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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

EBONY JONES, 7, a 1st grader at Liberty Elementary School, takes a break on Wednesday from the boob tube, thanks to the school’s participation in TV-Free Week.

Dropping the Television,
Grabbing the Excitement

By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY — March 11, 2005 – Tired of your kids spending endless hours in front of the boob tube, watching hucksters vying for their attention, time and your hard-earned bucks? Fed up with your children glued to the idiot box?
Starting the week of Monday, March 7, the Liberty Elementary/ Middle School PTA joined a nationwide effort to get kids unglued from television by participating in the TV Free Week movement.
According to statistics published on their website, the TV-Turnoff Network of Washington, D.C., there are some disturbing trends in how kids and young adults spend time in front of a television in the living room: in the average American home, the TV set is on seven hours and 40 minutes per day, and the average American is glued to the set over four hours per day.
In the United States, the typical one-year-old watches the “Great American Pacifier” about six hours per day, and by the time they are 18, they have seen 200,000 acts of violence portrayed on the box, including about 16,000 murders.
So instead of endless talking heads and disturbing images of war, the local PTA figured it would be a good idea to show another side of reality: reading books, watching laser light shows and playing card games.
On Monday, an amazing display of light, color and sound was presented at the middle school gymnasium during a laser show.
Wednesday featured games and pizza at the elementary school, along with crafts, face-painting and a Yu-Gi-Oh contest.
On Thursday, there was an animal show at the middle school.
Tuesday's scheduled ventriloquist act and ice cream social was cancelled due to inclement weather.
It has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, March 22, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school gym.
Liberty's TV Free Week was organized by Madelyn Grisafe, a hard-working member of the local PTA.
"I wanted it to be fun for the kids," said the mother of a couple of Liberty Central School students: 10-year-old 4th grader Cheri, and 6th grader Ben, 12.
"It was big-time," added Grisafe. "I think it worked out great for the kids."
Amy Barkley, assistant principal at LES, agreed, "Our PTA sponsored the event to allow the children to have something to do besides watching television at home."

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