New summer program ‘Unplugs’ kids from electronics

CEDAR CITY – School is almost out, which means the difficult task of entertaining kids is right around the corner. Cedar City has attempted to tackle this task through the Unplugged program, which gives kids – and adults – 101 non-electronic activities to do throughout the summer.

“(Unplugged) was started in Heber City last summer,” Bonnie Char, public relations specialist for the Cedar City • Brian Head Tourism Bureau, said. “It was a city councilman who kind of came up with the program, and they had a really successful time. Heber City decided to take it throughout the state, so they approached us as a community.”

The majority of Unplugged activities are free, and kids up to 18 years old can participate.

Once kids complete an activity, they can visit the sponsoring business or organization to pick up a brag badge. Badges can also be used to register at the Cedar City Aquatic Center for cash and other prizes. There will be a weekly drawing for $100 cash as well as monthly drawings and a final grand prize drawing at the end of summer.

The purpose if the program is “to get kids to realize that there are fun things to do other than electronic things,” Brenda Killian, with Iron County School District, said.

Before school ends, elementary students will be receiving lanyards for collecting badges along with an information card. Anyone with children who are not in an elementary school can pick up a free lanyard through June 1 from the Iron County Visitor Center, 581 N. Main St. in Cedar City.

This program empowers parents to say ‘yes’ to 101 different things that kids can do this summer instead of nagging them to get off their electronic devices,” said Cambree Johnson, chair of Cedar City Unplugged and health educator for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. “It’s all about finding the balance between play and technology.”

The program helps children and businesses alike.

“It does three things,” Char said. “It gets kids engaged in Unplugged; it encourages economic development through commerce by people going into their stores, (so) it’s a marketing opportunity; and then just the benefit of exercise.”

Cedar City Unplugged is sponsored by Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Cedar City • Brian Head Tourism Bureau, Iron County School District, Cedar City Rotary International, and Valley View Medical Center.

Visit Cedar City Unplugged for more information. Businesses and organizations interested in sponsoring an activity should call Cambree Johnson at 435-865-5151.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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