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Cheltenham HS Hosts First High School kNOw Tech-A-Thon

Cheltenham High School Teens to go Tech Free in memory of Jacob Marberger ’14 on the one-year anniversary of his passing

PHILADELPHIA (October 11,  2016): In a year in which all Cheltenham High School (CHS) students have been issued Chromebook computers to aid their learning, there will be another technology first in November – the first-ever, high school-wide kNOw Tech-A-Thon.

Hundreds of CHS teens will be taking part in the kNOw Tech-A-Thon on Saturday, November 12, 2016. These students will volunteer to go completely tech free for 24 hours – a commitment that includes computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Billed as the 21st Century version of a dance-a-thon or read-a-thon, the event is a program of, which inspires young people to become more aware of the need for, and the benefits of, balance in their use of technology, and helps build awareness about technology’s impact on bullying.

This year’s kNOw Tech event is dedicated to the memory of CHS alumnus Jacob Marberger ’14 on the one year anniversary of his passing. Half of the proceeds will go to the Jacob Marberger H.A.W.K Foundation, which was established to further the principles of good citizenship Jacob exemplified. The hawk is the symbol for the foundation and H.A.W.K. stands for Honoring Activism With Kindness.”We are honored to be involved with this great project.” say Jacob’s parents, Jon and Debra Marberger. “The message of this event, that teens have the power to make positive choices in their lives, really parallels with the message we are basing the Foundation’s mission on, which is ‘Shift & Lift,’” adds Debra. “Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to knock down or lift up others,” Debra observes. “This event will help to raise consciousness about how its use is a personal choice and responsibility. We’re glad the Jacob Marberger H.A.W.K. Foundation will be a kNOw Tech beneficiary, along with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which teaches young people to stand up to bullying.”

Members of the Cheltenham High School Choir are serving as the Teen Leaders for the event. Because many of the CHS choir members are also members of Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir, they are familiar with kNOw Tech-A-Thons. The founder of these groups, Steven Fisher, is also the founder kNOw Tech 4 Teens. Organizer Greg Davis, a CHS senior, notes, “There are a lot of people who doubt teenagers and think that all we can do is sit on our phones for hours. We want to prove that we can live without technology and still have a strong connections, person to person and face to face.”

In the lead up to the kNOw Tech-A-Thon, CHS teens will be asking adults in their lives to become their sponsors by donating $1 an hour for each of the 24 hours of the kNOw Tech A Thon. “I’ve been asking all the people who are always telling me to stop texting…my parents, teachers,” explains CHS student Charles Miller.

The 24 tech-free hours will be filled with activities that will allow the teens to connect with their peers without the help or distraction of technology. Activities include a game of “kNOw Tech Ultimate Frisbee,” a hiking trip to Hawk Mountain, a “kNOw Tech @ The Table” excursion, where the teens will share a tech-free meal at a downtown restaurant, a scavenger hunt, and, for the top 100 pledge earners, an overnight sleepover at the Kimmel Center, where there will be all-night activities including a “Shift and Lift” Line Dance competition, as well as Late Night Forums, where teens can discuss topics such as how to balance technology use in their lives, suicide prevention, texting and driving, and tolerance.

For more information about the CHS kNOw Tech-A-Thon, or to find out about how you can host your own kNOw Tech-A-Thon, visit


A publication quality photo of kNOw Tech-A-Thon at the Kimmel Center can be downloaded here:
caption: KT4T teens singing at the Kimmel Center lobby piano