Trevi, Umbria - A week without TV
The Italians - watch on average 28 hours of TV per person per week as compared to 28 hours of weekly viewing by the average Italian. In Italian homes there is nearly always a television in the kitchen as well as in other rooms and it is usually left on during mealtimes.
When a school in Trevi [Umbria] asked two classes to participate in a project in which not only the children but also their parents would spend one week without watching the television at all, then, the families foresaw a difficult seven days. However, 41 children between the ages of 8 and 11 and their families agreed to try, denying themselves the use of video and computer games as well, reports La Repubblica.
The project, called “Oltre lo Schermo” [“Beyond the Screen”] was the idea of Umbrian journalist and mother Giovanna Grieco, who only allows her own son to watch TV for a short time each day. He spends the rest of his free time reading stories and playing games with his family. Ms Grieco suggested games and activities that the children could do in the afternoons at school or at home instead of watching TV.
The emphasis was on interacting with the people around them.
In all, 28 children got through the “week without TV” and they kept diaries of their difficulties and discoveries of other ways to spend their time, such as helping their mothers with the cooking, reading in the school library or enjoying playing games with their parents.
“We enjoyed turning the TV off every time Dad switched it on”, reported eight-year-old twins.
It seems that the older children found the sacrifice harder than the younger ones. The school is happy with the outcome and may extend the project to include other classes in the future.