HO-HO-KUS, N.J. — Some Ho-Ho-Kus residents are spending a little more time reconnecting with their families and friends than they are to the internet, thanks to Ho-Ho-Kus resident Dana Koenig.
Seeing a direct correlation between her 11-year-old son’s energy levels and the amount of time he spent tuned into his iPad, Koenig began rallying to create a recreational organization that would encourage face-to-face communication.
Koenig last year launched HHK UnPlugged with support from the Home and School Association’s Winnie O’Keefe.
“All of the events are designed to create fun family time face-to-face,” said Koenig, who kicked off her new organization with a family picnic at a local school.
She and her husband have never allowed their two children to use electronics at the dinner table, but it frustrated her that many of their friends’ youngsters were tapping screens throughout almost every meal.
“I wish there was a way to get other families not to to allow it also,” Koenig thought to herself. “What if I start this awareness of electronics group and come up with fun things to do all at the same time?”
Since launching HHK UnPlugged, Koenig has brought hundreds of children and adults to planetarium shows, the Ramapo Reservation and an Army football game.
A group of 570 people piled into Citi Field to cheer on the Met, and the team officials even helped some of the children change bases in between innings.
“It’s way more successful than I thought it would be,” said Koenig of her organization. “I thought no one would say ‘yes’ and if they did, we’d get a little smattering of attendance. It’s blown my socks off.”
HHK UnPlugged is bringing a parenting expert to the Ho-Ho-Kus School on Tues., Nov. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m., and Thurs., Nov. 19, from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m.
Guests do not have to be Ho-Ho-Kus residents to join in on any of the fun.
CLICK HERE for the HHK UnPlugged Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.