Inaugural “Health and PLAY” Institute to Launch at the 2020 Play Conference

“Health and PLAY” Institute

Sunday, March 29, 2020, 9:00am to 5:00pm

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce an innovative one-day program featuring health experts from across the country and aimed specifically at health practitioners.  The inaugural “Health and PLAY” Institute will examine the synergies between play and health on Sunday, March 29, as part of the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.

Michael Suk, MD, a leading advocate on health and nature, outdoor recreation as a gateway to better health, and “play for life” champion, will be our Chair and Moderator for the Health and Play Institute.  Dr. Suk is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Professor and Chair of the Musculoskeletal Institute at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. In addition to his role as a Steering Committee Member for the US Play Coalition, Dr. Suk also serves on numerous Boards including the American Medical Association, Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Associations and SHIFT at the Center for Jackson Hole.  Previously he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior and Senior Advisor on Health and Recreation to the National Park Service.

Topics and honored faculty of the “Health and PLAY” Institute include (to date):

The Science of Play: What We Know
In this session, we will explore the history of play science and its relationship to human interaction, brain development and as a potential medical intervention. Confirmed panelists for this session:

  • Stuart Brown, MD, Founder of the National Institute for Play.  His background in psychiatry, the evolution of human and animal play, as well as his clinical research into the causes and prevention of violence, have shown him that authentic play is a state of being which can be accessed and used by everyone, and that play is as important to humans as vitamins or sleep.
  • Jessica M. Black, PhD, is pioneering and directing advancement of cognitive, educational and social neuroscience into social work research, education and training. Dr. Black is an Educational Neuroscientist and an Associate Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work. She is Chair of Children, Youth and Families Concentration and is the Chair of Teaching Excellence. Dr. Black directs the Cell to Society Lab that fuses biological and psycho-social fields to improve youth wellbeing.
  • Jenny Radesky, MD – Dr. Radesky is a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician whose research focuses on family digital media use, child social-emotional development, and parent-child interaction.  She uses a combination of observational, qualitative, and passive sensing methods to examine how parents and young children use mobile media throughout daily routines.  She authored the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics digital media guidelines for young children.

The Role of Play in Society
In this session, we ask you to explore the role of play from a population viewpoint and the role of non-profit advocacy groups and state government. Confirmed panelists for this session:

  • Erwin Tan, MD – Dr. Erwin Tan is Director of Thought Leadership – Health at AARP and a board-certified internist and geriatrician. He previously served as the director of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he oversaw the RSVP, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.
  • Hon. Jerome Loughridge, Secretary of Health and Mental Health, State of Oklahoma. In this position, he oversees Oklahoma’s health care industry that employs more than 215,000 professionals and has an impact of roughly $11.8 billion annually. Under Governor Kevin Stitt, Loughridge has been charged given the tasks of repairing Oklahoma’s rural health infrastructure, decreasing the number of uninsured Oklahomans and making Oklahoma a healthier state with a greater quality of life
  • Sarah Griffin, PhD, professor of Public Health Science at Clemson University, has over twenty years of experience in public health with a specific interest in eliminating health disparities. Dr. Griffin serves as Principal Investigator of the Greenville Health System (GHS) School-Based Health Center implementation study for OnTrack Greenville. She is also Co-Principal Investigator for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention obesity prevention initiative with rural health extension

Provider Wellbeing and Burnout: Does Play Have a Role?
During this session, we would like to you to share your thoughts on the widely recognized and growing epidemic of physician “burnout,” with an eye toward using Play as a tool combat what many refer to as “moral injury.” Confirmed panelists for this session:

