After discussing as a staff and talking to hosts, organizers, and participants, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has decided to postpone Screen-Free Week 2020.

Last year, more than 150,000 people celebrated Screen-Free Week in more than 1,000 celebrations around the world. Now, as more and more communities begin to practice social distancing and with no clear end in sight, it simply doesn’t make sense for us to plan a week based in global, face-to-face community celebration. We are still deciding whether or not it makes sense to try to plan events for the fall, but for now, we can say with certainty that Screen-Free Week will not take place from May 4 – 10.

For nearly ten years, Screen-Free Week has functioned as a kind of container: a week with different rules and expectations, where children and families are invited to step back from screen-based entertainment and rediscover the joys of imagination, play, nature, and community. During Screen-Free Week, our daily lives have a different rhythm. There is more time to breathe, to see, to notice, to feel.

Now, though, it’s COVID19 that has given our lives a different rhythm. As school, work, and socializing move online, it is more important than ever that we are intentional about our relationships with screens, and that we make time for the offline play, joy, and relationships that are instrumental to children’s (and our own) wellbeing. CCFC is committed to keeping the spirit of Screen-Free Week alive throughout this period of rapid change. As we find ourselves quarantined, with all this new time on our hands, there is incredible trepidation and uncertainty. But there is also incredible opportunity to find new ways of being.

Moving forward, the Screen-Free Week team at CCFC will be focusing on creating and sharing resources families can use every day as they navigate quarantine, social distancing, and COVID19. The first of these resources is our two-part webinar series with early childhood educator Nancy Carlsson-Paige, pediatrician Mark Bertin, and psychologist Teadora Pavkovic. Part one, on March 23, is for parents and caregivers of children under 6. Part two, on March 26, is for parents and caregivers of kids 6 – 12. We hope that you can join us for one or both of these events, which will offer in-depth conversations about helping children thrive in a time of great uncertainty. (And, yes, we will talk about working from home while your kids are home!)

Thank you so much for being a part of Screen-Free Week. Your community and family celebrations are at the heart of our work, and we’ll deeply miss hearing about them this May. We’ll be in touch soon with more information about rescheduling public events, and more strategies for building meaningful connection in this rapidly shifting moment. Until then, we hope you’ll continue to use our resources to find the screen-free time and space it takes to dream big, show care, and imagine new possibilities for the future.

Here’s to unplugging,

Josh, Jean, Rachel, Rinny, Sam, Melissa, and David
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood