Remember to UNPLUG Regularly

Submitted by Bedford Youth and Family Services

unplugged-600It is easy to get busy and stay busy in this vibrant community of Bedford, especially at the beginning of the busy September school year. In fact, it was because of this busy-ness that the Bedford Community Partnership (BCP) initiated Bedford Families Unplugged in October 2004. Supported by the Bedford Selectmen and Bedford Public Schools, Bedford Families Unplugged boasted a long list of endorsers and supporters. Due to the success of the program over the years a second Unplugged day was even scheduled for two springs with the full support of the Selectmen and School Committee.

After 11 years, it seems the time has come for families to work towards this goal on their own with their children as no acceptable November date for Unplugged 2015 could be found. Click A list of UNPLUG activities to see ideas for families to enjoy.

According to Bedford Youth and Family Services Director Sue Baldauf, who coordinated Unplugged efforts on behalf of BCP, the goal of Unplugged was to increase and improve family connection and relationships. “BCP remains interested in supporting families being connected to each other, especially in terms of providing support to our children and youth, not in mandating that people do nothing. We know that when kids have access to caring adults, they do better socially and educationally.  We want our adults to remember that not only on Unplugged days but always.”

Based on a program started in Needham, Bedford Unplugged Together hoped to remind people that life holds more than what is on the other end of a plug, be it a computer, a television screen, or a phone. The goal of the evening was to encourage various activities families can do together without electricity and that emphasize person-to-person interaction. Bedford Public School students had no homework, evening sports, or required activities and the School and Town had no required evening meetings. Parents were encouraged to be home for dinner and families could have a night off from their respective “daily grinds” for engagement and fun. The School Committee had arranged for the no homework and no sports in the past while the Selectmen asked all Town boards and committees to reschedule any regular meetings on that Wednesday night.

Families are still encouraged to plan activities together just as they did with the original Unplugged day in November and the second spring one, the goal being to build activities like the Unplugged activities into their daily lives, whether the Town or the Schools declare “Unplugged” or not.

If you have questions about the program or would like more information, contact Youth and Family Services at 781-275-7727.

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