January 24th #weplaychat: “Mental Health, Play & Whole Child Education” with Kim Hordal-Hlewka!

Please join us on Thursday, January 24th at 6:00pm EST (4pm MST) as we discuss, “Mental Health, Play & Whole Child Education” with the incredibly enthusiastic Kim Hordal-Hlewka from Alberta, Canada! Kim Hordal-Hlewka is the Assistant Principal of Michael Phair Junior High that opened it’s doors in the fall of 2017. Kim has taught Kindergarten to Grade 9 Physical Education and was the Physical Education, Health and Comprehensive School Health Consultant for Edmonton Public Schools. Recently Kim spent four years as the Provincial Comprehensive School Health Consultant for Ever Active Schools. Kim is extremely passionate about the importance of connecting to the whole child through physical education, health, and well-being. In past Kim has presented for @EverActiveSchoolsAB, @AlbertaHPEC, @PHECanada, Early Childhood Conferences, New Teachers Convention,

International Physical Literacy Conference, National Healthy Schools Conference, and Shaping the Future Conference.

Kim firmly believes that mental health, play & whole child education are interconnected pieces. Let’s give her a warm welcome!

Here are the questions Kim will be covering during our #WePlayChat dialogue:

  • Q1. How does a whole child approach to play & education support healthy brain development? 
  • Q2. What are the necessary elements to taking a whole child approach to play? Education? 
  • Q3. How does whole child education and play prepare students for tomorrow? 
  • Q4. How do we know when we are supporting mental health through a whole child approach?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around the value of PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

December 13th #WePlayChat on “Serious Play” with Darryl Edwards

Join us on Thursday, December 13th at 4:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Darryl Edwards out of the United Kingdom to our #WePlayChat on “Serious Play.”

Darryl Edwards, Founder of HEALTH Unplugged and owner of Fitness Explorer Training, is an international speaker, coach, nutritionist and author of Paleo Fitness and Paleo from A to Z.  He has been published in titles such as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Elle, Men’s Fitness and featured on the BBC, ABC in Australia and the international documentary We Love Paleo.

After almost two decades working as a technologist in investment banking, Darryl transformed his health after adopting an ancestral model to well-being.  Darryl now advises people on maintaining a healthy lifestyle – amidst the epidemic of obesity and other chronic lifestyle diseases.

As the founder of the PRIMAL PLAY methodology, he makes activity fun, effective and engaging while getting individuals healthier, fitter and stronger in the process. He specializes in working with children from 4 to 94 – fitness for those who hate to exercise – as well as for those who love it but relish a new challenge. We are excited to have Darryl’s expertise leading the conversation!

Here are the questions Darryl will be covering during our #WePlayChat dialogue:

  • Q1. What is Serious Play?
  • Q2. Does the emphasis on fun trivialise play?
  • Q3. What are the effects of ‘serious play’ on society?
  • Q4. Does ‘Serious play’ have a place in the workplace? Education space?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


R&D Project Utilizing Play to Link Design with Classroom Pedagogy Supported by Giving TuesPLAY Funds

Giving TuesPLAY TODAY! When you donate to the US Play Coalition, you help to fund our Action and Research Grants for playmakers, communities and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement.

The 2018 Research Grant Winner is a project from the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University titled “Transitional Play: Investigating the play value of a transitional semi-covered space in an early childhood classroom.”  The goal of this research and development (R&D) effort is architectural innovation and associated evidence demonstrating the positive effects of childcare center indoor-outdoor transitional spaces on child and teacher behavior.  Initiated by the research grant, this proposed R&D project is expected to provide a gateway to creating the first viable prototype of a transitional play and learning space. Findings will be translated into design guidelines demonstrating how a transitional space can become an integral part of the outdoor learning environment and add pedagogical value to classroom design.

GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 27, the US Play Coalition will be a part of #GivingTuesday, encouraging YOU to support PLAY by donating to our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement. We call it Giving TuesPLAY! (Get it?!)

