all at the same time.
“Our partnership with ThinkFun will allow us to showcase a great alternative to screen time,” said Robert Kesten, Executive Director, TV-Turnoff Network. “More importantly, this effort is a model for how the private sector can support the nonprofit community in its quest to affect positive change and improve people’s lives.”
“We strongly support the mission and underlying values of the TV-Turnoff Network and are pleased to be partnering with Robert Kesten and his team,” commented Ralph Cuomo, President and COO of ThinkFun. “His efforts align perfectly with our mission to encourage children everywhere to realize their full potential by challenging their minds to push further, probe deeper and think more creatively through game play.”
The evidence supporting the need to limit screen time is overwhelming. Recent studies highlight the following facts*:
- Time per day that TV is on in an average US home: 8 hours, 40 minutes
- Amount of television that the average American watches per day: over 6 hours
- Time per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 minutes
- Percentage of 4-6 year olds who, when asked, would rather watch TV than spend time with their fathers: 54
- Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900
- Hours per year the average American youth spends watching television: 2,190
- Percentage of American children who were seriously overweight in 1964: 5, 2003: more than 16
- Number of murders witnessed by children on television by the age of 18: 16,000
- Percentage of youth violence directly attributable to TV viewing: 10
*Nielsen Media Research, American Family Research Council, Jack Mango “TV in America”, Harpers, The Washington Post, American Medical Association, Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Report, complete details can be found at www.tvturnoff.org/factsheets.
“Excessive screen time undermines family life, is a leading cause in the obesity crisis in America, leads to violent behavior and lowers children’s scores on standardized tests, while making it more difficult for them to focus on their work, or get a healthy amount of sleep,” said Robert Kesten, Executive Director, TV-Turnoff Network. “We are encouraging families all over the world to take control of technology before it takes control of them by seeking out healthy activities that do not involve screens but that are both fun and good for you.”
About TV-Turnoff Network
TV-Turnoff Network is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging individuals to reduce screen time in order to promote healthier lives and communities. The organization’s website is www.tvturnoff.org.
About ThinkFun, Inc.
For 30 years,ThinkFun Inc. has been dedicated to creating games that spark curiosity, cultivate confidence, and nurture life-long learners. Its games encourage interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), while generating excitement for a world of learning through play. Innovation, creativity, value, and fun are the four elements that comprise the development of every game. Ignite the mind, and change the world for each player.