It’s not going to be easy, but Diana Smith knows that her students are up to the task.
Smith, the principal of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, DC, has challenged her students to abstain from using electronic devices for one day a week this summer in exchange for $100 out of her own pocket. That’s 11 Tuesdays sans cell phone!
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"I really want the kids not mindlessly grabbing for the phone, but thinking about whether or not the phone ... is going to be their source of entertainment," Smith told ABC News. "I'm hoping it will be disruptive enough to get them think about, 'Gee, maybe I liked who I was on Tuesday, and maybe I want to be like that on Wednesday and Thursday too.'"
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The "No-Tech-Tuesday Summer Challenge" is open to all 160 of the school’s rising 8th and 9th graders in her school, meaning the challenge could Smith back up to $16,000. According to the school’s website, students have to prove they clocked ZERO hours of screen time between 12:00 am to 11:59 pm each Tuesday from June 13 to August 22 by having two adults send a letter to her. The letter must confirm “that they know, with certainty, that you had no screen time on any of the 11 summer Tuesdays."
Smith told ABC News that the interest from students and parents has been overwhelming so far. “Kids are mostly in their competitive mode," she added. Along the way, she hopes they learn to discipline themselves, and who knows, maybe get out of the house and ride a bike.
It’s a worthy challenge, but an expensive one. You can donate to Washington Latin Public Charter School’s "No-Tech-Tuesday Summer Challenge" here.