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The groundbreaking effort to turn down the glow of screens to young children in Minnesota has attracted national attention.
ABC's Good Morning America published a story the morning of Mar. 12 about the state wide, non-partisan bill introduced in both the Minnesota House and Senate to limit funding for screens in state funded preschool and kindergarten programs.
The Screen-Time bill (SF3310 and HF350), authored by Senator Steve Cwodzinski and Representative Kelly Morrison, got its first hearing in the House Early Childhood Committee on March 10 at the State Capitol. KARE Telvision was at the meeting and ran a story in its 6:30 p.m. newscast, Breaking the News.
This first of its kind legislation has two components. One, restrict all personal use devices in publicly funded preschools and Kindergartens to comply with the new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Two, initiate a public service announcement campaign to educate parents on the negative effects screen time has on the physical and mental health of growing children.
The bill had overwhelming support by both Democrats and Republicans and some lively discussion was had in the House Early Childhood Committee. The bill was laid over and will be heard again in the Early Childhood committee next week. The author of the bill, Representative Kelly Morrison plans to amend the bill to limit personal use of screens in pre-K except for those with special needs. The PSA portion of the bill will also be discussed in this meeting. On the Senate side, the bill was referred to the Education Committee and the bill sponsor, Senator Steve Cwodinski hopes to have a hearing later in this session.
Citizen and child advocates Judy Stoffel of Chanhassen and Lisa Venable of Minnetonka initiated the bill and contacted their local legislators to take swift action. Stoffel and Venable are hoping to be part of a solution to what they see as an entire generation at risk.
“In order to turn around this runaway addiction train, it’s going to take a concerted effort by parents, schools, governments and Silicon Valley,” says Stoffel, who is a CPA, author, screen time expert, and mother of five children. Her book #LookUp, A Parenting Guide to Screen Use, quickly rose to the Amazon best seller list as a resource for parents searching for answers to the biggest parenting issue of our generation.
Learn more about #LookUp at Thelookupbook.com.