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#SAVETHEKIDS 

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Heber AZ
Mogollon’s kids were eager to talk to Collin afterwards. Evie and Mandy are center front.

By Kathy Vosburgh and Mandy Crandell

 

Through the generosity of the community and put into action by Mandy Crandell, parents and students learned about the impact of screentime/device use and social media by Collin Kartchner.  Parents heard about finding the right balance, protecting and cultivating our children’s self-worth and devising a sensible family use plan on Tuesday, August 14th. Katey McPherson, national internet safety expert, accompanied him to share the physical facts of too much time spent and the effect on the brain. Everyone was also entertained by Evie Clair from America’s Got Talent.

 

heber az
Mogollon Student Council, Duane Tomlinson and Ron Tenney hosted Collin for lunch to discuss how they can make positive changes at the high school.

The next morning Collin returned to share a middle school version for the kids at Capps and immediately followed with an impactful story to Mogollon Jr/Sr High. During that session Mandy Crandell asked each 7th-12th graders to put their heads down. She asked for a response to a series of questions; raising one finger for each affirmative answer. The fingers flew up as they saw themselves:

  • Have you ever felt unloved?
  • Have you ever felt alone at home?
  • Have  you ever felt alone at school?
  • Have you ever been bullied?
  • Have you ever felt that you don’t fit in and don’t fit the mold’?
heber az
Collin and Capps Middle School kids.

It was obvious that the impact of screentime on families was having a negative influence. These kids were together with classmates or their families, but yet felt alone.

 

With all we can read today about warning signs for depressed kids, everyone needs to recognize possible causes. The virtual world gives a false sense of connectedness through apps like texting, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.  Mr. Kartchner did not suggest parents ripping away those electronic devices, but limiting time and replacing it with fun experiences together – preferably outdoors.  The following are impressions from 5th graders at Capps Middle School who submitted Letters to the Editor.

  • Alisha tipped us off: ‘We had a good day learning about social media, on how we should use it and that we need to be careful’.
  • Baylee stated: ‘Kids become sad from online bullies’,
  • Ava and Slade warned: ‘Do not copy weird stuff you see online’
  • And Sheldon agreed: ‘Don’t copy dumb challenges from YouTube’.
  • This is good advice from Skyla to parents: ‘Let’s spend the whole day outside playing or go to a restaurant without your phone’.
  • Deacon added: ‘It’s always good to put down your phone and do something with your friends.’’
  • Tanner was appalled at the statistics: ‘Some teenagers spend 9.5 hours a day on their phones.’,
  • Mark strongly suggested: ‘Mute someone that asks personal info,’
  • Zack cautioned: ‘Don’t play online games if you don’t want to talk to strangers’.
  • David asked: ‘Do you like video games, like Fortnight? If you have it, delete it!’,
  • Oliver advised: ‘Just don’t play more than one hour’.
  • Then along came Isaac with how he looked at gaming: ‘It’s okay to play, just don’t think it is real life.’ 
  • Erik suggested: ‘Instead of time on devices, parents, let’s go running or hiking’. 
  • Amarie got concerned when weird people asked for information: ‘I quit the game and decided to play outside’.
  • Paige admonished all readers of her letter to the editor: ‘Please put your phone down and read below – someone posts something happy and you think they never have sad days, but you are wrong.  People aren’t perfect; all of us have bad days!’
  • Kaleb cautioned with his take on the subject: ‘I learned that people post a bunch of good and exciting things, but they don’t post the bad things. That makes other people feel like their life is better.’
  • Alex had important warning to portray: ‘Do not post stuff you might regret!’
  • Lyla, Stetson, James and Mason had this crucial recommendation: “If you can’t say it to their face, then don’t post it.’
  • Here is some final good advice from Desiree: ‘If you’re bullied online, remember you are brave, strong and you are awesome.’

Sounds like the kids are behind this #SAVETHEKIDS effort. Each school hopes to implement something to take advantage of all they learned.  One young 4th grade student summed it all up. ‘I used to think my brother didn’t like me since he always had anger issues; especially with me. Now I know it’s all the time he spent gaming or online.’  Let’s get behind these kids, encourage them with positive role models and help them to put their plans into action.

 

Mandy would like to thank the following business and members of our community for making this whole thought a REALITY! Mandy states; “From the moment I talked to Dr. Andersen about his approach to screen time in their home, Collin’s message was a constant in my mind and I just knew somehow, I wanted him to come to Heber. With the generous donations we were able to bring that to life. Thank you to ALL who donated and participated! Parents, teachers, leaders, if you want additional details or need help with children, or students, PLEASE reach out to me at 928-240-2023.” 

A huge THANK YOU to:

  • Mogollon Family Dentistry {Andersen Family},
  • Encore Thrift Emporium,
  • Kathy Vosburgh {Golden Mustang Award}.
  • H.O.S.T,
  • Pine Rim Construction {Roger Owens},
  • Jesse Cochran {Dominion Group Realty},
  • Rim County Glass {Johnny Jackson},
  • Heber Chevron/ Dairy Queen {John and Julie Piva},
  • Quality Fuels Propane and Home Center {Porter Family},
  • Garvin Plumbing,
  • Hancock-Leavitt Insurance,
  • Ron & Melanie Tenney,
  • Alice Crandell,
  • Jim & Alice Wethington,
  • Overgaard Ponderosa Lions Club,
  • Mogollon Rim Construction,
  • Hall Resource Management, Inc,
  • June’s Café, 
  • Acorn Construction,
  • Country Club Storage,
  • Al & Diane’s Red Onion Lounge,
  • Bakers Ponderosa,
  • Best Western Sawmill Inn,
  • Mary Maude’s Antiques,
  • Ace Hardware,
  • Go Clean Credit (Mandy Crandell) and
  • Subway {Porter Family}.