When Menlo-Atherton High School grad David Klein became M-A’s baseball coach three years ago, he was immediately struck with how many kids were so “quiet and stressed out.”

“They weren’t getting their driver’s licenses. There was this general blah feeling. I really didn’t understand it,” he recalled.

David, who is well known for leading the Menlo Legends baseball team and camp, sat down one-on- one with each player on the team to set time management and other goals. “I quickly realized that many of the kids were spending a whole lot of time on their phones,” he recalled, “leading to smart phone overuse.”

This was further confirmed when David attended some coaching conventions and heard other coaches talk about similar observations. He also found out that the mental health incident rate for the mid-Peninsula is five times that of the national average.

“As much as I love coaching the x’s and o’s, I realized I also need to help kids with their peace of mind by changing their technology use,” he said.

To that end, he’s started a new organization, America Offline and is undertaking two initial efforts.

The first was to take a dozen or so boys on an overnight. “Instead of restriction, we want to create behavior change,” he explained. “We want them to spend more time with people in the real world. We want then to utilize technology in a manner in which technology is not using them.”

The result was positive with better grades and better sleep patterns after the overnight.

The second step David is taking is working with a graduate student at Stanford to develop a smart phone application that “gamifies off line behavior.” “It will allow them to compete for more sleep, more hanging out with friend and family, less screen time,” he said. “The M-A varsity team is testing the new application, and early signs are positive.

“We’ll also continue to reach out to the broader community, engaging kids and their families directly.”

Photo by Lena Kalotihos (c) 2019


Menlo Park Library goes full “STEAM” ahead for 2019

Through the end of May, the Menlo Park Library is amping up its free programming in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Both library locations will be offering several special events each month for various age groups. Evening and weekend school assembly-style events will include “instrument petting zoos,” a pop-up paleontology museum, and exciting science […]

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M-A student Anna Quinlan wins 2018 Congressional App Challenge

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Community Boost comes to Facebook in Menlo Park

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4th annual Congressional App Challenge is underway

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TechWomen comes to the Menlo Park Library on October 2

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Steve Westly focuses on clean technology while continuing to eye another run for elective office

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Sonia Arrison explores the impact of radical human longevity – and its intersection with technology

Reading Sonia Arrison’s bio on her website, we were a bit stumped. So, when we stopped by her office on Sand Hill Road, we immediately asked: “What is it that you do?” “I have trouble describing myself,” she acknowledged. “So sometimes it’s easiest to say I’m an author.” That she is, and her most recent book, 100 […]

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Atherton Fiber works to establish town-wide connectivity for residents and organizations

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Learn about the hidden figures of computing — women — on August 2

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Eshoo kicks off third annual Congressional App Challenge

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