play club south carolina covid 1

A Play Club During COVID: One Teacher’s Experience

Over at Let Grow we have a precious video: Kids actually PLAYING together, at school, outside, during COVID. It’s the work of Kevin Stinehart, Pickens County, SC, Teacher of the Year last year, who believes in safety AND the power of play.

The health protocols inside the school were strict: Distancing, masks, cleaning, etc. But outside, the kids were afforded something that seems almost dreamlike — a pretty normal childhood experience. Ever since it became legally and medicinally feasible, Kevin has been running a Let Grow Play Club, where an adult is on the premises, like a lifeguard, but the kids run around, organize the games and solve the spats. All the ages mix.

Kevin’s is a Title 1 school, indicating a high level of poverty. As you’ll see from the video — also a high level of joy.

Kevin didn’t want to lose the Play Club, because he had witnessed its immediate and amazing impact on kids’ social-emotional skills — and even on discipline problems. In an era of misery, play is chicken soup for the mind/body/soul.

You can download Let Grow’s Play Club implementation guide at the bottom of the post. It’s free and it could change things a lot this coming year (or summer)!

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