Folks, here are the descriptions of Let Grow’s two, FREE independence-fueling initiatives for schools. IF YOU ARE A TEACHER, ADMINISTRATOR, SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST, HOMESCHOOLER, or PARENT of a school-aged child, please consider downloading our implementation guides and getting started. The kid you save may be your own. At the bottom of this post you’ll find videos of these initiatives in the real world. — L
The Let Grow Project: Students get the homework assignment: “Go home and do something you’ve never done on your own before. Walk the dog. Make a meal. Run an errand…” When the child succeeds, everyone is transformed: The parents see their child as competent, blossoming – and so do the kids themselves. The Project breaks the ice of anxiety in both generations. It even works if there’s a hiccup or two! Here’s a 2-minute video of some 7th graders discussing how The Project changed them. One teacher told us that after she had her students do The Project 20 times in a single year, a boy wrote to tell her he was now off his anxiety meds. In fact, a PhD candidate is studying The Project as therapy for kids with a diagnosis of anxiety. In his bestseller, “Stolen Focus,” Johann Hari visits elementary and middle school students doing The Project and says they were so excited and proud, they looked like they’d “come back to life.” Here is another short video about The Project.
The Let Grow Play Club: The brain child of Boston College Psychology Prof. Peter Gray. Schools stay open before or after school for mixed-age, no-devices, free play. Adults do not organize the games or solve the spats – they’re more like lifeguards, there for emergencies. Research on The Play Club (published here and here, page 229) found participants develop new empathy, communication skills, creativity — and friends! Here’s a 2-minute video of five elementary school students who’d been achingly lonely until Play Club. In this webinar a teacher at a Title 1 (high poverty) school says that office referrals for bad behavior plummeted 55% once the Club started. Seeing the kids learning to focus, deal with frustration and problem-solve at Play Club, he said, “revolutionized the way I teach and think.” Now 13 teachers at his school VOLUNTEER to supervise the club because they saw such a huge change in the kids. Here is a short video of the Play Club.
Above: 8th graders talk about how doing the Let Grow Project 20 times in 7th grade poked a pin in their ballooning anxiety.
Above: 3rd and 4th graders talk about how desperate they were to make friends — and how Play Club made that easy.
Above: A suburban elementary school’s Play Club gave all kids a chance to have fun, solve problems, and become socially-emotionally adept.
Above: Three educators — one at a New York City private school, one at a suburban Chicago public school, and one at a rural Kansas school, talk about how The Let Grow Project (having kids go home and do something new, ON THEIR OWN) gave their students new confidence.