Our 2018 Giving TuesPLAY goal is to fund at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant for our upcoming
10th Anniversary season.  We are on our way, thanks to a jump start challenge from our amazing steering committee. Now we challenge you! All funds raised on Giving TuesPLAY go to our grant fund – 100% of it!

To support great projects like this, make sure to donate to #GivingTuesPLAY TODAY!  You can help us provide action and research grants in 2019 with your Giving TuesPLAY gift!

 

 

 


Program Educating on Access to Play for Under-Resourced Children, Especially Girls of Color, Supported by Giving TuesPLAY Funds

Giving TuesPLAY TODAY! When you donate to the US Play Coalition, you help to fund our Action and Research Grants for playmakers, communities and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement.

One of the 2018 Action Grants will support access to play for under-resourced children in Charleston, SC, especially girls and girls of color.  Leaders at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston will host “Unequal PLAYing Field: A Panel Discussion on the Importance of Accessing Equal Play for Girls and Girls of Color.”  

The panel and related training will advance ideas and share information about disparities in access to safe, equitable play options for under-resourced children, especially girls and girls of color. Panelists are experts in the field of play, child development, and working with under-resourced communities and will offer first-hand knowledge about the challenges and opportunities to level the playing field for all children. The panel will target teachers, educators, advocates, parents and administrators to spark action on behalf of all Charleston’s children, especially those in under-served communities and communities of color.

GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 27, the US Play Coalition will be a part of #GivingTuesday, encouraging YOU to support PLAY by donating to our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement. We call it Giving TuesPLAY! (Get it?!)

Our 2018 Giving TuesPLAY goal is to fund at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant for our upcoming
10th Anniversary season.  We are on our way, thanks to a jump start challenge from our amazing steering committee. Now we challenge you! All funds raised on Giving TuesPLAY go to our grant fund – 100% of it!

To support great projects like this, make sure to donate to #GivingTuesPLAY TODAY!  You can help us provide action and research grants in 2019 with your Giving TuesPLAY gift!

 

 

 


Here is YOUR chance to GIVE the
gift of PLAY on Giving TuesPLAY!

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday is #GivingTuesday. It is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the US Play Coalition will be a part of #GivingTuesday, encouraging YOU to support PLAY by donating to our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement. We call it Giving TuesPLAY! (Get it?!) Big or small, your gift MATTERS!!

Grant funding is a distinctive feature of our annual Play Conference, and we are proud to have awarded $52,000 in funding to date.   The 2018 grant winners are utilizing play to help children build friendships, providing access especially for girls of color, and linking architecture design with classroom pedagogy.  Check out all of the projects our grants have supported over the years – https://usplaycoalition.org/action-research-grants

Our 2018 Giving TuesPLAY goal is to fund at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant for our upcoming
10th Anniversary season.  We are on our way, thanks to a jump start challenge from our amazing steering committee. Now we challenge you! All funds raised on Giving TuesPLAY go to our grant fund – 100% of it!

YOU can help us provide action and research grants in 2019 with your Giving TuesPLAY gift!  Join the global movement and donate on Tuesday, November 27! Big or small, your gift MATTERS!! We can’t wait to share the future of play with you!


Support Play Trailblazers Like These When You Support Giving TuesPLAY!

This Giving Tuesday, consider donating to Giving TuesPLAY! The support we receive on Giving TuesPLAY helps to fund our wonderful grant winners. These winning projects are trailblazers in the world of play, and we need your help to get them going!

One of our 2018 Action Grant winners is a project called “Loose Parts Play Builds Tight Communities” from Pure Play Every Day, Inc.

In 2017, in her first year as a US Play Coalition Play Ambassador, Patty Stine took advantage of an invitation to participate in the National Night Out (NNO) event at the Huntington Neighborhood Association in Waldorf, MD. She took her minivan and trailer full of play materials to the community center, set up her shade tent, then set out all the loose parts play materials. When the children arrived, they were drawn in by the unique collection of materials that allowed them to have freedom to choose where the play would go. It didn’t take long for them to dive into their evening of adventure. They dug in the sand in the sand and scooped water from the PVC sand and water table. They mixed water from the recycled laundry detergent containers with the sand. They added a bedsheet roof to the cardboard box playhouse. While the children designed, created, built and created new friendships, she snapped a few photos to share the glory of play with the world through Twitter.  This experience was the inspiration for this 2018 Action Grant winning project.

