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

November #WePlayChat: The Importance of Free Play for Child Development

Join us on Tuesday, November 19 at 1:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Kimberly Hart, Content Developer for AAA State of Play, to discuss the topic, “The Importance of Free Play for Child Development.”

Kimberly Hart is a play advocate, hiker, writer and volunteer. Proud mother to two fearless wildflowers, she firmly believes that #PlayMatters!

Below are the questions that Kimberly will use to guide this professional development opportunity:

_______________________________________________________________________

Q1. How would you define “free play” or “unstructured play”?

Q2. What are some benefits of free play that you would like to share?

Q3. How does free play benefit a child’s emotional health and growth?

Q4. How can we create more opportunities for free play for today’s children?

_______________________________________________________________________

#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 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY. #WePlayChat is the largest monthly Play based twitter chat in the world. 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.


Now Accepting Nominations for the 2020 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research

The US Play Coalition is now accepting nominations for its 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 2020 award winner will be named at the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY FOR ALL 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 2019 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research was presented to Lynn A. Barnett, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism at the University of Illinois and a Fellow in the Academy of Leisure Sciences.

Dr. Barnett has had a long and sustained record of contributions to the study of play throughout her career, which started in the 1970s. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including books, scholarly journals, technical reports, and papers at professional meetings. In addition to her own scholarship, she has contributed to the study of play through activities such as serving on the editorial board of several journals, including Play Theory and Research, Play and Culture, and Play Research International. She has also taught multiple courses (at both the graduate and undergraduate level) related to play, including Play Across the Lifespan, Play Theories and Their Implications, Play and Leisure, and Humor as Play.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 Joe L. Frost Award for Distinguished Research.  Deadline for nominations is December 15, 2019. The 2020 winner will be notified in mid-January and recognized at the 2020 Conference on the Value of Play at Clemson University, March 29-April 1, 2020.  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.


October 30th #WePlayChat: “How Play can Change our Relationship with Diversity and Inclusion”

Join us on Wednesday, October 30 at 9:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Brandi Heather, Chief Knowledge Officer of Amped2Play, to discuss the topic, “How play can change our relationship with diversity and inclusion”.

Brandi Heather is an Adapted Physical Activity and Play Development Specialist based in Red Deer, Alberta. As both a Builder and Instructor, she has spent 20 years using accessible play as the foundation of her programming and post-secondary teaching.She is currently Chief Knowledge Officer and Co Founder of AMPED2PLAY INC. where her

expertise and passion for accessible multigenerational play is highlighted in multiple programs including PLAY6S – finding ways for every person to discover and enjoy movement through inclusive play including Adapted DANCEPL3Y.

Brandi is passionate about play and the pursuit of bringing an inclusive lens to all structured and unstructured programming.

Here are the questions that Brandi will lead with us during this chat:

_______________________________________________________________________

Q1. How can play be a catalyst for change management, resiliency and adaptability?

Q2. How can we create sustainable learning from playful experiences?

Q3. What barriers to do we hear and see when we introduce play as a serious method for physical, social and cognitive change?

Q4.How does Play give the opportunity to build more inclusive communities, schools, sports, and recreation?

_______________________________________________________________________

#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 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY. #WePlayChat is the largest monthly Play based twitter chat in the world. 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.


US Play Coalition Announces Regional Event in Cooperation with ChiTag

The US Play Coalition’s next regional event is taking on the Windy City!  We are partnering with the Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) for their 2019 Play In Education (PIE) Conference: Play as a Classroom Tool, Saturday, November 23 from 10am-3pm at Chicago’s Navy Pier.  Play in Education exists to equip and encourage teachers to fully engage the minds of their students by leveraging the power of play.  Registration is only $25!

According to Mary Couzin, CEO & founder of ChiTAG, “I love these win-win-win-win partnerships!”

Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition agrees.  “Mary and her team with Play in Education are providing professional development opportunities for teachers to embrace to VALUE that play can bring to the classroom.”

Join us at the PIE Conference for a half day of PLAYful learning featuring TWO of our US Play Coalition Play Ambassadors!  Joyce Hemphill will present on “The Power of Playful Learning.” Jed Dearybury will show you how to “Play Your Way Out of the Box!”  And that’s not all!  Explore even more play from experts Mary Kay Morrison and Tim Walsh.

 

ChiTAG Group
The Chicago Toy & Game Group,  or “ChiTAG” – pronounced SHY-Tag – for short. Founded by Mary Couzin in 2003, we produce ChiTAG Week, a series of events promoting and celebrating play and innovation that welcomes industry, consumers and traditional and social media the week before Thanksgiving.

