The “Phone Home” program at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov continues to succeed and motivate students to “disconnect” during the school day. Instead of demanding that Talmidim keep their cell phones at home, MAY decided to create a culture of voluntarily setting phones aside, by offering positive incentives to motivate students. The students’ universal participation was an unprecedented response that demonstrated the power of positive chinuch and took the notion of “out of sight, out of mind” to the next level.
The project has built-in incentives to motivate Talmidim. Last week, the MAY 9th grade embarked on an all-expenses paid ski trip to Hunter Mountain, which also included a visit to Liberty Heights Trampoline Park, as well as swimming, barbecuing and kumzitsing at Camp Nageela.
“The Rabbeim see a difference in their Talmidim,” commented Mashgiah Ruchani Rabbi Yehuda Horowitz, “It’s not only the ‘not having a phone’ on them. It’s the development of the attitude and mentality that I don’t always have to have instant access to everything and anything at all times. It’s part of being mechanech our Talmidim how to use these devices properly.”
With learning sedarim and uplifting ruchniyus built into the trip, it served not only as a reward, but also another opportunity to apply the signature MAY values and lessons in real-world situations.
The Mesivta expresses its appreciation to Mr. & Mrs. Seth Farbman and the many MAY parents who see firsthand the benefit and value of this program and helped defray the program’s expenses.