“As children play, they form friendships that cross economic and cultural differences,” says Patty Stine of Pure Play Every Day, Inc. 

With the 2018 action grant project, the Pure Play Every Day team recruited childcare professionals across their county to participate in a loose parts play training program.  In turn, the newly trained professionals could facilitate loose parts play as an available activity for the families attending their community’s NNO event. Pure Play Every Day, Inc. provided the trainees with a loose parts play starter kit as well as a training manual for sharing the purpose and value of play and suggestions for setting-up for loose parts play.

The photos in this post are highlights from some of this year’s Loose Parts Play at the National Night Out events.  Much more is coming from the Pure Play Every Day team!

GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 27, the US Play Coalition will be a part of #GivingTuesday, encouraging YOU to support PLAY by donating to our Action and Research Grants for playmakers and researchers whose work has the potential to improve and expand the Play Movement. We call it Giving TuesPLAY! (Get it?!)

To support PLAYful projects like this and others, be sure to donate on Giving TuesPLAY – Tuesday, November 27!  YOU can help us provide action and research grants in 2019 with your Giving TuesPLAY gift!

Join the global movement and donate on Tuesday, November 27!  Big or small, your gift MATTERS!! We can’t wait to share the future of play with you!

 


Now Accepting Nominations for
2019 Outstanding Researcher
and Youth Practitioner Awards

The U.S. Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its 2019 awards program, recognizing outstanding play research and youth practitioners.  First awarded at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play, this new awards program honors exceptional individuals each year.  The winners not only receive a physical award, but also have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR LIFE.  Deadline for nominations is 11:59pm EST on December 15.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research honors its namesake, the contemporary father of play advocacy.  The award recognizes someone for a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play.

“Joe Frost has been an influencer for our organization’s work as well as for the world of play,” said Stephanie Garst, executive director of the U.S. Play Coalition. “This award is a fitting tribute.”

Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known across the world for his more than 30 years of work on early childhood and children’s play environments. Past president of both the Association for Childhood Education International and International Play Association/USA, he is the author or co-author of 18 books and numerous publications and has also served as a consultant for playgrounds worldwide.

Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the coalition’s beginning in 2009. He served as a keynote speaker that year at the coalition’s first conference – then called the Summit on the Value of Play –and has been an honorary chair for each successive conference.

YLI Youth Development Practitioner Award

The U.S. Play Coalition teamed with Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute for the Youth Development Practitioner Award. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services. (The nominee does NOT have to be affiliated with Clemson University.)

“There are many deserving practitioners across the nation, and our goal with this award is to bring recognition to this field of service,” said Stephen Lance, executive director of the Youth Learning Institute.


Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The US Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its third annual Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research.  This award is given annually in recognition of a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play. The 2019 award winner will be named at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, SC.

The inaugural Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research was presented to its namesake – Joe L. Frost, the contemporary father of play advocacy.  “Joe Frost has been an influencer for our organization’s work as well as for the world of play,” said Stephanie Garst, executive director of the U.S. Play Coalition. “The creation of this award is a fitting tribute.”

Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known across the world for his more than 30 years of work on early childhood and children’s play environments. Past president of both the Association for Childhood Education International and International Play Association/USA, he is the author or co-author of 18 books and numerous publications and has also served as a consultant for playgrounds worldwide.

Frost was influential in the creation of the U.S. Play Coalition, serving as a steering committee member since the coalition’s beginning in 2009. He served as a keynote speaker that year at the coalition’s first conference – then called the Summit on the Value of Play –and has been an honorary chair for each successive conference.