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.


US Play Coalition partners with Nickelodeon on the Road to the Worldwide Day of Play

Nickelodeon is inspiring kids to embrace the transformative power of play and lead active lifestyles with its annual Worldwide Day of Play.  The US Play Coalition continues to be a partner with Nickelodeon for this important and FUN-omenal endeavor!

Again this year, the US Play Coalition helped to craft the new Worldwide Day of Play Playbook.  This resource guide demonstrates how kids can amplify their voices in programming and how adults can put those ideas to work.  We hope this guide will help you not only plan your own local Worldwide Day of Play event but ignite the power of kids’ voices in your year-round programming in youth sports, recreation and of course…PLAY!  Find ways to include the power of kids’ voices from the US Play Coalition and other national partners like the Aspen Institute, Kiwanis, Laureus USA, NFL Play 60, Playworks, Police Athletic League NY, and Special Olympics.

Get inspired by WWDoP and plan a Play Day in YOUR community!  It doesn’t have to be September 28 – Play Day can be any day!  Visit nickcommunity.com/program/dayofplay for resources like the official 2019 Playbook to help plan your own Worldwide Day of Play activities.

Check out the US Play Coalition’s Road to the Worldwide Day of Play event…!

5th Annual Clemson Community Play Day
Saturday, September 14, 11:00am-2:00pm
Nettles Park, Upper Baseball Field (Geer Field)

The US Play Coalition and City of Clemson Parks & Rec are teaming up again for our annual Clemson Community Play Day as part of Nickelodeon’s Road to the Worldwide Day of Play. Our friends from the Outdoor Lab will be there too!  Join us for inflatables, games, crafts, photo ops and more!!! There will be a designated toddler play space AND opportunities to get wet!!  It’s FREE fun for kids! Pack a lunch and stay for a while!  GET UP, GET OUT & GO PLAY!

Details are on the Facebook event page.  Be sure to mark that you are going so you get updates!

 

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.


US Play Coalition Partners with Ithaca Children’s Garden for Play Symposium

We are thrilled to announce our northeastern regional play event!  The US Play Coalition is partnering with Ithaca Children’s Garden for their 2019 Play Symposium, Play for All: Equity, Access, and Inclusion, October 4-6 in Ithaca, New York.  The Ithaca Children’s Garden’s Play Symposium is a gathering for change-makers fostering a culture of play in their communities.

According to Stephanie Garst, executive director of the US Play Coalition, “This is a great opportunity for the US Play Coalition to collaborate with the Ithaca Children’s Garden this year.  Both of our upcoming educational events are themed around Play for All.  And we are thrilled that two of our favorite Play Conference presenters, Corliss Outley, Ph.D and Harrison Pinckney, IV, Ph.D., will give the opening keynote at the 2019 Play Symposium.”

Join us at Ithaca Children’s Garden for three days of sharing, discussion, and play, while learning from local initiatives and play leaders from across the US. Featuring panels, play observation, presentations, and more, Ithaca Children’s Garden Play Symposium is highly relevant for educators, parents, play professionals, parks and recreation staff, city administrators, and anyone passionate about children, education, the great outdoors, health, well-being, social justice, or play.

 

 

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.


September 26th #WePlayChat: “How To Simplify the Messages of Play”

Farrah Zweig (left) serves as the co-founder/Director of programming at Student Fitness Experts and has been a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Physiologist for over 15 years.  She is also the physical education coach at a Los Angeles based private school. A graduate of San Diego State, she holds her bachelor’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in fitness, nutrition, and health. Spending her initial years improving the health and fitness of adults and pre/post natal women, she turned her attention to youth fitness 10 years ago, after discovering a gap in opportunities for children to learn functional and applied movement skills. Her research interests focus on pediatric exercise science, movement and brain development, as well as physical literacy, play, and the social/emotional/behavioral connections with physical activity. Combining her education, experience, and joy of learning, Farrah has created a pathway to creating ideal learning environments for students that subsequently relate to benefits beyond the playing field. Please join us in welcoming Farrah to our chat!
Here are the questions Farrah will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:
_________________________________________________________________________________
Q1. How are we delivering the messages around play and what is most effective?
Q2 . Which populations are being underserved when it comes to reaching every person with a message of play?
Q3. How do we take effective messaging and tweak, add, and improve it to reach more people, more often?
Q4. What are a few quick and easy ideas we can share with families and centers to help make their communities more active and playful?

#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 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY. #WePlayChat is the largest monthly Play based twitter chat in the world. 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.