  • Marie Brown, MD, is a practicing internist, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College, the director of practice redesign for the American Medical Association, and the immediate past governor of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Dr. Brown is a frequent guest lecturer at academic, national and international health care conferences. Her areas of expertise include: practice transformation, joy in medicine, adult immunizations, medication adherence and diabetes.
  • Brooke Buckley, MD, FACS, board certified general surgeon and national expert on physician well-being. Dr. Buckley has dedicated a significant portion of her training and professional life to organized medicine and taking a broader look at medical care delivery, with specific interests in emergency surgical care, health-care delivery to rural communities, and physician wellbeing.
  • Caroline Cárdenas, MSN, RN, CBCN, is a Masters-prepared oncology nurse, hoopdance teacher, and evangelist for play and physical movement as a means to preventing and recovering from burnout and compassion fatigue. She’s also the creator of The Hula Hoop Girl, an Embodied Movement Meditation Self-Care Body Play Practice that guides women to reconnect to their natural born rhythm, replenish their joy, and cultivate their creative courage.

Using Play as Bridge Between Technologies
During this session, we would like to you to introduce your specific technology platform and discuss how aspects of “Play” can be a bridge to consumer engagement and/or better health outcomes.  Invited panelists for this session:

  • Meaghan Praznik, is a health and wellness, social media expert and Head of Communications & Partnerships, AllTrails. She is a 13-time IRONMAN finisher and qualifier for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
  • Amy Babington is Vice President of Client Success & Strategy at Force Therapeutics, leading a team that is responsible for supporting the patient and provider end users of the Force platform. In her tenure, she has been an integral part of the team to build out important functions and determine the needs of Force’s client base and market.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.


Thankful for Our
Longtime Top Supporters

With Valentine’s Day behind us, we want to give some special love to four longtime, top supporters.

Since our founding MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO (in 2009!), these four sponsors have been at our side, giving top level financial support to insure that the US Play Coalition could not only grow, but also evolve and expand its reach to spread the importance of the VALUE of PLAY.

They are truly are leaders in advancing the play movement. Their support comes from their deep belief in our work, our message, and our network.

 

Please click on their logos to learn more about each.


February 24 #WePlayChat on Recess and Play in School with Dr. Michael Hynes

Join us on Monday, February 24 at 6:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Dr. Michael Hynes from Long Island, New York to discuss the topic, “The Importance of Recess and Play in School.

New this year, #WePlayChat has a new look at feel. We are changing the flow of these professional learning opportunities to cover the what, how and why during chat. We look forward to the enriching dialogue this will create each month.

About The Moderator

Dr. Michael Hynes works as a public school superintendent of schools for the Port Washington School District, Fulbright Specialist and an associate professor of education and leadership on Long Island, NY. His mission is to spread the message of the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. He emphasizes the importance of play, recess in schools, mental health and yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. Dr. Hynes is a former assistant superintendent, principal and teacher. Hynes is also a public school advocate, TEDx and keynote speaker and has published numerous articles and featured on several podcasts and articles on school leadership. Hynes has focused his work on transforming schools by tapping into Potential Based Education, which focuses on the significance of social, emotional, physical and cognitive development for students as well as developing strategic plans for school buildings and school districts. Dr. Hynes educates the masses on global school initiatives and universal best practices. He has studied and worked with the Finnish school system. Hynes received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Bethany College and his doctorate in educational administration from Dowling College. He has undergone professional training to integrate organizational learning and school leadership into programs at New York University, Stony Brook University and Harvard University. Dr. Hynes has been awarded the “Friend of Education Award” and the “Distinguished Leadership Award” by Phi Delta Kappa as well as numerous other awards related to leadership.

Here are the questions Dr. Hynes will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. What can you do to make sure all children receive the proper amount of recess every day in school?

Q2. How can we foster more mix-aged play in school?

Q3. How much recess do you feel all elementary children should have every day and why?

Q4. Knowing that self-directed play is critical for child development, what is one thing an educator can do to make that happen in school?____________________________________________________________________________________

#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 9 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.


Headliners Announced for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce the current slate of headliners for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29-April 1, at Clemson University.

John Whyte, MD, MPH is a popular physician and writer who has been communicating to the public about health issues for nearly two decades.  He is currently the Chief Medical Officer, WebMD.  In this role, Dr. Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues.

