Edgartown: Digital Leaders

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I’ve been patiently awaiting the doldrums of January and February, but as of yet, it seems to be eluding me. I feel like I’m still chasing my own tail, playing catch-up most of the time. I’ve even come to accept the fact that I need to make lists to make sure I get everything done. I used to pride myself on the fact that I could keep everything straight in my head. Not anymore. I need a master list, in large print preferably, so I can see it easily, with everything I need to do on it. I made one already in school. Now I need one for home.

Everyone is invited to the P.A. on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 5 pm for an amazing dinner (including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options) and auction to benefit the Second Chance Animal Shelter of M.V. Along with the meal, you you will have the opportunity to bid on many wonderful items in the silent auction donated by our generous Island businesses and local artists. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Call 508-560-6046 for more details.

Happy birthday to Cathy Jackson Merrill and Ellen Wannamaker, who both celebrated on Jan. 16.

Last year we started an action group, Digital Leaders, in conjunction with all the other elementary schools on the Island. This group was given the task of learning about the responsibilities that go along with using technology and then sharing that knowledge with other students. The idea was that students would be learning from students and that the information would have more of an impact coming from their peers. This year, our little local group has offered up a challenge for the kids in fifth through eighth grades. The Digital Leaders learned how much of a negative impact electronics and blue light can have on sleep, setting up everyone, not just kids, for poor sleep patterns, chronic exhaustion, and other health concerns. To that end, beginning this Friday, kids in grades 5 through 8 are being asked to turn off all their electronics at least one hour before they want to go to bed. No phones, no iPads, no gaming, no TV. They are going to log their efforts and see if they notice a change in their sleep patterns and if they have more energy during the week. This year’s Digital Leaders include Micah Simmons, Paige Anderson, Kimberly Marques, Bryan Sornas, Tatum Thomas, Aiyana Correia, and Maks Pachico. They’ve done a great job bringing this information and challenge to the rest of the kids, and I look forward to seeing what the results are. Maybe you want to try it yourself? I’m going to do it. As a tech teacher and certified computer/phone junkie, I need to cut back as much as anyone. Might as well start this week. I’ve got my book and book light ready to go. In truth, I’m kind of excited about it. I love reading. More than technology.

Did you know they are offering knitting lessons for kids 9 and up at the Edgartown library at 3:30 on Fridays? Cindy Bonnell, knitter extraordinaire, leads the lessons each week. Preregistration is suggested by calling 508-627-4221.

And on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 10:30 am, officers from the Edgartown Police will be taking over the morning’s story hour, reading stories to the kids (and parents). All are welcome, and no preregistration is needed.

Once a month, public health nurse Lila Fischer offers this program for kids age 9 and up, teaching good nutrition habits and leading participants in making a healthy afterschool snack. Registration is not required, and all kids 9 and up are welcome to join. This month’s meeting will be on Jan. 25 at 3:30.

That does it for this week. It’s time to turn my electronics off and read. No time like the present to cut back on the nighttime tech use. Have a great week.