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bepresentlogo1small   Be Present

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About the Be Present Campaign

Be Present is a campaign to foster healthy youth engagement with school, family, and community. The campaign is coordinated by Beltrami Area Service Collaborative and funded by a grant fro m the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

In 2019-2020, Be Present is focusing on the impact of technology and guidance on reducing screen time. The era of smartphones, tablets, video games, and streaming services has brought about some new dilemmas.

There is a healthy way to engage with technology, but we often cross that line—or don’t know where that line is. The Be Present Campaign will provide tips and information to help navigate your questions.


Be Present will be sharing about topics such as:

• Family rules around screen time

• Advice on when to allow that “first phone”

• Research about the impact of screen time on child development

• Information about how social media impacts mental health

• The debate about school policies and cell phone use in the classroom

• Ideas on healthy outlets beyond screen time—events, activities, other opportunities

• Safe use of the internet and social media

Tips for Reducing Smartphone Usage

1. Turn off your phone at certain times of the day, such as in meetings, having dinner, playing with your kids, talking with friends, and of course, driving.

2. Remove social media apps, like Facebook and Twitter from your phone, and only check-in from your laptop.

3. Try to wean yourself to 15 minute intervals at set times of the day when it won't affect work or family life.

4. Don't bring your cell phone and its harmful blue light to bed; use an old fashioned alarm to wake you.

5. Try to replace your smart device time with healthier activities such as pursuing a hobby or connecting with others with your undivided attention.

Source: LaMotte, Sandee. “Smartphone addiction could be changing your brain.” December 1, 2017.

Upcoming Events

Wired Kids: How Screen Time Affects Early Child Development
February 28, 2020
Calvary Lutheran Church, Bemidji
Mark your calendars. Registration information available soon!
Hosted by: Bemidji Early Childhood Collaborative
Featuring: Cari Ebert, MS, CCC-SLP, a pediatric speech-language pathologist in private practice in the Kansas City, Missouri area.

This one-day seminar examines the impact of screen time on early child development to guide therapists, educators, and other early childhood professionals as we live and work in the digital age. Just because technology is available at our fingertips, doesn’t necessarily mean we should be using it with very young children. Infants, toddlers, and preschool age children do not learn the same way that older children and adults learn; yet, these young children are spending more and more time in front of a screen and less time playing and interacting with others. It’s not just a matter of being “pro-technology” or “anti-technology,” but rather what is appropriate for young children with developing brains and bodies. We will examine the factors necessary for healthy development as we contrast the virtual playground with the traditional playground and identify effective methods for sharing information with parents regarding establishing healthy screen time habits at home.

A Few Helpful Links

Source for screen time research

Ideas on healthy use of digital media

Impact of screen time on sleep

Screen time and brain development

Safe Internet Use

Campaign Contact Information

Jenny Kelly