It was three years ago that Long Island 7th grade teacher Jodi Maurici contacted Let Grow to say: “My students are the most anxious I’ve ever seen in all my years of teaching. I am going to give them The Let Grow Project.”
The Project is simple: Students get the assignment, “Go home and do something new, on your own, without your parents.” Our materials are free and include a list of dozens of things the kids all the way from Kindergarten through 8th grade might want to try on their own: walk to school, run an errand, make dinner, pet sit…. Jodi and her students brainstormed tons more.
Below, you can watch a 2-minute video of her students describing their surprise at how much The Project changed them.
And Jodi just sent us an update: “Sometimes, it takes an email like the one I am pasting below, to realize how successful this program is. This email is from one of the first students I put through The Project.”
Note that Jodi’s class did The Let Grow Project 20 times over the course of the year, which means students had a whole lot of time to try new things, see how much they could handle, reflect on this, and do some more.
Hi, Mrs. Maurici I hope this email finds you well and happy after our first day of school. I thought I would give you a little bit of insight into the person I am growing up to be right now partially thanks to the program you started with us.
I feel like since the last time we talked about 2 years ago I have become a much more mature person who excepts [sic] responsibilities. I have been a lot happier in general than I used to be when I think things like depression and anxiety were still hovering over my head. I feel like I have become much much closer to being a mature adult and my parents are super proud of the person I am becoming.
When it comes to sports I still remember that day I was stressing in your room over my tennis tryouts, and now I am the top singles player on boys varsity and made it to divisions last year. I can’t wait to hear back from you on how you are doing! Get back to me when you can.
It is beyond amazing to think that a great teacher and a simple, free idea — using independence as a vitamin that helps kids grow — can be so transformative.
Here’s to a transformative year of growth all around.