Whyte will share insights on social media, consumerism, health and the connection to play.  Read more…

 

Lise Aangeenbrug is Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA).  For the last 30 years, Lise’s career has been in service of protecting land and wildlife habitat, building parks and trails, and connecting communities to the outdoors.  In March, Aangeenbrug will take up the mantle of Executive Director of Outdoor Industry Association and continue serving as president of the Outdoor Foundation.

Aangeenbrug will address efforts her organization is spearheading to get kids, families and entire communities PLAYING outside.  Learn more…

 

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D., is an educator, scholar, and thought leader. A superintendent of public schools on Long Island, New York, Hynes has also published numerous articles and featured in numerous podcasts on school leadership.  His article on “Play, Recess and Mental Health”  was #1 for 2018 in EDUCATION WEEK.

Hynes’ presentation will be “Creating a School Vision of Play and Wellness: The Importance of a Balanced Approach to Education.”   More details...

 

In addition to these headliners, there will be dozens more amazing presenters!  Click here to see a list of the education and research symposium sessions.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

  

January 2020 #WePlayChat – A New Decade of Play

Join us on Tuesday, January 28 at 4:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Ryan Fahey from Ottawa, Canada to discuss the topic, “A New Decade of Play”.

Starting this month, #WePlayChat will have a new look at feel. We are changing the flow of these professional learning opportunities. Moving forward, we will cover the who, what, how and why during each chat. We look forward to the enriching dialogue this will create in 2020.


About The Moderator

Ryan Fahey is a dedicated husband, two-time author, international speaker, teacher, and consultant in the fields of wellness education, leadership and business development. Ryan serves as the Lead for Special Projects and Campaigns at Physical and Health Education Canada as well as Play Ambassador Coordinator for the US Play Coalition. During his free time, you can find Ryan on the trails, reading a good book or drinking great coffee with his wife Amber. Ryan and his wife both reside in beautiful Ottawa, ON and continues to be a strong advocate for play in the north.

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

Q1. Who will lead innovative play initiatives in this new decade?
Q2. What do you think the next ten years of play will look like?
Q3. How will new play programs, initiatives and campaigns look in this new decade?
Q4. Why will it be more important than ever for people to play in this next decade?


#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 9 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.


Reflecting on Play
from Back in the Day

As a kid your imagination is filled with toys, video games, monsters, sports and a room full of blank canvases to allow your brain to explore. When I was a kid growing up in inner-city New Jersey, most of my afternoons and weekends were surrounded by family members and friends.

The first thing I can vividly remember doing as a kid was learning how to play football from my mother and father, who in his past was a 2x all-state high school selection. Early on, I would be out in the neighborhood with my cousins and friends playing street football with my mother watching nervously from the side, praying I didn’t get hurt playing with teenagers three times my size and 10 years older than me. Football remained a love of mine until 7th grade.

My grandmother bought me a mongoose bike, black and orange interior design with black rims and wheels with orange handlebars and pedals. Riding that bike was my favorite thing to do after school, besides throwing the football. You could bet your top dollar I was gonna be riding down the biggest hills, curviest roads, and most dangerous turns every single day.

I once had a bad experience in my playful childhood. I had sandals on, and I was about 6 years old, speeding down the hill on my bike. I noticed I was going too fast and tried to use my brakes, but the speed was overwhelming. I ended up using my sandals and scraped all of my toes and blood was everywhere. I remember sitting in the middle of the street crying and my grandmother picking me up, cleaning me off, and giving me a lollipop. Once I recovered from my gruesome injuries, I did not ride my bike for weeks.

On weekends, I would play video games with my friends and cousins, but my favorite thing we did was play hide and go seek and tag until the street lights came on.

Playing outside and being away from my room was the cool thing to do when I was a kid, and I took every advantage of being active, free, and young as much as I could. Being outside taught me my love for sports and what it meant to be full of life and imagination.

 

 

 

Aamir Simms is a junior at Clemson University and an intern for the US Play Coalition.