The 2018 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research was presented to Dr. Olga Jarrett, Professor Emerita of early childhood/science education at Georgia State University, evaluator of an NSF project in Belize, and a past president of The Association for the Study of Play and the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research.  Deadline for nominations is December 15, 2018. The 2019 winner will be notified in mid-January and recognized at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play at Clemson University, March 31-April 3, 2019.  The winner will have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the Play Conference.

The Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

Purpose:
This is to be awarded annually in recognition of an individual’s body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play.

Evaluation Criteria:
The basis for selection will be the degree to which the nominee has achieved an exceptional research contribution as evidenced by publications, patents, citations, or other criteria deemed important by experts in the field. Outstanding research contributions can take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, theoretical advances, experimental results, development of programs and tools.


November 28th #Weplaychat Featuring Maryland’s Own, Patty Stine!

Join us on Wednesday, November 28th at 12:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Patty Stine of Pure Play Everyday Inc. out of Maryland to our #WePlayChat on “Engaging Volunteers at Play Based Events”.

Patty Stine began her professional career in promoting play as a child delivering play structures manufactured by her family business with her parents. Since then she has worked as a play environment designer, preschool teacher, and child care, professional trainer. She learned through all of this that play has the power to positively influence the self-image and development of children. Patty also serves as a US Play Coalition Play Ambassador. Patty’s commitment to demonstrating simple ways in which children and youth can experience maximum benefit from their play is contagious and we are grateful to have her perspective as she drives our November #weplaychat!

Here are the questions Patty will be covering during #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1: What are the elements (time, space and materials) of a “play based event”?
Q2: Who can/should be invited to volunteer at your play based event?
Q3: What are the benefits of having volunteers at your play based event?
Q4: Are there policies or forms you need to have in place before hosting your “play based event”?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


2019 Youth Development Practitioner Award Apps Now Open

The US Play Coalition is pleased to partner with Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute for their third annual Youth Development Practitioner Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services. The YLI award winner will be named at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, SC.

According to Stephen Lance, Executive Director of Youth Learning Institute, “There are many deserving practitioners across the nation and our goal is to bring recognition to this field of service.”

The 2017 inaugural award went to Dan Mathews, chief operating officer at Camp Twin Lakes, a Georgia-based organization that provides camp experiences for children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges.

The 2018 YLI Youth Development Practitioner Award recipient is Pat Rumbaugh, a play advocate and co-founder of Let’s Play America. She is known as “The Play Lady”, has for more than 10 years, been an advocate, author, and participant in play activities for youth and the young at heart.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Youth Development Practitioner Award.  Deadline for nominations is December 15, 2018. The winner of the 2019 Youth Development Practitioner Award will be notified in mid-January and recognized at the 10th Anniversary Conference on the Value of Play at Clemson University, March 31-April 3, 2019.  The winner will have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the Play Conference.

2019 Youth Development Practitioner Award Application Process

Purpose:
To recognize outstanding performance in the creation and implementation of youth development programs or services.

Eligibility:
Must have operated a youth development program or service within the United States for at least 10 or more years.

Evaluation Criteria:
Applicants should show evidence of as many of met criteria in their submitted statement.

  • Accomplishments serve as an example for other youth serving programs.
  • Program/service demonstrates best practices and a nurturing culture that supports inclusivity and human resilience.
  • Outreach efforts promote youth development programs and encourage support and participation from the community at-large.
  • Equips young people to lead and serve, through direct work with youth and by training other practitioners.
  • Demonstrates positive impact on lives of young people and leads by example.
  • Demonstrates high level of leadership, professionalism and integrity in the field of youth development.
  • Strengthens the field of youth work by providing quality training opportunities for youth workers to maximize their investment in young people.
  • Focuses on attempts to improve the quality of youth services by providing training standards and improving program function.
  • Shares best practices with other youth practitioners or serves as a liaison in the community to create a network of participation and sharing of ideas/knowledge.
  • Program/service demonstrates exceptional commitment to public service and/or educational leadership.

If you have any questions, please contact Amy Bulger at bulger@clemson.edu.