Greendale 7th graders tune out from technology

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GREENDALE -- In today’s digital age, technology is everywhere.  From TV, to cell phones, to the internet, it's hard to avoid.  A group of seventh-grade students from Greendale Middle School are going cold turkey on technology, unplugging to raise money for charity!

“It's hard, like really hard because there are TVs everywhere,” seventh-grader Logan Groh said.

Since March 1st, the students have been challenged to join "Tuned Out,” an annual program to get kids to go unplugged.  They have to abstain from using cell phone apps, watching television and using the internet for as long as they can go.  At the same time, they raise pledges to donate to the charity of their choice.

“This year, we're raising money for Acres of Hope and Aspirations,” seventh-grade math teacher John Marzion said.  Marzion has been doing the “Tuned Out” challenge for the past nine years.  “I just think it's good for them to realize there's life beyond all those things. Also, I think it's really cool that the kids give up for a good cause, making an extreme sacrifice for others and they learn that they can do it.”

The challenge started with 105 kids.  Some lasted day or two, while others are still going strong.

“I go outside, play with my dog or just listen to music,” seventh-grader Natalie Miselen said.  “I like how it is without it, because you don't have to worry about all that stuff like updating your Facebook status.”

Now, 60 days later, she and 38 other kids are the only ones left in the program.  That's almost 40 percent of the original total still unplugged.

“I really wanted to do this because my sister did this and I have to beat her,” Groh said.

The challenge ends 92 days later on June 1.  Groh says he can’t wait for that date to come, proving the restraint is much harder than it looks. "I'm going to watch TV! I'm going to wake up at midnight at watch TV," Groh said.

Students who make it to June 1st will be treated to a dinner at Red Robin and tickets to a Brewers or Bucks game. If they reach their $10,000 fundraising goal, the teachers have promised to dress up like the cast from Jersey Shore with spray tans and all!

“I'm going to watch TV.  I'm going to wake up at midnight and watch TV,” he said.

The students who make it to June 1 get treated to a dinner at Red Robin and receive tickets to a Brewers or Bucks game.  Also, if they reach their $10,000 fundraising goal, the teachers have promised to dress up like the cast from "Jersey Shore," with spray tans and all.