 


Here is your LAST CHANCE to
GIVE THE GIFT OF PLAY with a
year-end donation to our Grants Fund

Inspired by the generosity of so many, we are extending our action and research grant fundraising effort through December 31. Please support our action and research grants with a gift of any denomination to the US Play Coalition.

We will give 100% of all donations made through December 31, 2019, to our grants fund. There are no hidden costs or fees…everything we raise through the end of the year goes to our 2020 grants. Please go online to GIVE PLAY- http://bit.ly/DonatePlay

YOU can 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. Big or small, your gift MATTERS!!

Grant funding is a distinctive feature of our annual Play Conference, and we are proud to have awarded close to $60,000 in funding to date.   The 2019 grant winners are bringing play to children in Baltimore and Frisco, Texas, providing Spanish tools for families to understand the benefits of toys and developing a tool to assess the quality and efficacy of outdoor play environments.  Check out all of the projects our grants have supported over the years – https://usplaycoalition.org/action-research-grants

Our 2019 goal is to fund at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant at our upcoming 2020 Play Conference.  All funds raised through 12/31/19 will go to our grant fund – 100% of it!

YOU can help us provide action and research grants in 2020 with your gift!  We can’t wait to share the future of play with you!

 

 

The U.S. Play Coalition
The U.S. Play Coalition is an international network of individuals and organizations that promotes the value of play throughout life. Formed in 2009, the coalition is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The coalition is housed in Clemson University’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department, part of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences.


Chief Medical Officer of WebMD to Headline the 2020 Play Conference

The US Play Coalition is thrilled to announce that John Whyte, MD, MPH, will be a keynote panelist for the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL, March 29-April 1, at Clemson University.

Dr. John Whyte is a popular physician and writer who has been communicating to the public about health issues for nearly two decades.

He is currently the Chief Medical Officer, WebMD.  In this role, Dr. Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues.

Dr. Whyte is a board-certified internist and continues to see patients.  He has written extensively in the medical and lay press, including two best-selling books, “Is This Normal:  The Essential Guide to Middle Age and Beyond” and “AARP New American Diet:  Lose Weight, Live Longer.”  He is passionate about changing how we think about health.

Having spent time in government, academia, and the private sector, Dr. Whyte brings a unique perspective to the annual Power PLAYer Panel that will address the theme of “PLAY FOR ALL.”  Whyte will share insights on social media, consumerism, health and the connection to play.

 

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.

  

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, December 3, 2019, 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 close to $60,000 in funding to date.   The 2019 grant winners are bringing play to children in Baltimore and Frisco, Texas, providing Spanish tools for families to understand the benefits of toys and developing a tool to assess the quality and efficacy of outdoor play environments.  Check out all of the projects our grants have supported over the years – https://usplaycoalition.org/action-research-grants

Our 2019 Giving TuesPLAY goal is to fund at least one Research Grant and one Action Grant at our upcoming 2020 Play Conference.  All funds raised on Giving TuesPLAY go to our grant fund – 100% of it!

YOU can help us provide action and research grants in 2020 with your Giving TuesPLAY gift!  Join the global movement and donate on Tuesday, December 3! Big or small, your gift MATTERS!! We can’t wait to share the future of play with you!

 

 

The U.S. Play Coalition
The U.S. Play Coalition is an international network of individuals and organizations that promotes the value of play throughout life. Formed in 2009, the coalition is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The coalition is housed in Clemson University’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department, part of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences.


Now Accepting Nominations for 2020 Outstanding Researcher and Youth Practitioner Awards

The U.S. Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its 2020 awards program, recognizing outstanding play research and youth practitioners.

First awarded at the 2017 Conference on the Value of Play, our awards program honors exceptional individuals each year.  The 2020 winners not only receive a physical award, but also have conference fees paid, hotel accommodations and up to $500 in travel to attend the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL.  Deadline for nominations is 11:59pm EST on December 15, 2019.

Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research is given annually in recognition of a body of exceptional research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play.

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.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE YOUTH PRACTITIONER AWARD ARE NOW CLOSED