These Kids Got Off Their Phones and Started Playing Outside

"Play Club" brings students back from screens -- and loneliness.

Last week, Let Grow visited Aquebogue Elementary School in the far suburbs of New York. We spoke with five kids who’d attended the Let Grow Play Club twice a week all year long. “Play Club” is when a school stays open for mixed-age, no-devices free play. Adults are present, sort of like lifeguards, but they don’t organize the games or solve the spats.

The club was organized by Assistant Principal Gary Karlson. The teachers running it were moved to see how happy the students were with something so simple and straightforward: Playing.

The kids themselves? They were poignantly articulate about how much they’d longed for a chance to make friends, hang out and have plain old fun in real life. Not online.

They’d been so lonely. Play Club revived them.

Why not start a Play Club at your school? It’s easy and our implementation guide is free. Request it here and tell us how it goes.

And we’ve got a webinar with another teacher on the how-to’s coming up live on May 18th and available on-demand afterwards.