A lesson from the strange and lovely world of Leaf Town

This is the story of the rise and fall of a society built by schoolchildren

Stuck like the rest of us in one spot by the pandemic, the children were constructing something dense, lovely and strange, watching it take shape from their collective imaginations, seemingly according to its own will. PHOTO: AFP
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(NYTIMES) - Leaf Town started in the autumn, during recess. To reopen for in-person learning, the small elementary school had adopted new protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and one of those meant that the playground equipment in the nearby park was off limits. With their recreational routine disrupted, the children were briefly at a loss.

Then some of them piled up fallen leaves to outline the walls of a small room. They named it the Everything Store, and they began transacting commerce: purely imaginary at first, then increasingly real.

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