Raleigh Christmas Parade to feature nonprofit hoping to get your kids offline and outside

WAKE COUNTY (WTVD) -- We're counting down Santa's arrival at the ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh by taking you behind the scenes on some of the show-stopping float and performers - like Kids in Nature.

It's a nonprofit dedicated to getting kids outdoors, and their float is decorated by Raleigh teens who've decided to put down their smartphone and get more hands-on.

"You learn new things doing stuff like hands-on," Yariela Almonte said, a Millbrook High School student helping to put the finishing touches on the float. "It's always better, you learn more. Being on your phone, it's always the same thing."

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Teens spend over nine hours a day in front of a screen, according to nonprofit Common Sense Media. That's why Kids In Nature was founded - to create an appreciation for our state's natural resources.

"My mom and dad, they're always like, 'Get off your phone, it's not good for you,'" said Dennison Scott, a student at Durant Road Middle School.

While kids are connecting with nature, they're also connecting with each other to celebrate the spirit of the holidays, and that's what they hope paradegoers take away from their float.

"I hope that we get thousands of emails after the Raleigh Christmas parade, of people saying, 'Hey, how do I get involved?,'" said the organization's director of development Billy Bartz.
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