Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Play Unplugged to get kids active this summer

ST. GEORGE, UT – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) is introducing the Play Unplugged summer activity program to St. George and Kanab. Lanyards with instructions have been distributed to most elementary school students, who can collect a variety of badges as they complete activities sponsored by local businesses. The program is also returning to Cedar City following a successful run last year. 
" With growing trends in inactivity, obesity, and screen addictions that kids are faced with, we feel that Play Unplugged is the perfect element to engage our community in a fun way," says Jordan Merrill, SWUPHD Health Educator. "We're also looking forward to having the St. George Police Department participate this year, which will give kids the opportunity to meet some of the wonderful police officers we have in this area."
 “We are very excited to be partnering with The Southwest Utah Public Health Department to kids get more active during the summer,” says Play Unplugged President Erik Rowland.  “Play Unplugged is easy to get involved in and is completely free for all kids and families in the Cedar City, St. George,  and Kanab areas. It has proven results in helping kids avoid spending lengthy times in front of computers or the television and returning them to real play activities.”
Play Unplugged began three summers ago in Heber City, Utah, when two fathers who were concerned about their kids' screen time decided to create a model in which local businesses could receive an increase in foot traffic while simultaneously helping kids get out and play.  Their efforts were rewarded with a successful program in their home town which has spread to fifteen other Utah cities, with some offering over 100 badges.
If you are interested in knowing more about Play Unplugged, to enroll your kids in this free summer program, or have a business and want to sponsor a badge; contact Play Unplugged at (435) 625-1289 or visit
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