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New program addresses students' reliance on technology

Study finds digital distractions are impacting students' grades

TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/- In a recent survey, more than 27% of students said they have a hard time controlling their use of technology and 23% admitted that digital distractions have an impact on their grades 1, according to a survey conducted by Foresters™,  an international financial services provider with a purpose to enhance family well-being. Now, educators who are struggling to keep students focused have a new tool available. The Tech Timeout™ Academic Challenge, sponsored by Foresters, challenges students to turn off electronic devices for 3 days and then reflect on their experiences.  The curriculum-based program is free for educators and comes with everything they need to hold a Tech Timeout Academic Challenge in their own schools including a lesson plan, discussion guide and DVD.

"The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge builds upon the success of Tech Timeout, launched in 2013 and created to help families find balance when it comes to technology," said Tony Garcia, President and CEO, Foresters.  "With these new statistics that show how technology overuse negatively impacts students, we saw an opportunity to take our message further. We launched the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge to provide learning tools to help solve the problem."

More than 15,000 students across the US and Canada have already participated in the program and local publicity has helped fuel the conversation around technology overuse in a number of communities. In Kansas City, one teacher who implemented the program school-wide was featured on the local news. Not only was her high visibility good for the school, but it also helped her land a full-time position.

"While the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge affected the lives of hundreds of students, parents, and teachers, this has now affected my life in ways I never thought imaginable," said Julie Jackson, the newly hired teacher.   

Students at Issaquah High School in Washington were also positively impacted. Student Jon Ryder said, "I'd recommend this challenge to any person of any age, not only to see if you could last for three days, but to see what you get out of it."

To receive a free kit made available by Foresters, individual classrooms, schools and districts can register at www.TechTimeout.com/AcademicChallenge.

About Foresters
For 140 years, Forester, an international financial services provider, has fulfilled its purpose to enhance family well-being for its members and the communities where they live.   A fraternal benefit society, Foresters offers quality life insurance and investment products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit foresters.com, facebook.com/foresters and techtimeout.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark. Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters. 411526 CAN/US/UK (08/14)

1 According to a Nielsen Company study 2011 mobile phone users age 13 to 17 send and receive 3705 texts per month

SOURCE Foresters

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