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      Escanaba students are shutting off electronics

      Students from four Escanaba schools are turning off phones, computers, video games, and TVs for a week. It's called "Take The Challenge." The initiative starts Saturday.

      Families are encouraged to instead participate in activities like reading together and family nights.

      In today's digital age, even kids are plugged in. For some, tablets, texting, and the telephone are their social connection.

      Eleven-year-old Maddie Dix is a student at the Upper Elementary. She's determined to shut down all least for a week. Her guilty pleasure is texting.

      â??You're always on it,â?? said Dix. â??And once you start, you can't stop. Itâ??s kind of like an addiction."

      It's estimated that daily, kids spend one-and-a-half hours on the computer and less than 25 minutes reading.

      Kids won't be the only ones making a sacrifice this week. Part of the Take The Challenge initiative includes encouraging the whole family to turn off electronic devices. Many students say they're not used to detaching themselves from their phones, so it'll be a challenge. It may be even more challenging for adults.

      â??My mom and dad definitely will have a hard time. Theyâ??re constantly on their phones because of their busy jobs," Dix said.

      Still, shutting down will be a much-needed break for Maddie and her peers.

      â??Because everyone's always texting and always on their gaming systems, it's affecting their brains and not allowing them to focus during class," Dix explained.

      Students who participate will get bowling and YMCA passes to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

      After the week-long challenge, which ends March 7, students will be asked to limit time on electronic devices to 10 hours per week.