“The YALP Memo is a fantastic addition to any playground and brings a new, fresh, and innovative dimension to outdoor playtime. The YALP Memo allows students to learn through unstructured play, which helps them develop communication and negotiation skills between peers. My students love to play the various interactive games on the YALP Memo because they are able to “learn and have fun while exercising!”. I would highly recommend the YALP Memo to any school or organization looking for a creative and dynamic game system that lets children learn via play!” – Rickey Koga, Second Grade Teacher, Rio del Sol STEAM School.
Installed in December 2018, the Memo at the Rio del Sol S.T.E.A.M. K-8 school has been the most played of all the Memos on a schoolyard worldwide! Play statistics clearly show the weekends as an obvious flatline as the site is not open to the public. Rio focuses on developing the 5Cs of 21st century learning; collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity and caring while working to enhance student literacy skills in reading, writing, mathematics and technology. The Memo fits great into our mission.
Besides being the first school in the US to adopt a Memo, the design itself is unique as well. The school and architect (Gaylaird Christopher from Architects4Education) wanted the area to celebrate the heritage of the Native Americans, who’ve had a relationship to this particular site for thousands of years. The site lies next to one of the largest natural rivers in SoCal. The custom designed turf includes the river and traditional Chumash canoes to reflect the ‘right of passage experience’ (when the Chumash peddle out to the Channel Islands). It also contains a compass point and the words truth and energy, two core values in a diagram that reflect important beliefs of the Chumash in a three dimensional way.
All in all, the Memo is an important element in the school’s overall vision to design outdoor environments to function as classrooms and the school is heavily involved to make future games even better. Tech champs Mr. Romano and Mr Koga and the students are currently working with Yalp’s game developer to give feedback on the new Mathematics game!